E-Safety and Ofsted

E-Safety and the Ofsted Inspection Framework

The new 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 Safe 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.” Click here to find out about E2BN's E-Safety for Staff and E-Safety for Parents sessions

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.

Other useful resources from Ofsted

Getting to 'Outstanding' in E-Safety help from E2BN

National Adviser web page

ICT in schools 2008-2011 (Dec 2011)

The safe use of new technologies (Feb 2010)

ICT training packs to support school CPD


Available soon from www.ofsted.gov  

Good practice case studies

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