Online Safety Audit

According to Keeping Children Safe in Education, “Schools and colleges should consider carrying out an annual review of their approach to online safety, supported by an annual risk assessment that considers and reflects the risks their children face.”

LGfL has now created a document to help you complete such an assessment.

The customisable document is free for you to download from this page and use in your school. Feel free to adapt but rather than share the download with other schools, please ask them to visit this page by referring them to onlinesafetyaudit.lgfl.net

It is vital that an online safety audit is neither treated as a tickbox exercise, nor viewed as a static report: it should be a living document that reflects the fluid realities of technological change, evolving harms and user behaviours.

An online safety audit should be carried out by or with the safeguarding team, in recognition that “the designated safeguarding lead should take lead responsibility for safeguarding and child protection (including online safety)” (Keeping Children Safe in Education, emphasis added).

This isn’t just about the education/curriculum side though – KCSIE 2022 also includes a new mention of school leaders (not technicians) regularly reviewing systems’ effectiveness, and that’s why we start the audit with the Safe School Systems section. Please note that we have given a little more detail in this section than in the education section to help non-technical colleagues better understand technical issues. The length does not reflect relative importance to education and messaging.

We recommend that results, conclusions and actions are incorporated into a school’s overall safeguarding audit and considered as part of a holistic, contextual safeguarding approach – not treated separately to offline issues.

This audit has been broken down into two broad sections:

  • Curriculum, General Approach & Communication

  • Safe School Systems (technology for safeguarding and safeguarding for technology)

We suggest you use the final column to add the evidence, links, details and when it was checked, plus risks and actions/mitigations (by way of documenting your risk assessment).

Please share results with your school governors or trustees to help them fulfil their oversight duties.