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  • Writer's pictureHellen G

Privacy & Duty of Care - finding the right balance in education...


Balancing between privacy and duty of care in education
privacy and duty of care


Schools all have a responsibility to take steps to protect students from risks of harm, including keeping the online learning environment safe. However, reluctance to monitor BYOD means some schools may find it difficult to achieve this effectively.



Additionally, students are digital natives, while parents and teachers are not. All of this means we need easy-to-use, powerful tools to help these teachers support students online.



Questions we hear all the time:



We have BYOD, how can we better improve online security?


BYOD is the environment of choice for many schools because it can save money on hardware provisioning and management. Given your duty of care to students, we believe it is reasonable to obtain parental consent to install student devices.



We don't want to be 'big brothers' to our students, they have to learn to deal with the distractions and dangers of the internet themselves.


Our products provide the opportunity to "teach a child to cross the road" for the Internet. They can learn to deal with risks under supervision; safe that there is someone nearby to pick them up if they fall. Our products only tell you what you tell them to, so you can be completely open about what students can and cannot do. You can also adapt it to different age groups.



What about privacy?


Our products have many features to ensure the privacy of your users, e.g. request remote access or disable monitoring for specific users/out of hours. There is also no personal information of the students in our products; only browsing history and keywords you consider inappropriate are recorded. Also remember that students are subject to your duty of care; using your network resources and teaching time and some degree of supervision is not an unreasonable request to keep students engaged and safe, as long as everyone is aware of the measures you have taken.



Other important considerations:


-Technology provision is about what best suits learning


- Schools are positioned to have much more knowledge about this than individual parents.


- Schools have much more purchasing power than an individual parent, so could the financial proposal for your school be the same either way?



Duty of care Sample regulations:


UK (Legal Requirement for Monitoring Software)


Europe


Western Australia


Victoria



Sample privacy rules at school


Other sources:



Free safety toolkit from eSafety Commission Australia https:// www.esafety.gov.au/educators/toolkit-for-schools/engage

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