E-Safety and the Ofsted Inspection Framework
Safeguarding and E-Safety are important aspects of all Section 5 Ofsted Inspections. In September 2012 Ofsted published its guidance for Inspectors on E-Safety. The document has been revised several times since then
The Ofsted inspection framework (September 2012) makes very specific reference to the inspection of e-safety.
Following recommendations from The ICT in School’s 2008 – 20011 survey and The Safer Use of New Technologies 2010 report it is now quite clear that a school’s E-Safety provision will contribute to it's overall inspection outcome. In ICT in Schools OFSTED recommends that schools “Continue to make e-safety a priority in the curriculum, in staff training and in support for parents.”
The report goes on to say that where curriculum ICT is judged to be outstanding “E-Safety is comprehensive and threaded though the school.” This is Ofsted speak for reminding us that E-Safety isn’t the sole responsibility of the poor ICT Co-ordinator/ subject leader but needs to be understood and addressed by everyone! As part of a full section 5 inspection inspectors now should consider E-Safety in relation to both behaviour and safety of pupils and in terms of the quality of school leadership and management.
The September 2012 School inspection handbook contains the following text: The behaviour and safety of pupils at the school Inspectors should consider (paragraph 119): types, rates and patterns of bullying and the effectiveness of the school’s actions to prevent and tackle all forms of bullying and harassment – this includes cyber-bullying and prejudice-based bullying related to special educational need, sexual orientation, sex, race, religion and belief, gender reassignment or disability. The grade descriptor for outstanding includes: ‘Pupils are fully aware of different forms of bullying, including cyber-bullying, and actively try to prevent it from occurring. They understand very clearly what constitutes unsafe situations and are highly aware of how to keep themselves and others safe, including in relation to e-safety.’
The quality of leadership in, and management of, the school Inspectors should consider (paragraph 123): the effectiveness of safeguarding arrangements to ensure that there is safe recruitment and that all pupils are safe. This includes the promotion of safe practices and a culture of safety, including e-safety. Ofsted has produced a briefing document, Inspecting e-safety (Revised April 2014), which this gives examples of outstanding, good and inadequate practice. Although aimed at school inspectors it is essential reading for school leadership teams.
Read the full updated guidance from Ofsted here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/inspecting-safeguarding-in-maintained-schools-and-academies-briefing-for-section-5-inspections
E-Safety and Early Years
Ofsted has launched far-reaching changes to the way it inspects early years provision, schools and further education and skills. These changes will come in to effect from September 2015 and include:
- the introduction of a common inspection framework for all early years settings on the Early Years Register, maintained schools and academies, non-association independent schools and further education and skills providers
- short inspections for maintained schools, academies and further education and skills providers that were judged good at their last full inspection. These short inspections will be conducted approximately every 3 years
- significant changes to Ofsted’s inspection workforce. From September 2015, Ofsted will contract directly with inspectors for maintained schools, academies, non-association independent schools and further education and skills inspections