e-safety, online learning, data and photos
For children to learn how to go online safely they need positive input from both school and home.
On this page:
1. How we take care of data:
- What is personal data?
- Consent: when and for what
- Photos in particular
- Taking care of other personal data in school
2. Safe online learning
3. Six short lessons in e-safety
- start talking now
- do what you want to see
- control the devices
- control the content
- educate yourself
- get help for concerns or emergencies
To save time or if reading this stuff sends you to sleep, listen to it…Find out how:
1. What is personal data?
Personal data is anything that allows a person to be identified.
2 Consent: when and for what
There are some things that the law allows us to do with personal data without asking for your consent; there are other things which we are only allowed to do if you give us your consent.
Examples where the law says we WILL NOT need to seek consent:
- Taking photos of your child to record their progress and development and sticking these photos in their Learning Journey as part of our internal assessment
- Sharing child protection concerns and records with the appropriate people or agencies
- Submitting data to the Department for Education
Examples where the law says we WILL need to seek consent:
- Displaying photos of your child on the classroom wall or on their name card, where other children, their families and visitors might see them
- Posting a photo or video which includes your child on Class Dojo, the password-protected learning platform which is only accessible to current families and staff and which we use to extend learning outside the school
- Using your child’s image to advertise the schools or to illustrate our work, in our school prospectus, on our school website or on leaflets.
When a child joins one of our schools we ask their parent/carer for consent for the things we do frequently. We ask again when something unusual happens.
You can change your mind about what you have consented to at any time. You can also ask to see any photos we have taken at any time. Please do this by emailing the school.
3. Photos in particular
Photos we take in school
- We make sure the child is happy to be photographed, and only go ahead with their consent at the time
- We only take images of children in suitable dress
- Children shown in public-facing materials including displays in school are never identified with more than their first name and usually not by name at all
- Digital photo file names/tags do not include names to avoid accidentally sharing them
- Staff are not allowed to take photographs or videos on their personal equipment.
Photos you take
Your child wants to see you looking at them, not at your phone.
At some events in school we do allow you to take photographs or videos, however you must focus on your own child. When you do this there is a strong possibility that other children will also be visible or audible, and therefore no such content should be shared publicly:
- there may be cultural reasons why this would be inappropriate, or legal reasons why it would put a child in danger
- you need formal consent from the parents/carers of those children before you can do this legally
- online photos and videos do not simply disappear when we delete them from our accounts: be good adult role models by not oversharing (or storing up embarrassment for your children’s later lives).
Live streaming, whether public or private, is never permitted in school, so don’t use any streaming platforms or ‘live’ features (e.g. Facebook Live) to stream events/circumstances as they occur. You may be asked to leave the premises or an event if you do this.
4. Taking care of other personal data in school
Our privacy notice sets out the laws that tell us what we can do with personal data with and without consent and how we keep it safe.
Our policies page is where you find the full Online Safety Policy, which will tell you even more about online safety at the Forest Alliance of Nursery Schools; you can also read other relevant policies (e.g. Safeguarding or Behaviour) there.
3. Safe online learning
Children and adults only go online occasionally, and when they do, it is together with a grown-up, to follow up on particular questions or subjects that link to their learning. The school takes every reasonable precaution to keep children safe when they do this and to prevent them from accessing inappropriate materials:
- children only ever access the internet with an adult; never by themselves
- online access is filtered by the London Grid for Learning firewall.
On very rare occasions these precautions may fail, however the schools cannot be held responsible for the nature and content of materials accessed, which can sometimes be upsetting. The schools will do everything in their power to support children if this should happen.
We use the online classroom Class Dojo to share stories, activities and things we have made. If the schools have to close for any reason, this is how we do remote learning.
Children need a safe and appropriate place to join in a video call either on Class Dojo or with a different educator. When on any video calls with school:
- make sure your child is fully dressed
- where it is possible, blur or change the background
- it would be better not to be in a bedroom but where this is unavoidable, the child shouldn’t be in bed, and the camera should point away from beds/bedding/personal information.
If you arrange for your child to have private online tuition:
- check that the tutor is registered/safe and reliable – take references, ask to see their DBS (criminal record) check and investigate the safety features on the platform they propose using
- remain in the room
- make sure your child knows that tutors should not arrange new sessions or online chats or exchange private messages with them
- tutors are teachers, not friends, and that means that the tutor should not tell them or ask them for personal information
- the only acceptable secret is a surprise: one that will be shared at a known date and occasion; encourage your child to tell you if a tutor (or anyone) says something is a secret never to be told
Home networks are much less secure than school ones. See ‘e-safety lesson 3’ for ways to protect your family.
3. Six short lessons in e-safety
1: start talking now
Make the habit of talking about what you and your child do online. They have to be curious in order to learn, so teach them to talk to you if curiosity leads them to puzzling or upsetting places as well as funny and fascinating ones. Start the conversation by looking at this online picture book together. It is called 'Hanni and the Window', and it was made to teach children aged 3 and older how to speak out and get help if they see something they don't like. Ami Lockwood and Saba Lasheiei created it for Childnet.
Please also read these Be Safe Online rules with them. Answer their questions and help them to understand:
- I only go online with a grown up
- I am kind online
- I keep information about me safe
- I tell a grown up if something online makes me unhappy
When they are older, introduce the idea of a Digital 5 A Day, acknowledging the benefits as well as the things to beware and achieving online/offline balance.
2: do what you want to see
Your child learns most from you, so model safe, responsible and positive behaviours in your own use of technology:
- Treat yourself and others with respect at all times; treat people in the same way when you are online or on a device as you would face to face.
- Don’t share others people’s images or details without their permission and don’t post negative, threatening or violent comments about anyone, including anyone to do with school.
Look at your own use of devices now so that when your children are older, you don’t ask them to do something you aren’t willing to do yourself, and you can support them to get the many benefits of the online world in a safe and healthy way. Techniques some people use (or try to) include:
- Keeping devices in shared spaces, e.g. the kitchen or living room
- Agreeing a number of minutes or hours per day for specific activities (remembering that as they get older, doing homework while in contact with friends via devices builds teamwork skills as well as a support network)
- Agreeing upfront if there are chores/homework to do before the privilege of using an electronic device
- Eating together and having a ban on all phones while you eat
- Using night mode on devices straight after the evening meal
- Using the Forest app to manage phone screen time; read about it here: Forest app helps manage screen time | Internet Matters
- Setting a bedtime for devices and for WiFi: having an hour between looking at a screen and going to bed leads to better sleep
- Putting all devices to bed in a box in the kitchen
- Agreeing and writing down how all the family will use electronic devices. Click here for the NSPCC one: complete it online or print it out and fill it in. Share what you agree with wider family and babysitters
3: control the devices
Internet matters website shows you how to set up parental controls on your different devices. Get step-by-step advice on how to do this for the main internet service providers in the UK and the majority of devices.
Set up a firewall: if you have a wireless internet router, it is likely you can set up a firewall for your home.
Keep anti-virus software up-to-date.
Set a unique password for parental controls and choose one that your child can’t work out easily.
Public WiFi may not include parental controls, so be vigilant of what is being accessed while you are out and about.
Some connected devices or toys work by listening to your child’s voice commands, so these devices usually record and keep these audio files to work properly. The device manual will show you how to review and/or delete these audio files, and how to control the personal information that is stored, including your location. If there’s a microphone on your child’s connected device, turning on the ‘mute’ button will stop the device from recording and storing audio files.
4: control the content
Block pop ups
pop ups can lead to places and spending money that you want to avoid. Learn how to block them.
Set a child-friendly home page
Watch out on YouTube
The YouTube Kids app is an alternative to YouTube with age-appropriate content for which you can set limits
We strongly advise that you don’t allow your child to watch YouTube unless you watch alongside them
Use ‘safe search’
Bookmark places you like
Resist pester power
Resist requests to let them join platforms where they are below the minimum age limit. They will say that everyone else is on ‘X’; everyone else is not. Yet. Talk to other families so you can present a united front.
If you do decide to let them do this after you’ve talked about it, know that those discussions in themselves are valuable, and help build an open and honest relationship.
Check ratings of films
On the British board of film classification website.
Find suggestions forsuggestions for home movie nights or special occasions.
Check ratings of games
On the PEGI website.
What’s everyone else watching/playing?
read what lots of children and their families think of games and films on the common sense media website
5: educate yourself
Your child will be a superb detective into all things digital. These are places that can help you keep up:
Parent zone advice for parents and carers
Digital Parenting annual magazine: download it at the bottom of this page.
Virgin Media advice for parents and carers
6: Get help in an emergency
Report inappropriate online behaviour and get help on the Child exploitation and online protection website.
London Grid for learning have a curated list of helplines for specific situations.