In May 2021, the UK Safer Internet Centre changed its definitions of ‘appropriate monitoring’. It confirmed, what we have known for some considerable time, that there is, alive and kicking, in every school in the UK, and around the world for that matter, an Iceberg Effect.
There are risks to child wellbeing, health and safety that can be spotted by DSLs, teachers, and staff with eyes and ears. These are ‘above the line’ risks. But there are very many more risks ‘below the line’ that reside in the often private digital world that consumes many of our children today, and to which adults have no visibility.
What a child says, does, shares or expresses in his/her digital world, in chatrooms, instant messaging, social forums and more, can (and do) provide vital clues when something is wrong. And unless a school has some form of digital monitoring in place to pick up on these clues and alert them to the risks, they won’t be seen or they’ll be seen too late.
The UKSIC has now recognised this risk and placed more emphasis on digital monitoring than ever before.
Our partners at Smoothwall, digitally monitor nearly 1 million students in the UK. That’s 24/7, 365 days a year. The risks they have spotted and shared with DSLs have saved lives. It’s really that simple!
Thousands of DSLs have been able to initiate faster interventions to prevent incidents from escalating, as well as remove students from imminent danger. This includes instances of self-harm, cyberbullying, sexual abuse, suicide, grooming, terrorism, drugs, gangs and more. And that’s across all ages. For example, 19% of all serious risks in 2020 were detected amongst primary school children – so no child is exempt.
Free online training sessions
In partnership with Dataspire, Smoothwall is now on a mission to ensure every DSL in UK education is fully informed about digital monitoring. What it is, how it works, what it means for your day-to-day role as a DSL, how it works as part of your safeguarding strategy and more.
Smoothwall is running a programme of free online training sessions dedicated to each DSL and their school, college or MAT where education experts will walk you through everything you need to know about digital monitoring.
The sessions are free of charge and last approximately 1 hour. To schedule yours please click here or contact your Dataspire representative for more details.