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“Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world”

(John 4:1). 

At St Anne’s we understand that our students are growing up in a world where the use of technology and the internet is not only unavoidable but essential. Whilst these things bring exciting opportunities for personal and academic development they also carry with them a degree of danger and uncertainty. It is therefore important to us that we educate our students on how to use new technologies responsibly, not just within school but also beyond the context of a classroom. 

Any websites accessed via school computers are carefully monitored by an external company called E-Safe. This service alerts key members of staff in school to any suspicious or dangerous online behaviour. This can include (but is certainly not limited to) an attempt to access a banned or inappropriate website or a concerning sentence or phrase typed into a search engine. Once notified of these incidents staff in school will follow the usual safeguarding procedures. 

Although not allowed to be seen in school, we are not ignorant to the fact that most teenagers now have access to the internet on their own personal mobile phone devices or tablets. As a result, like most schools we are getting an increased number of incidents being reported to us regarding events and issues that have occurred online outside of school hours. Any information we receive about the welfare of a child at our school will be considered in the same way as if it was happening within school and a referral to an appropriate agency may need to be made. However, in terms of sanctioning online behaviour that has taken place outside of school hours (or school administered websites) we do ask parents to remember that we are not the police. It is therefore difficult for us to investigate and sanction such incidents. Our actions in most circumstances will therefore almost always be advisory. They will consist of 

· If your child is under 13 years old, they should not have any social media presence. 

· If your child does have access to the internet, parents and carers should monitor their activity closely. 

· If you are concerned about social interactions between your child and other children, you should block the other children from contacting them and instruct your child to not contact them either. 

· If you feel your child is being intimidated or threatened on line you should report this to the police immediately. 

E-Safety encompasses Internet technologies and also electronic communications via mobile phones, games consoles and wireless technology. It highlights the need to educate children and young people about the benefits, risks and responsibilities of using information technology.

In order to promote safer and more responsible internet use, we have provided the following links for students and parents:

Our E-Safety Policy form part of our Safeguarding and Anti-Bullying policies. Both of which are currently under review. New policies will be published in September 2020.