E-safety for schools

Last updated: 04 Sep 2018 Topics: Schools Online safety

Schools play a key role in promoting internet safety. A whole school approach to e-safety can help involve staff, governors, parents and pupils themselves in keeping children and young people safe online.

Our information and resources can help you develop:

  • a trained workforce who are confident in online safety, identifying and responding to concerns
  • resources to teach children and young people the skills to stay safe online
  • resources and advice to share with parents and carers
  • robust e-safety policies and procedures, IT infrastructure and support and regular reviewing of your e-safety provision.

> See also our advice for professionals on sexting

Staff training

Staff training

Digital technology is continually changing so it's important that schools stay up-to-date with new developments.

All teaching and support staff should attend annual training.

Keeping Children Safe Online elearning course

Our elearning course Keeping children safe online was developed with the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP). It ensures staff have the knowledge and skills to act appropriately and confidently to protect children.

It gives learners a clear understanding of how children use the internet and digital technology. The course costs £30 and multiple licences are available for schools and colleges. 

> Take our online training course Keeping children safe online

Accredited training

At least one member of staff should also have accredited training such as the Ambassador Course from CEOP.



Teaching resources

Teaching staff play a pivotal role in helping children and young people to understand the online world, recognise risks and stay safe online.

An engaging and up-to-date e-safety curriculum can ensure pupils of all ages know how to stay safe and protect themselves and others online.

Our Share Aware lesson plans and teaching guidance cover curriculums across the UK for Key Stage 2 and First and Second Years.

The Anti-Bullying Alliance, NSPCC and Diana Award have jointly developed online bullying lesson and assembly ideas for secondary school age pupils to support the Stop Speak Support campaign on cyber bullying.

The Safer Internet Centre also provide advice on curriculum planning on their website

Safeguarding resources

  • Sign up to our monthly email alert Safeguarding in Education Update to stay up-to-date with the latest child protection and safeguarding policy, practice and research.
  • Identify strengths and weaknesses in your e-safety approach with the South West Grid for Learning Trust's Online Safety Self-Review Tool for Schools.
  • The UK Council for Child Internet Safety (UKCCIS) has produced a list of questions (PDF) for governors to ask of their school or college to check and improve the approach to keeping children safe online.
  • Make sure your staff and volunteers understand the risks that children and young people can be exposed to online and know what action they need to take.

> Take our online training course Keeping children safe online 


If a child or young person needs confidential help and advice direct them to Childline. Calls to 0800 1111 are free and children can also contact Childline online or read about online and mobile safety on the Childline website. You can also download or order Childline posters and wallet cards.

If you need more specific information, please contact our Information Service

Policies and procedures

Policies and procedures

All schools and colleges should have policies and procedures for how to safeguard against and respond to an online safety incident.

We have produced a range of guides and example documents you can use to develop policies and procedures in three key areas. These are part of our free Education Self-Assessment Tool (ESAT) to help designated safeguarding leads in schools in England assess how well they are meeting statutory and recommended safeguarding practices.

> Go to our Education Self-Assessment Tool (ESAT)

Education for a Connected World (PDF) is a framework created by the UK Council for Child Internet Safety (UKCCIS) that schools can use to support children from early years to the age of 18 to stay safe online.

E-safety or online safety policy

> Download what to include in an e-safety policy for schools (PDF)

> Download E-safety practice briefing for schools (PDF)

Acceptable use policy

Download sample policy for the acceptable use of the internet, emails and computers for:

How to respond to an e-safety incident

> Download What to do if a pupil or a teacher reports an e-safety incident (PDF)

> Download Sample e-safety incident report form (PDF)

> Find out more about responding to sexting  

Ongoing monitoring and evaluation

The online world changes day-to-day so make sure you keep up-to-date with developments and regularly risk assess your policies, systems and procedures.

Policies and procedures need to be reviewed and updated regularly. It is a good idea to involve pupils in the development and review of policies and procedures. You should also share updated policies with all staff, pupils and parents, highlighting what has changed. 


Supporting parents

Supporting parents

Involving parents or carers in learning about online safety is a key part of a whole school approach to e-safety. We know from our research with parents that they want to learn more about online safety and would welcome information from their child’s school.

There are many ways to involve parents or carers. You could:

  • organise sessions where pupils teach parents or carers
  • share resources with parents through newsletters or handouts
  • show parents the learning resources you use in the classroom
  • circulate your e-safety policies.

Parent workshops with O2

We deliver online safety parent workshops, in partnership with O2, to primary schools across the UK.

If your primary school is part of the Speak out Stay safe programme you can book a session for us to come to your school and deliver an hour-long session to help parents and carers keep their family safe online.

You just need to provide a room and ensure 20 parents attend the session.

Email schools@nspcc.org.uk for more information.

> Find out more about the NSPCC and O2 partnership on the NSPCC website

Share our information and briefings

We have lots of online safety information and advice which you can share with the parents and carers at your school.

> See our online safety advice for parents on the NSPCC website

We also have a series of online safety briefings which you can print off and hand out or download and email around:

  • Sexting (PDF) summarises the key information from our sexting webpage on what sexting is, what the risks are and what parents can do to protect their children.
  • How to keep your child safe online (PDF) sets out 4 TEAM steps parents can take to keep their children safe online: Talk, Explore, Agree, Manage.

Net Aware - a guide to social networks

Net Aware reviews around 40 of the most popular social networking sites, apps and games used by children and young people. It also gives the views of parents and children.

Net Aware is a great resource to share with parents and carers who want to know about:

  • suitable ages
  • privacy settings
  • appropriate content
  • safety and support settings
  • and keep-up-to-date through our newsletter.

> Go to Net Aware

IT systems and data protection

IT systems and data protection

Schools should also ensure they have good IT infrastructure and information management practices. Make sure your school:

  • uses a recognised internet service provider.
  • actively monitors and filters content
  • manages personal data in accordance with the Data Protection Act (1988). 

> View the UK Safer Internet Centre's Guide for education settings and filtering providers about establishing 'appropriate levels' of monitoring for advice

> Visit the Information Commissioner's website for advice