Online Safety Award

Royal Hospital School receives National Award for Online Safety

Assessors from the South West Grid for Learning (SWGfL) recently visited the Royal Hospital School in Suffolk to review the School's online safety provision. The Assessors met and interviewed staff, parents, governors and pupils and conducted a review of the curriculum, systems, policies and support in the context of digital learning. They were pleased to report that "the school has developed high levels of digital literacy and safe practice. The contribution of young people is recognised, encouraged and celebrated regularly. Pupils want to be involved and make a positive difference to the development of their peers." As a result, the Royal Hospital School has been named the first school in Suffolk to receive the 360 degree safe Online Safety Mark and has been asked to act as a national 'Beacon of Good Practice'.

The South West Grid for Learning Trust is a not-for-profit charitable trust providing schools with safe, secure, managed and supported connectivity and associated services, learning technologies to improve outcomes and a toolkit for being safer online. As the lead partner in the UK Safer Internet Centre, SWGfL is in the forefront of national and international developments in online safety. To apply for the 360 degree safe Online Safety Mark, schools have to reach a series of benchmark levels when they complete the online self-review. The evidence is then verified by a visit from experienced assessors.

Hamish McKenzie, Head of Digital Learning, said "The prime benefit of applying for the Online Safety Mark is that it does not focus on the individual aspects of online safety such as technological solutions, but instead it integrates online safety into school policy and the curriculum, challenging teachers and leaders in the school to think about their provision and its continual evolution. The Royal Hospital School demonstrated a high standard of online safety education and awareness for all staff, pupils and also for parents, ensuring that all users of digital technologies can be safe online – whether they are in school, at home or out and about using mobile devices".

Ron Richards, Lead Assessor for the 360 degree safe Online Safety Mark congratulated the School on its success and commented that "there is a clear 'whole school' approach to online safety and the work done by lead staff means that pupil online safety is of the highest priority."

Headmaster, Simon Lockyer added, "Preparing our pupils so they can use technology safely, productively and responsibly is a strength of RHS and to achieve this National Accreditation is a reassuring endorsement of the efforts and processes that we have implemented. Achieving this in the context of a boarding school where pupils are using technology for both work and recreation is particularly pleasing given the additional challenges this poses."