Updating your school’s online safety policy

As schools move to remote learning, it is important that all the relevant documentation reflects this shift, and this includes school policies. A policy outlining a school’s approach to online safety and digital citizenship is an important anchor for discussions between teachers, students, parents/whānau and the wider community.

A policy should make an important statement about a school or kura’s commitment to creating a safe online environment for all, including when learning happens outside of the physical school environment.

Often schools and kura develop an entirely custom policy as part of a wider online safety planning and review process, however Netsafe has updated a one-page online safety policy to reflect the current education environment which schools and kura are welcome to take and modify. It is recommended that boards consult with the school community in the establishment of a policy such as this. Community support is a vital component of a successful online safety and digital citizenship programme.

The standard policy has two sections: Rationale and Policy. The rationale section recognises NAG5 links and the value of developing a culture of online safety and digital citizenship. The policy section commits the school to developing appropriate supporting procedures and systems.