There’s a lot of confusion over what schools need to put in place to ensure they are complying with the guidance given for the Prevent Duty.
The UK government recently released a press release confirming that recent events have shown that the risks to young people being targeted by radical groups have risen and should not be underestimated - some school children were able to access material via school computers. 1
With the Department of Education issuing new measures to keep children safe online and advice to help educational establishments understand the implications of the prevent duty 2, it is worth looking at which tools can help comply with the duty within the IT department.
The Prevent Duty guidance does state that this is just an extension of the schools’ responsibilities to safeguard their pupils and is ‘similar in nature to protecting children from other harms’. Within the IT department this should mean many of the policies in place will cover the requirements.
Existing tools, such as AB Tutor 3 have existing features which are able to meet these responsibilities:
Keyword Monitoring will notify if keywords are typed within the school network. This notification can be used to set a short recording which will enable the user to see in the context of how the word is used, after all, we need children to continue to explore world values and maintain their education. Settings allow management to also create immediate screenshots which are timestamped and logged against user names, allowing export of evidence for future review.
AB Tutor will allow the IT department themselves can populate the keyword trigger list, updating as necessary and as other keywords become apparent. This gives the freedom to update immediately rather than relying on third parties to update and notify.
A website blocking policy will allow the IT department to block inappropriate websites whilst maintaining the students’ needs to learn of the world around them.
Thumbnail view allows each teacher to view the students’ screens on a single monitor, watching their online movements in real time. An IT department can have a scrolling overview of all computers within the school.
A system such as AB Tutor is no more intrusive than the monitoring already placed on the school children but will allow the management team to identify any vulnerability to radicalisation and extremism.