The internet is now used daily in education and has become fundamental. It acts as a key learning tool for children however, it can also be an area for concern due to the nature of potentially harmful content available online.
There are many reasons why filtering and monitoring are required. In school the purpose is to ensure that children do not access unsuitable/inappropriate content.
Content filtering works by applying specific parameters to content retrieved via the internet, restricting access to certain materials on websites, Apps, emails or other suspicious items. It can be a hardware or software solution and can often be part of a firewall setting.
Monitoring combined with content filtering alerts for any activities that need to be acted upon, but the information is also used to determine which sites and keywords need to be filtered out. For example, if a new craze appears, the monitoring and filtering system will help us know what associated terms the children are searching for, and what websites they are accessing.
To safeguard and promote the welfare of our children, we provide them with a safe environment in which they can learn and flourish, by ensuring that they are not exposed to any online risks associated with using the internet. We have comprehensive filtering and monitoring systems in place for all devices used in school, and regularly review their effectiveness. Our school uses Fortinet as our filtering and Smoothwall Monitor as our monitoring solution and this is monitored by our Local Authority, Senior Leaders and reports given to the Governing body.