Online and ICT Policies
Heavitree Community Pre-school
Heavitree Community pre-school adheres to the legal requirement of an online policy. Our online policy covers all forms of information and communication technology (ICT). Whilst ICT has immense benefits to children and families it does come with potential risks, the safety and privacy of children and their parents is of paramount importance to Heavitree Community Pre-school
Heavitree Community Pre-school uses the PIES (Policy and Practice – Infrastructure and technology – Education and training) as a best practice model within the setting.
Following the PIES model will enable the effective risk management of online safety by ensuring effective polices are in place for the infrastructure and technology within the pre-school. Making sure that staff are Educated and trained on the policy and the threats that ICT poses. Finally that we review and ensure standards are in place through Standards and inspection. As part of this process Heavitree Community pre-school will also uses the online safety planner.
Acceptable Use Policy (AUP)
ICT encompasses a wide range of media applications and connecting methods, which are constantly changing and advancing. Heavitree Community Pre-school recognises that children have the right as learners to embrace technology. However there are dangers associated with the technological world and the policies outlined below are in place to protect the children from harm.
The AUP will aim to:
- Safeguard children by promoting appropriate and acceptable use of information and communication technology (ICT)
- Outline the roles and responsibilities of all individuals who are to have
- Ensure all ICT users have an acute awareness of risk, a clear understanding of what constitutes misuse and the sanctions that may be applied.
The AUP will apply to all individuals who are to have access to and/or be users of work-related ICT systems. This will include children, parents and carers, practitioners, volunteers, students, committee members, visitors, contractors and community users. This list is not to be considered exhaustive.
Parents and carers, and where applicable, other agencies, will be informed of any incidents of inappropriate use of ICT that takes place on-site, and, where known, off-site.
Roles and responsibilities
The Pre-school Manager Georgina Maddocks and Play Leader Rachel Berriman have overall responsibility for ensuring online safety will be considered an integral part of everyday safeguarding practice. This will include ensuring:
- All practitioners receive the appropriate training to effectively implement online safety policies and procedures.
- Clear and rigorous policies and procedures are to be applied to the use of personal ICT equipment by all individuals who affect or come into contact with the early years setting. Such policies and procedures are to include the personal use of work-related resources. This includes use of social networking sites such as Blogs, Facebook and twitter. Practitioners of Heavitree Community Pre-school are free to set up personal weblogs or 'blogs' on the internet, provided that they do not breach the law or disclose any of the setting’s confidential information, breach copyright, defame the company or its suppliers, customers or employees; bring the organisation into disrepute, or disclose personal data or information about any individual that could breach the Data Protection Act 1998. Heavitree Community Pre-school respects employee’s right to a private life. However, the setting must also ensure that confidentiality and its reputation are protected. It therefore requires that if practitioners use social networking websites to:
- refrain from identifying yourselves as working for the pre-school;
- Ensure that you do not conduct yourself in a way that is detrimental to the setting; and take care not to allow their interaction on these websites to damage working relationships between members of employees and service users of the early years setting.
- It is also strongly recommended that relationships between parents and staff remain professional at all times. Heavitree Community Pre-school frowns upon relationships through social networks with parents of the children in the pre-school unless friendships were previously established.
- Employees need to be careful when interacting via email and personal messages that the pre-school’s reputation is not tarnished.
- the AUP is to be implemented, monitored and reviewed regularly, and for ensuring all updates are to be shared with relevant individuals at the earliest opportunity.
- monitoring procedures are to be open and transparent.
- allegations of misuse or known incidents are to be dealt with appropriately and promptly, in line with agreed safeguarding procedures, and in liaison with other agencies, where applicable.
- effective online safeguarding support systems are to be put in place, for example, filtering controls, secure networks and virus protection.
Cindy Blaker is our Safeguarding Officer and has relevant, current and practical knowledge of understanding safeguarding, child protection and online safety.
The Safeguarding officer, pre-school leader and manager will be responsible for ensuring;
- Agreed policies and procedures are to be implemented in practice.
- All updates, issues and concerns are to be communicated to all ICT users.
- the importance of online safety in relation to safeguarding is to be understood by all ICT users.
- the training, learning and development requirements of early years practitioners are to be monitored and additional training needs identified and provided for.
- any concerns and incidents are to be reported within 24 hours.
- A safe ICT learning environment is to be promoted and maintained.
Practitioners of Heavitree Community Pre-school will ensure:
- the timely reporting of concerns in relation to alleged misuse or known
- ICT equipment is to be checked regularly and all relevant security systems
- awareness will be raised of any new or potential issues, and any risks which could be encountered as a result.
- children are to be supported and protected in their use of online technologies – enabling them to use ICT in a safe and responsible manner.
- online safety information is to be presented to children and young people as
- All relevant policies and procedures are to be adhered to at all times and training undertaken as is to be required.
- All staff will abide by the acceptable use agreement.
Children will be encouraged to:
- be active, independent and responsible learners, who will contribute as appropriate to policy and review by monitoring and reviewing their play.
- Abide by the Acceptable Use Agreement.
- Report any concerns to a trusted adult.
Parents and carers will be asked to sign Acceptable Use Agreements for their children and to share responsibility for their actions and behaviours. This will ensure a consistent message is to be communicated to all.
To ensure the stages above are fully implemented the following processes are in place:-
- Heavitree Community pre-school is registered with Data Protection services as we store Personal information and images on our computer data base.
- Should an inappropriate incident occur regarding internet or other ICT an incident log would be kept and securely filed.
- All Internet use of children and adults will be monitored and reviewed on a regular basis.
- All computers are password protected within the pre-school.
- We have security on our computer systems and run them on a regular basis to ensure the safety of our systems.
- Communication about pre-school business (in any form) between staff and parents/children will remain professional on all occasions and disciplinary action would be taken if this was breached.
- We respect copyright laws and appropriate licencing will be bought for any performances that we hold as appropriate.
- All staff and volunteers will be expected to sign our acceptable use agreement, which they must sign and return.
In the event of misuse by early years practitioners, managers or volunteers a report would be made to the safeguarding officer, manager or Play-leader immediately, as relevant. Disciplinary procedures would then be implemented which could result in suspension with full pay whilst investigations are conducted.
- It is gross misconduct for staff to post pictures or information of pre-school children (other than their own) on any social network site.
- Pictures of children posted on our pre-school website will only be allowed after permission has been obtained from parents.
- We advise and encourage parents to respect other people’s privacy and ask that they do not post pictures of other people’s children on social networking sites.
- If a parent or other staff member makes a complaint about the misuse of social networking sites, the incident will be logged and dealt with instantly.
- Personal Cameras this includes mobile phones are not allowed within the pre-school setting. Any photos taken will be on the designated pre-school cameras.
- Photographers coming in to the setting to take individual photos of children for parents to purchase must have a DBS or (CRB) check.
- Permission is taken from parents on admittance to the pre-school to take and use photos of their child, including displays, notice boards and publicity.
- Performances such as Christmas and Easter, where parents are invited to come and watch. Permission will be sought from all parents of children taking part in the performance allowing photos or videos to be taken by parents
- We will ask for parental permission if the press come in to the pre-school to take photos of the setting.
- Parents will be asked to review permissions on an annual basis.
- The pre-school leader and Manager are responsible for all data stored on the computer and memory sticks.
- Personal Mobile phones are not permitted in the playroom by staff or visitors. Mobile phones will need to be stored in the office and only used at break times or by sanction of the play leader outside of the playroom.
- Any misuse of mobile phones will be treated seriously and could be regarded as gross misconduct.
- Recording of images or Audio on mobile phones is strictly prohibited.
- It will only be used for work related text or calls or emails in the playroom or on trips.
- The mobile phone will be kept out of the reach of children at all times.
It is unlikely that ICT misuse will take place in the pre-school, due to the age and supervision of the children; however we are aware of the following possibilities:
Grooming – The Sexual Offences Act 2003 defines online grooming as: "A course of conduct enacted by a suspected paedophile, which would give a reasonable person cause for concern that any meeting with a child arising from the conduct would be for unlawful purposes." Online grooming is very unlikely due to the age of children at the pre-school and their inability to have online conversations. However all computer use by the children and adults will be monitored and security protected.
Mobile Phones – There is a risk of using mobile phones as many are able to take pictures, videos and have internet access. In order to prevent misuse of mobile phones, we ensure that staff and visitors are not allowed phones in the play room and that the pre-school mobile is always kept out of the reach of children.
Gaming – Gaming can be addictive for children and there is a risk of chat rooms with other gamers. Due the age of the children at the pre-school it is highly unlikely that the children would encounter gaming, however filters and regular reviews will prevent this.
Social Networks – Social networking has become a popular method of communicating. Networking can be a risk as personal information and images can be seen by a wide range of people. We ask all parents not to post images or information about other people children on social networks. It will be regarded as gross misconduct for staff members to post photos or images of children (other than their own) on social network sites.
Websites – Websites such as CBB’S can be a fantastic educational tool for children to use within the pre-school. However the internet poses a risk if a child was to get onto an inappropriate site. In order to prevent this we have filters on our computers and regularly review the children’s use of internet programs.
The pre-school has its own website and permission is sought from all parents before images of their child are displayed. It is very unlikely of an oversight but potentially the pre-school is at risk of putting a child’s picture on that has not given permission. If this was to happen a full investigation would take place by the safeguarding officer and pre-school leader/manager.
Heavitree Community Pre-school supports ICT and the benefits that it can bring to all children even from an early age. We are also fully aware that in the wrong hands can put the setting and children at danger. Policy will be strictly adhered to and any incidents regarding ICT will be fully recorded and investigated by the pre-school manager/leader and Safeguarding officer.
Heavitree Community Pre-School recognises that the internet is part of everyday life, and children should be encouraged to utilise the internet as a learning experience. Heavitree Community pre-school recognises that children learn effectively where they are to be given managed access to computers and ICT equipment. However such use will carry an element of risk.
The Internet policy will aim to outline safe and effective use of the internet. It will provide acceptable use and effective control measures to enable young children and adults to use ICT resources effectively and safely.
The internet policy will apply to all individuals who are to have access to and or be users of work related ICT systems. The internet policy will apply to internet access through any medium such as mobile phones and ipads
The Manager, Play-leader and Safeguarding officer are to be responsible for online safety and will manage the implementation of the policy by managing the:-
- Day to day responsibility for online safety issues and as such will have a leading role in implementing, monitoring and reviewing the internet policy.
- All ICT users are aware to follow standard safeguarding procedures should a potentially unsafe or inappropriate online incident take place.
- All early years practitioners, volunteer’s parents and children should abide by the acceptable use policy.
- Maintaining password security. Only authorised users are able to use the pre-school management system which holds confidential information.
- The computer that the children have access to will have parental controls and internet filters to help control any inappropriate use.
- Heavitree Community Pre-school has a secure wireless internet access.
- Regularly monitored and updated virus protection.
- Online activity is to be regularly monitored.
- The pre-school computer and ipads are situated in areas of high visibility which will enable close supervision of online use.
- All Heavitree Community pre-school practitioners wanting to connect personal ICT devices to the settings ICT systems must have permission from the Manager or Playleader. Such use will be stringently monitored.
- All ICT users of Heavitree community pre-school are expected to write online communications such as email in a polite, respectful and non-abusive manner.
- In line with ‘guidance for safer working practice for adults who work with children and young people’ it is not considered appropriate for practitioners of Heavitree Community Pre-school to engage in online communications with children, parents or careers. (other than professional emails). This is also to include the use of social networking sites.
- Online communication will not be used for safeguarding and security purposes.
- Emerging technologies will be examined to determine potential learning and development opportunities. Their use will be risk assessed and implemented in to our policies.
Camera and Image Policy
Heavitree Community Pre-school recognises that the use of cameras’ as an essential and integral part of everyday life. However digital technology has increased the potential dangers for cameras and images to be misused and inevitably there will be concerns about the risks to which children and young people may be exposed?
The Camera and Image Policy will aim to ensure safer and appropriate use of cameras and images through agreed acceptable procedures. The Camera and Image Policy will apply to all individuals who are to access or be users of pre-school related photographic equipment. The policy will apply to the use of any photographic equipment that produces still or video images and also the storage of the images.
The Play-leader, Deputy and the Manager are responsible for ensuring the acceptable, safe use and storage of all camera technology and images. This will include the management, implementation, monitoring and review of the camera and image policy.
This Policy complies with the requirements of the Data Protection Act 1998 and other relevant acts regarding the taking and use of photographic images of children.
All images will be used in a manner respectful of the 8 data protection principles:
- Fairly and lawfully processed
- Processed for limited, specifically stated purposes only
- Used in a way that is adequate relevant and not excessive
- Accurate and up-to-date
- Kept on file for no longer than is necessary
- Processed in line with an individual’s legal rights
- Kept securely
- Adequately protected if transferred to other countries.
Pre-school cameras and any other photographic equipment will be designated for work related purposes only. The equipment will remain inside of the pre-school and images will be mainly processed inside the pre-school on the rare occasions that the equipment or the images need to be processed outside of the setting sanction will need to be approved by either the manager or the Play-leader.
The use of personal USB sticks and transferring of images via free unfiltered web mail or mobile media is not allowed unless it has been sanctioned by the Manager.
The manager has the right to view any images taken and/or withdraw or modify an individual’s authorisation to take or make images at any time. Practitioners of Heavitree Community Pre-school must ensure that all images are available for scrutiny and able to justify any images in their possession.
Practitioners of Heavitree Community Pre-school and the committee have a duty to report any concerns relating to potential misuse. Clear Whistleblowing procedures are in place.
Signed consent to take photographic or recorded images of children is in place as part of the admissions criteria for Heavitree Community Pre-school. The purpose for taking images is clearly explained to the parents and parents have a number of options to which parts they agree or disagree to the images being taken. Any consent given is reviewed on a regular basis. Individuals who do not have parental responsibility such as childminders, grandparents etc will not be able to give consent.
Parents/Carers have the right to refuse or withdraw their consent at any time. Partial or restricted content may also be given by the parent/carer.
Specific consent will be taken for the use of images for purposes other than those previously stated and agreed with in the permissions paperwork.
Sensitivity will be shown to any child who appears uncomfortable with an image being taken. Images still or video will not be taken of any child against their wishes. A Childs right not to be photographed must be respected.
The taking or making of images of a child in a one to one situation with an adult is to be avoided unless there is an agreed and specific reason for doing so.
Heavitree Community pre-school recognises that the individual close up pictures of a child often provides little context or purpose, and most often an image of a group of children will show an activity or situation to better effect.
Heavitree Community Pre-school will not include or use an image of a child that does not have permission in a group photo.
Photographs will not be taken of any child should they suffer an injury; whether it is to be consider accidental or non accidental. This will be deemed as a misuse of power which could potentially cause the child distress.
All images taken should represent the diversity of the children who attend the early years setting; no child will be favored in photographs.
Images which could be considered to cause upset or embarrassment must not be used.
Images of children must only be taken of children fully dressed. Under no circumstances should an image be taken of a child in any state of undress.
Images of children are not allowed to be taken in the toilet areas under any circumstances.
A Childs name must not be used in any caption or text alongside a photograph in any documentation other than their own personal learning journey.
If the press is invited into pre-school for any reason we will refer to our permission forms and every effort will be made to ensure that the press abides by any specific guidelines that Heavitree Community Pre-school sets out. Heavitree Community pre-school cannot take any responsibility or liability for situations beyond their control where the setting has acted in good faith.
It will be assured that any professional photographer working at Heavitree Community Pre-school signs an agreement which will aim to ensure:
- Compliance with the data protection act 1998.
- Images only to be used in the specific context and not for any other purpose.
- Images will not be disclosed to a third party unless it is a specific agreement to do so in which parental permission will be sought.
- Only photographers with a DBS / CRB check will be used.
Children attending Heavitree Community Pre-school may be allowed on occasions to take photographic images of each other. If this happens the children will be supervised and if any inappropriate images were to take place such as in the toilets or of a child in a state of undress, the image would be immediately deleted and appropriate use would be discussed with the child at a level that was appropriate to their age.
Heavitree Community Pre-school holds various events such as sports days and small performances. Parents are only allowed to take photos of these occasions if every parent in the setting has signed the agreement form. We also remind parents at each of the events that photos taken are to be for their own personal use and must not be published on any social media sites such as facebook. We make it clear to parents that if these rules are breached we will not allow images to be taken of future performances.
Heavitree Community Pre-school will make every effort to ensure that individuals with no connection to the early years setting are not given an opportunity to take any form of images covertly. If a situation was to occur Staff of Heavitree Community pre-school have the right to question the individual or to call the police if they feel that is more appropriate.
Any Photographs included on our pre-school website are unable to be copy and pasted and parental permission is sought before uploading photographs. Under no circumstances will a child’s photo be uploaded on to a social networking site such as face book.
Heavitree Community Pre-school tracks children’s progress and as part of this system photos are taken and used in the child’s learning journey as evidence. When children join the setting all parents are asked to sign a consent form asking permission for the photos to be taken and used within the learning journeys. Permission is also sought to allow children to appear in a group photo that may appear in another child’s learning journey. Specific care is taken to ensure that if a child does not have permission that they are not included in the group photographs.
All images taken at Heavitree Community pre-school are to be stored and disposed of securely. Images will not be kept for longer than is necessary. The Play-leader is to ensure that all photographs are wiped permanently from memory cards, hard drives and devices. All photographs are stored on a password protected computer.
Photographs on portable devices such as cameras and ipads may only be stored on these devices for a short period of time, and must be transferred to a password protected system as soon as reasonably possible. Such equipment will be stored securely and access will be restricted.
All images including those held within learning journeys are to be kept on site at all times, unless prior consent has been given by the Playleader or the Manager.
All practitioners of Heavitree Community Pre-school are required to follow confidentiality and information sharing procedures, which will be agreed at time of induction.
Heavitree Community Pre-school has a locked office which nobody other than those authorised has access to the computers. Devices are stored securely at the end of each day in the locked office.
Mobile Phone Policy
Mobile Phone technology has become more sophisticated over recent years and will continue to evolve. Many mobile phones allow access to the internet, social networking sites, messaging, camera, video and audio recording.
The aim of the mobile phone policy is to protect children from harm, by ensuring the appropriate management and use of mobile phones by all individuals who are to come into contact with the early years setting
As with other online safety issues mobile phones can cause a threat to young children. Heravitree Community pre-school operates a no mobile phones policy within the setting. This includes anywhere within the playroom or the garden area. If a visitor is seen using their phone within the setting they will be asked to either leave or to disconnect the call.
Often parents on settling in visits need to access their phones to complete the contact details section on the form, this is only allowed if supervised by a member of staff.
The only mobile phone that is allowed to be used within the setting is the pre-school mobile on which parents contact the manager on for administrative purposes. This phone is not allowed to be used as a camera, video camera or audio recording under any circumstances. The only other occasion where it is acceptable for the use of a mobile phone is on a pre-school outing which includes using the grounds of the school next door or if the landline had failed.
Staff must keep their personal mobile phones in the office at all times and are under no circumstances allowed to make or receive calls anywhere other than the office. The landline number should be given to relatives / close friends and schools of their children in the case of an emergency.
Practitioners and Managers of Heavitree Community Pre-school should not use their own personal mobile phones to contact families attending the setting unless it is considered to be an emergency.
All service users, including parents, carers, visitors and contractors will be respectfully advised that their mobile phones are not to be used within the setting.
Only authorised individuals have access to the designated work mobile, which is pin protected. Personal calls will not be made on the work mobile unless it is an emergency.
Heavitree Community pre-school will take no liability for loss and damage to property such as mobile phones stored in the office.
If any of the above policies are breached by a member of staff we will refer to and follow the processes within our disciplinary policy.
If we feel that a child has been put at risk or become venerable due to ICT we will refer and follow the process within our safeguarding policy.