Ending of the Accreditation of Internet Services to Education scheme - More info
Following from the news SmoothWall broke last week here: http://www.edugeek.net/forums/e-safe...-e-safety.html I have been passed on the newly amended links from the DfE site as regards to this
Firstly is this: Principles of e-safety - Schools the principles of e-safety page, which is short, sweet and rather basic.
Next is this one: Accreditation of internet services - Schools which announces the ending of the scheme and provides a link to here: Broadband - Schools the advice on purchasing broadband which in turn offers a PDF (Broadband - Schools) entitled 'What to look for when purchasing broadband'. The PDF is a good guide TBH, providing you can read 'techy'.
Of interest to us though is part 'b' in this section of the PDF:
*PAS (Publically Available Specification) 74 is the Internet Safety. Access control systems for the protection of children online. Specification. I can only find this for £120 online! If anyone can find an official 'free' download for this please post up a link. The Internet Watch Foundation is a non-governmental charitable body and you can find their site here: http://www.iwf.org.uk/
Safety and Security
5. Secure broadband services help ensure the safety of pupils and security of school data and services. Schools will want to make sure they have adequate monitoring, filtering, firewalls, anti-virus, authentication and other network security systems.
a. Managing access to online content and services including email and social networking is essential to safeguard children from exposure to inappropriate material and contact.
b. Look for filtering solutions that adhere to recognised national standards (such as Internet Watch Foundation watch list and PAS74).*
c. Schools will want to consider an appropriate balance between security/filtering and allowing access to materials and applications needed for learning.
d. However, technical solutions cannot replace the need to educate users about safe online behaviour. Schools will also wish to have comprehensive acceptable use, security and data protection policies.
I find the wording on part 'b' too vague for my liking and simply advising to 'Look for filtering solutions that adhere to recognised national standards' and not 'You must...' leads me to think that next BETT will be filled with new companies selling filtering software to schools which are, in fact, simply rebranded open source products, so please be careful out there. We all know that there quite a few great, well supported products, available for schools, but given the special demands schools place upon filitering and internet security for the DfE to simply wash their hands of this responsibility by passing it on to a non-govenmental body (I know the IWF is very good, and no disrespect to them) and 'industry' is, I feel, not being helpful in the least.