Online safety policy statement

The purpose

ISTA works with children and families as part of its activities. These include: [insert brief outline of what your organisation does with children and families]. The purpose of this policy statement is to:  ensure the safety and wellbeing of children and young people is paramount when adults, young people or children are using the internet, social media or mobile devices  provide staff and volunteers with the overarching principles that guide our approach to online safety  .

 

ISTA and the ISTA Performing Arts Academy work with young people as part of its activities. These include face to face and online festivals and workshops. The purpose of this policy statement is to:

  • ensure the safety and wellbeing of children and young people is paramount when adults, young people or children are using the internet, social media or mobile devices

  • provide staff and volunteers with the overarching principles that guide our approach to online safety

  • ensure that, as an organisation, we operate in line with our values and within the law in terms of how we use online devices.

The policy statement applies to all staff, volunteers, children and young people and anyone involved in ISTA activities

We believe that:

children and young people should never experience abuse of any kind

children should be able to use the internet for education and personal development, but safeguards need to be in place to ensure they are kept safe at all times

 

We recognise that:

  • the online world provides everyone with many opportunities; however it can also present risks and challenges

  • we have a duty to ensure that all children, young people and adults involved in our organisation are protected from potential harm online

  • we have a responsibility to help keep children and young people safe online

  • all children, regardless of age, disability, gender reassignment, race, religion or belief, sex or sexual orientation, have the right to equal protection from all types of harm or abuse

  • working in partnership with children, young people, their parents, carers and other agencies is essential in promoting young people’s welfare and in helping young people to be responsible in their approach to online safety.

 

We will seek to keep children and young people safe by:

  • appointing an online safety coordinator [this may or may not be the same person as your nominated child protection lead]

  • providing clear and specific directions to staff and volunteers on how to behave online through our behaviour code for adults

  • supporting and encouraging the young people using our service to use the internet, social media and mobile phones in a way that keeps them safe and shows respect for others

  • supporting and encouraging parents and carers to do what they can to keep their children safe online

  • developing an online safety agreement for use with young people and their parents/carers

  • developing clear and robust procedures to enable us to respond appropriately to any incidents of inappropriate online behaviour, whether by an adult or a child/young person

  • reviewing and updating the security of our information systems regularly

  • ensuring that usernames, logins, email accounts and passwords are used effectively

  • ensuring personal information about the adults and children who are involved in our organisation is held securely and shared only as appropriate

  • ensuring that images of children, young people and families are used only after their written permission has been obtained, and only for the purpose for which consent has been given

  • providing supervision, support and training for staff and volunteers about online safety

  • examining and risk assessing any social media platforms and new technologies before they are used within the organisation

If online abuse occurs, we will respond to it by:

  • having clear and robust safeguarding procedures in place for responding to abuse (including online abuse)

  • providing support and training for all staff and volunteers on dealing with all forms of abuse, including bullying/cyberbullying, emotional abuse, sexting, sexual abuse and sexual exploitation

  • making sure our response takes the needs of the person experiencing abuse, any bystanders and our organisation as a whole into account

  • reviewing the plan developed to address online abuse at regular intervals, in order to ensure that any problems have been resolved in the long term

Related policies and procedures

This policy statement should be read alongside our organisational policies and procedures, including:

  • Child protection

  • Procedures for responding to concerns about a child or young person’s wellbeing

  • Dealing with allegations of abuse made against a child or young person

  • Managing allegations against staff and volunteers

  • Code of conduct for staff and volunteers

  • Anti-bullying policy and procedures

  • Photography and image sharing guidance

Online safety policy agreement

We understand the importance of children being able to use the internet for education and personal development. This includes social media platforms, games and apps. We aim to support children and young people in making use of these in our work.

 

However, we also recognise that safeguards need to be in place to ensure children are kept safe at all times. This agreement is part of our overarching code of behaviour for children and young people and staff and volunteers. It also fits with our overarching online safety policy. If you would like to know more about this, please speak to tom@ista.co.uk.

 

At registration, all young people and caregivers must read the following agreement and sign.

Young person’s agreement

I will be responsible for my behaviour when using the internet, including social media platforms, games and apps. This includes the resources I access and the language I use.

 

  • I will not deliberately browse, download or upload material that could be considered offensive or illegal. If I accidentally come across any such material I will report it immediately to the group leader.

  • I will not send anyone material that could be considered threatening, bullying, offensive or illegal.

  • I will not give out any personal information online, such as my name, phone number or address.

  • I will not reveal my passwords to anyone.

  • I will not arrange a face-to-face meeting with someone I meet online unless I have discussed this with my parents and/or group leader and am accompanied by a trusted adult.

  • If I am concerned or upset about anything I see on the internet or any messages that I receive, I know I can talk to my teacher.

  • I understand that these rules are designed to keep me safe and that if I choose not to follow them, ISTA may contact my parents/carers.