Privacy & Duty of Care - finding the balance...
Updated: Aug 2, 2021
It goes without saying that Schools all have a responsibility to take steps to protect students from risks of injury, including keeping the online learning environment safe. However, reluctance of monitoring BYOD means that some schools may find it difficult to achieve this effectively.
Added to this is the fact that students are digital natives, whereas parents and teachers are not. All this means that we need easy to use, powerful tools to help these teachers support students online.
3 things we hear all the time:
1) We have BYOD how can we better improve online Safeguarding?
BYOD is the environment of choice for many schools as it can save money in terms of hardware provision and management. As your duty of care over the students prevails we believe it is reasonable to get approval from parents to install on students devices.
2) We don’t want to “big brother” our students, they need to learn themselves how to deal with the distractions and dangers of the internet.
Our products offer the ability to "teach a child how to cross the road" for the internet. They can learn to manage risks under supervision; safe that someone is nearby to pick them up if they fall. Our products only flag up what you tell it to when you tell it to so you can be fully open about what students can and cannot do. You can customise ths around different age groups too.
3) What about Privacy?
Our products have many features to ensure the privacy of your users, e.g. request remote access or switch off monitoring for specific users/ out of hours. There is also no personal information from the students held in our products; only browsing history and keywords that you have deemed as inappropriate are logged. Also consider that students are under your duty of care; using your network resources and teaching time and some level of monitoring is not an unreasonable request to keep students engaged and safe as long as everyone is made aware of the measures that you have put in place.
Things to consider:
-Technology provision is about what best suits learning
-Schools are positioned to be a lot more knowledgeable about this than individual parents.
-Schools have a lot more buying power than an individual parent, so could the financial proposition for your school actually be that same either way?
Duty of Care Sample regulations:
UK (legal requirement for monitoring software)
School Privacy Sample Regulations
Free Safeguarding toolkit from the eSafety Commission Australia : https://www.esafety.gov.au/educators/toolkit-for-schools/engage