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Internet Related/Filtering/Firewall Thread, Ofsted & internet access in Technical; Stop blocking internet access, schools told - Telegraph Since when are Ofsted the experts on e-safety in schools?...
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    SueAinley's Avatar
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    Ofsted & internet access

    Stop blocking internet access, schools told - Telegraph

    Since when are Ofsted the experts on e-safety in schools?

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    "Ofsted inspected 35 state primaries and secondaries in England as part of a study into the use of new technology in the classroom."

    Clearly a representative sample then.

    Given how many schools they collectively enter each year, they've no excuse for not having a large sample.

    By "locked-down", I assume they mean whitelisted-only access? Rather than the (usual, IME) standard "block porn, malware, games, proxies and other dodgy stuff as defined by Becta/CEOP/LEA/SensibleJudgement" and evaluate the rest on a page-by-page basis?
    Last edited by pete; 10th February 2010 at 10:20 AM.

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    Think so - they're suggesting managed systems lower down the page (i assume along the lines of smoothwall) rather than locked down (whitelisted?)

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    maniac's Avatar
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    I actually agree with some of the points raised in that article - if you wrap kids up in cotton wool all their lives they will never actually learn. If you shield and block them from absolutely everything which can have an influence or potentially harm them, then they grow up very sheltered and totally un-prepared for the real world.

    Obviously you never want to allow the likes of porn etc. through, but there are certain sites which are maybe just controversial, like the BNP party website I raised last week (which ended up getting blocked) which schools just block to make their lives easier as oppose to actually educating the students about if and when a student finds it.

    I know that article was with reference to primary schools, but a lot of it also applies to secondaries as well.

    Mike.
    Last edited by maniac; 10th February 2010 at 11:44 AM.

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    "But inspectors said "locked down" systems that barred access to websites were actually "less effective" in keeping children safe overall."

    - rubbish.



    "Ofsted also suggested that schools should give mothers and fathers training in how to manage children’s access to the internet."

    - Because we should be educating parents as well as students?

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    I think if folk looked at the proportion of sites blocked:not blocked, they'd find most non-whitelist systems relatively lenient.

    The old "road crossing analogy" always creases me up. Mm. Roads. Very defined threat vector. Young child can relatively easily cope with mitigation. Safer areas like pedestrian crossings easily located. OToh, the web has a vast and changing threat, and even "old hands" get caught up.

    A side-discussion exists on what material we believe our young people should be exposed to. A long, and difficult discussion with no clear consensus. To this end, schools should be provided with systems which allow them to make at least some choices in this area. Current systems are not perfect - some (as pete said) may be whitelist - that's harsh, blocking something when no mistake is even thoght to be made. Still others are getting there in blacklist mode, but that's also a tough nut to crack - still better than free'n'easy tho - especially in today's irritatingly litigious culture.

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    SueAinley's Avatar
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    Just read the full ofsted report: The safe use of new technologies / Thematic reports / Documents by type / Browse all by / Publications and research / Ofsted home / Ofsted - Ofsted
    Seems the telegraph are sensationalizing somewhat - some good recommendations in there but applying the same rules to primaries and secondaries is a bit daft imho

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    My suggestion has always been for certain controvercial sites which might be blocked for reasons other than indecensy etc. to be displayed inside a frame which clearly states this website expresses views and opinions which may not be factual, or warns the student about the website in whatever way is appropreate, insted of physically blocking it all together. I think this would have a much more positve result.


    Mike.

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    Sylv3r (10th February 2010)

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    Restricting Internet access is not only for the safety of the children but also staff. The papers would love it if pupils were shown some lovely images in an assembly due to a couple of wrong clicks on the internet.

    I do think that you need to educate everyone in how to use the internet and what not to click on(and some schools do this) but it is very rare that you would find unrestricted access to the internet in a work environment either. And this is a good thing as it is to proctect employees as much as anything else.

    It's the same argument that keeps on going, not so long ago there was a story on pupils accessing things they shouldn't have been and the IT staff were critised for not picking the sites/content up on their filters.

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