Safeguarding failure in East London schools

Mon, 24/11/2014 - 12:29
Cloud Services

A Church of England School, Sir John Cass Foundation and Redcoat School, previously rated 'Outstanding' by Ofsted has been downgraded to 'Inadequate' due to severe failings in safeguarding and management, and is now to be placed under special measures, alongside a group of independent Islamic faith schools in the East London borough of Tower Hamlets.

Amongst other failings, the school's Islamic Society was found to have links to a radical preacher via a Facebook page, a situation which could have made pupils vulnerable to radicalisation. Ofsted found that school leaders did not act appropriately upon being informed.

The safeguarding of pupils in schools is of paramount importance and this downgrade in rating will be a worrying development for the school, parents and pupils. Within schools, Ofsted places a strong emphasis on safeguarding, in particular, assessing how school leaders ensure their pupils are safe online. So, how can we safeguard children in this digital age?

Many technologies adopt the walled garden approach, actively blocking access to content deemed inappropriate. Whilst this does to some extent reduce access to inappropriate material, it also eliminates opportunities for learning about safeguarding issues. A further flaw of this approach is that it produces a great number of false positives and consequently restricts access to a large amount of information which is harmless and would be educational in value.

Redstor Safeguarding, in partnership with Securus Software, adopts a different approach. Securus Software is the only school monitoring system to be developed and overseen by child protection specialists. It works by detecting inappropriate content in the form of text or images, whether online or offline, that appears on the screen of a school device. When inappropriate content is detected, a screenshot is taken and the appropriate person notified so that action can be taken.

Redstor Safeguarding detects issues such as:

  • Bullying
  • Racial, homophobic and religious harassment
  • Indicators of distress
  • Inappropriate language
  • Online grooming and sexual abuse
  • Explicit images

The software identifies potential child protection issues, empowering schools to provide an immediate informed response on issues which may otherwise go undetected. Redstor Safeguarding meets Ofsted recommendations by allowing pupils to use the latest technologies safely whilst ensuring that any safeguarding issues are captured, supporting a school’s legal duty of care.

Redstor provide a range of cloud services including safeguarding designed with data protection and security at the forefront. Our range of secure and encrypted cloud services are already protecting the data of over 10,000 organisations across the UK. Redstor’s Online Backup for Schools service ensures data is safely backed up offsite in an encrypted format. Our cloud sync and share service, Centrastor, enables organisations to store and share files securely online from any device with an Internet connection and our CentraStage service enables support providers to guarantee that devices they support are regularly audited, patched and safely up-to-date for effective endpoint management. Our Virtual Disaster Recovery service guarantees to have your systems up and running within minutes following a disaster. To find out more about our services and how we can help you comply with data protection laws and prevent data leakage, please contact us either by giving us a ring on 01189 515 200 or emailing [email protected].

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