Best Practice

Online safety and safeguarding: A guide for schools

Following disturbing revelations from the Internet Watch Foundation, safeguarding expert Elizabeth Rose looks at online safety considerations and details what schools must have in place to respond to ever-changing risks

The Internet Watch Foundation recently released its 2021 statistics (IWF, 2022) detailing the action taken last year to remove online child sexual abuse images and videos.

It is horrifying reading, highlighting that online sexual abuse is a major and growing risk factor for children of an increasingly younger age, and that “self-generated” material – where children are groomed, coerced, tricked, or threatened into sharing a sexual image or video of themselves when no adult is physically present – has significantly increased over the past few years.

In fact, the IWF reveals that in 2021 it took action on more reports than during the first 15 years of its existence.

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