ONLINE SAFETY POLICY
Internet and other digital information communication technologies are excellent tools that pave way to new opportunities in the world of education. Online safety plays an essential part in safeguarding children and young people in the digital age, especially in distance learning platform.
The Governors, staff, students and parents of The Royal Academy, Ajman play a vital role in setting an example for the whole school and are central to implement policy and process. It is imperative that a whole school community approach to online safety is adopted and that all stakeholders are aware of their responsibilities and duties in relation to keeping children safe online. This supports a robust online safety ethos and ensures that the schoolis providing the best online safety provision they possibly can.
Online safety is an omnipresent topic which requires recurrent regulatory review and places a stringent duty of care on us all. This policy supports school in meeting statutory requirements as per the educational rules and regulations of MoE.
Aim of Online Safety Policy
The Royal Academy, Ajman ensures that :
- Students can safely access new technology and learn how to participate in the digital world without compromising their safety and security.
- A planned e-safety curriculum is provided as part of Computing / PHSE / other lessons and is regularly revisited.
- Students are taught to acknowledge the source of information used and to respect copyright when using material accessed on the internet.
- All students and staff understand the importance of password security and the need to log out of accounts.
- Staff act as good role models in their use of ICT, the Internet and mobile devices.
- It has a clear and understood arrangements for the security, storage and transfer of personal data.
- To create awareness among the stakeholders on ‘the various initiatives of U A E in relation to child protection by incorporating the Federal Law No: 3 of 2016 (Wadeema’s Law)- Federal Law No. 3 of 2016 concerning child rights, which states that all children must be provided with appropriate living standards, access to health services, education, equal opportunities in essential services and.
- Facilities without any kind of discrimination, Federal Law No: 5 of 2012 on combatting cybercrimes – the article of this law highlights a number of computer and online related activities and how they would be dealt with under the law. It addresses subjects such as IT security, invasion of privacy, malicious and illegal activities including hacking, fraud, improper system use, defamation, threats to state security, terrorism, insult to religions, and many more. etc.
- It will deal with incidents within this policy and associated behaviour and anti- bullying policies and will, where known, inform parents / caregivers of incidents of inappropriate e-safety behaviour that take place out of school.
Roles and Responsibilities
Principal and Senior Leaders:
- The Principal has a duty of care for ensuring the safety (including e-safety) of members of the school community.
- The Principal and (at least) another member of the Senior Leadership Team should be aware of the procedures to be followed in the event of a serious e- safety allegation being made against a member of staff.
- The Principal and Senior Leaders are responsible for ensuring that the E- Safety Coordinator and other relevant staff receive suitable training to enable them to carry out their e-safety roles and to train other colleagues, as relevant.
- The Principal will ensure that there is a system in place to allow for monitoring and support of those in school who carry out the internal e-safety monitoring role.
Online Safety Leader:
- Leads the e-safety committee.
- Takes day to day responsibility for e-safety issues and has a leading role in establishing and reviewing the school e-safety policies / documents.
- Ensures that all staff are aware of the procedures that need to be followed in the event of an e-safety incident taking place.
- Provides training and advice for staff.
- Liaises with the MOE / relevant body.
- Liaises with school technical staff.
- Receives reports of e-safety incidents and creates a log of incidents to inform future e-safety developments.
Online Safety Coordinators:
- Make sure they have an up-to-date awareness of e-safety matters and of the current e-safety policy and practices.
- Work closely with the online safety leader in leading the committee and all roles and responsibilities.
- Follow up on the plans for the year and ensure that they are being carried out systematically.
- Advice the online safety leader of any deviations from plans or any breaches that need attention for the leader and the group.
Child Protection Officer (School Counsellor):
- Take the lead along with online safety leader in ensuring in child protection.
- Immediately respond or step in when an online child safety incident occurs and work with the online safety leader, parents and students as required to address the same.
- Ensure that the evidence of intervention is documented.
- If appropriate, advise Online Safety Leader and school leadership for referral to external agencies.
Parents / Caregivers:
- Encourage the implementation e-safety norms prescribed by the school for the home environment.
- Work with the school for the implementation of policies that pertain to students and parents.
Online safety education:
Our students need to understand the potential hazards they may encounter online and they need the help and support of school to recognise and avoid online safety risks and build their resilience, supported by informed parents. Online safety is a focus in all areas of the curriculum and staff are expected to reinforce online safety messages across the curriculum.
The Online Safety Education programme will be delivered through:
- The planned online safety curriculum will be provided as regular stand- alone lessons throughout the year on a regular basis.
- Online safety lessons will be delivered as part of the ICT classes.
- Key online safety messages should be reinforced as part of the planned programme of assemblies and wellbeing activities.
- Students will be taught in all lessons to be critically aware of the materials and content they access on-line and be guided to validate the accuracy of information.
- Students will be taught to acknowledge the source of information used and to respect copyright when using material accessed on the internet.
Teachers and Staff:
It is essential that all school staff receive suitable online safety training and understand their responsibilities, as outlined in this policy.
Training will be offered as follows:
- Online safety training will be delivered to staff and the programme of training will be updated based on staff surveys and developing technologies accordingly.
- All new staff will receive online safety training as part of their induction programme, ensuring that they fully understand the school’s Online Safety Policy, Acceptable Use Policy for Staff and all other policies and procedures related to online safety.
- The Online Safety Leader will attend external training and workshops to ensure their knowledge is current. They are expected to share this knowledge through suitable training sessions for staff.
Parents and the Wider Community:
The Royal Academy, Ajman will help to ensure that parents are informed of online safety through the following means:
- Letters / circulars discussing various aspects of online safety.
- Sharing of all relevant school policies related to online safety through email and access on the school website.
Technical – infrastructure / equipment, filtering and monitoring
The school will be responsible for ensuring that the school infrastructure / network is as safe and secure as is reasonably possible and that policies and procedures approved within this policy are implemented.
- School technical systems will be managed in ways that ensure that the school / academy meets recommended technical requirements.
- There will be regular reviews and audits of the safety and security of school academy technical systems.
- Servers, wireless systems and cabling must be securely located and physical access restricted.
- All users will have clearly defined access rights to school / academy technical systems and devices.
- The online safety coordinators are responsible for ensuring that software licenses logs are accurate and up to date and that regular checks are made to reconcile the number of licenses purchased against the number of software installations.
- Internet access is filtered for all users.
- School technical staff regularly monitor and record the activity of users on the school technical systems and users are made aware of this in the Acceptable Use Agreement.
- An appropriate system is in place for users to report any actual / potential technical incident / security breach to the relevant person, as agreed.
- Appropriate security measures are in place to protect the servers, firewalls, routers, wireless systems, work stations, mobile devices etc. from accidental or malicious attempts which might threaten the security of the school systems and data.
Use of Digital and Video Images
The development of digital imaging technologies has created significant benefits to learning, allowing staff and students instant use of images that they have recorded themselves or downloaded from the internet. Digital images may remain available on the internet forever and may cause harm or embarrassment to individuals in the short or longer term. The school will educate users about these risks and will implement policies to reduce the potential for harm:
- Staff and volunteers are allowed to take digital / video images to support educational aims, but must follow school policies concerning the sharing, distribution and publication of those images. Those images should only be taken on school equipment, the personal equipment of staff should not be used for such purposes.
- Care should be taken when taking digital / video images that students / pupils are appropriately dressed and are not participating in activities that might bring the individuals or the school into disrepute.
- Students must not take, use, share, publish or distribute images of others without their permission.
- Photographs published on the website, or elsewhere that include students will be selected carefully and will comply with good practice guidance on the use of such images.
- Student’s full names will not be used anywhere on a website or blog, particularly in association with photographs.
- Written permission from parents or carers will be obtained before photographs of students are published on the school website.
The Royal Academy E- communication policy functions as a guideline for its staff and students, instructing them on how to appropriately use the electronic mode of communication.
- Official Text message: The Royal Academy Ajman send official SMS text message through its own centre id “TRAC AJMAN” which is officially registered in ETISALAT.
- Internal Communication: Internal extension are provided through IP phone, in the campus.
- Email: All the staff are provided with official mailid, which has to be used for any mode of official communication.
- Orison Communication: Parents have a registered mobile number with school Orison software for communication.
- Telephone Contact :Any general enquiry related to school should be through the following contact persons only- Reception, Admissions Officer, Parent Relation Executive.
- Auto Bcc policy: To Keep transparency, the immediate line manager is put for Auto Bcc by the stakeholder.
Guidance to report online safety issues:
|Students -can report to:||Parents -can report to:||Teaching and Admin Staff -can report to:|
Handling Online safety Issues:
|Intensity||Action plan - Staff||Action plan - Student|
|Low||Verbal warning||Verbal Warning|
|Medium||Warning letter/memo with suspension.||Report to parents and warning letter to students.|
|High||Immediate termination from job and reporting to external agencies.||Report to parents and external agencies.|
Guidelines of MOE on Online Safety:
The school ensures to follow all the guidelines laid by MOE and incorporate into the system for the well- being and security of the whole school community. The sanctions set forth by the Ministry is also adhered to. TRAC is aware of MOE’s child protection unit specially designed to implement the mechanisms and measures of child protection in educational institutions as stipulated in the Federal Law No. 3 for 2016 and its executive regulations. Ministry of Education (MOE) has launched a ‘Child Protection Unit’ initiative for the benefit of students of government and private schools across the UAE. The initiative is aimed at protecting children from all forms of harm, negligence, and abuse which they may experience at school or home and maintaining their safety with regard to their physical, psychological and educational aspects.
Updated by: Online Safety Leader
Approved by: Principal
Reviewed on: May 2023
Next Review: May 2024