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Dealing with inappropriate content

We have put together some free resources that can help your school deal with the risks of inappropriate content as well as some top tips to help you to review and improve your filtering provision.

What is “Inappropriate Content”?

Inappropriate content includes pornography, violent content, adult chat forums, gambling and any content that promotes harmful behaviour (both to oneself and others).

The term “inappropriate” is subjective and dependent on age, developmental stage and intent; decisions around managing access to inappropriate content are often defined through age-appropriate classification although flexibility is key to managing access for each individual or group.

Resources to help deal with inappropriate content

Most online services offer safety features that can help you manage access to age-inappropriate content, report concerns or protect privacy. Here are some additional resources that can help:

1. UK Safer Internet Centre
Offers a wide range of information including:

2. Safer Internet Programme
Useful resource for advice and tools that manage access to content. This EU site ranks tools in terms of cost, effectiveness, age and ease of use across a wide range of platforms. Many of the tools are free to use.

3. SWGfL’s Digital Literacy & Citizenship materials
Designed to empower pupils and students to think critically, behave safely, and participate responsibly in our digital world.

4. CEOP’s Think U Know
Resources include materials for young people as well as parents, carers and teachers, the site also includes a report process if you feel uncomfortable or worried about someone you are chatting to online.

Top tips to help get your school’s filtering right 

Your school’s internet service should facilitate simple access to the wealth of educational online content for staff and students. But, what if the experience in your school isn’t that straightforward? We’ve put together a couple of key steps that should help you to review and improve your filtering provision:

  1. What do you want access to be like in your school? Are there key resources that you specifically want staff and /or students to access?
  2. Canvas staff and student views, can they access the resources that they need? Are there aspects of online access that cause frustration, if so what?
  3. Review and set filter policies based on groups. Focus on defining what you want your staff group(s) to access and what you want your student group or groups to access.
  4. Monitor usage, identify resources that are frequently requested but blocked, review them for educational relevance and modify your filter policy to suit.
  5. Flag any online content that you feel should be blocked or unblocked to your Internet Service Provider (ISP), online content is updated continually so it’s important to let your provider know if there’s something that needs to change.
  6. Plan a consistent and robust approach to filtering, monitoring and alerting as part of your wider Online Safety strategy. SWGfL multi-award winning Online Safety Self Review Tool 360safe.org.uk is free and assists with detailed planning across a whole range of aspects including all of the above.

Filter providers

Your schools filtering may be provided as part of your connectivity service or you may choose to use a filtering solution from an independent provider, look out for solutions that provide granular filtering, support BYOD and Follow Me Home options and include comprehensive reporting and monitoring features.

This content was provided with the support of SWGfL.

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