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The demands of keeping children and young people safe in education have grown significantly in the last decade and the Keeping Children Safe in Education guideline (KCSIE), which has been in place since 2014, has been recently amended to reflect recent trends.Coming into statutory force on 5th September 2016, the new KCSIE guideline puts further emphasis on the need for all education professionals to understand that safeguarding is everyone’s responsibility. Each school will need to consider and review their safeguarding policies and procedures, particularly with respect to how they protect and maintain duty-of-care amidst the growing online threats to each student’s wellbeing.

Blocking & Filtering is Not Enough

Schools and other education establishments have been predominantly focused on filtering website content and blocking website categories in an attempt to satisfy duty of care requirements around online safety and cyber bullying. However the KCSIE guidance actually warns of the risk of over-blocking leading to “unreasonable restrictions as to what children can be taught with regards to online teaching and safeguarding.”

With the enhanced auditing requirements needed to meet KCSIE schools now have to look much deeper into internet and social media traffic to identify potential children at risk.

Appropriate Filtering, Monitoring and Restrictions

Appropriate filtering should control access to inappropriate and harmful content as defined above. In addition, it should be flexible enough to meet the individual needs of each School for College setting and risk assessment. KCSIE defines a minimum requirement for filtering solutions. To comply, providers of content filtering tools/services need to be an IWF (Internet Watch Foundation) member which provides access to the child abuse image content (CAIC) list, as well integrating the home office police assessed list Counter Terrorism Internet Referral Unit (CTIRU) which keeps track of unlawful terrorist content.

Meet the requirements of KCSIE

Insufficient controls would fail to meet the requirements of Prevent, but there are areas of law which may introduce additional risk and exposure for both school and student through the deployment of intrusive technologies. From the recording and storage of a young person’s most sensitive information to the inherent risks of possessing that type of personal material. The right balance needs to be found between effective detailed monitoring and respecting their privacy and personal life.

Infosec Partners can help you achieve this balance, meeting compliance requirements along with securing the school and safeguarding young people in your care.


Interested in achieving compliance with KCSIE?

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    Infosec Partners has helped education establishments, from the most prestigious independent schools & colleges to the country’s top universities, to successfully develop robust security strategies and manage Safeguarding.

    Listening to Heads and Bursars, Teachers, Students and Parents, we have developed a portfolio of cybersecurity services specifically for schools. Infosec Partners helps schools understand the new threats facing them and teaches them how to take control of information and security, staying compliant, managing budgets and risks.


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