Schools told to monitor pupils’ web use to prevent radicalisation

December 22nd, 2015 by Mark Daly in Industry News No Comments »
Schools told to monitor pupils' web use to prevent radicalisation ilicomm Technology Solutions

Schools in England will have to monitor their students’ internet use and filter what they can access under plans aimed at protecting them from radicalisation, education secretary Nicky Morgan said.

The plans are part of new measures schools will be required to introduce to protect children from harm online.

It comes amid concern some youngsters are at risk of radicalisation.

Ms Morgan said in some cases pupils had been able to access information about so-called Islamic State at school.

The reforms, which have been published for consultation, follow several cases where school children either travelled, or attempted to travel, to Syria.

In February, Bethnal Green Academy schoolgirls Shamima Begum and Amira Abase, both 15 at the time, and Kadiza Sultana, then 16, flew from London to Istanbul en route to Syria.

Schools told to monitor pupils' web use to prevent radicalisation ilicomm Technology SolutionsImage copyrightMetropolitan Police
Image captionShamima Begum, Amira Abase and Kadiza Sultana travelled to Syria in February

Mrs Morgan said: “As a parent, I’ve seen just what an important role the internet can play in children’s education. But it can also bring risks, which is why we must do everything we can to help children stay safe online – at school and at home.”

The proposed measures include showing young people how to use the internet responsibly and making sure parents and teachers are able to keep youngsters safe from exploitation and radicalisation, she added.

The reforms will also address other issues such as cyberbullying and pornography, the Department for Education (DfE) said.

While many schools already have filters and monitoring arrangements in place, guidance is being strengthened to ensure all schools in England use these systems and to ensure any concerns are spotted quickly.

The latest move comes just a week after ministers announced a crackdown on unregistered schools.

Ofsted was told earlier this month to prepare cases for prosecution against 18 unregistered schools, and all future cases, in a push to stop pupils being exposed to extremist ideology.

The results of the consultation and the DfE’s response will be published in spring.

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