Anglican Schools Commission

Online Safety Educational Framework

Previously 4 Es of Online Safety and Digital Well-being 2017-2020

The Anglican Schools Commission is committed to implementing the eSafety Commissioner’s Best Practice Online Safety Educational Framework and the 10 National principles for child safe organisations. This is our continued pursuit to create an environment where children’s safety and wellbeing is embedded at the core with an added emphasis on genuine student engagement.

We commit to utilising the eSafety Commissioner’s 4Rs of Online Safety: Respect, Responsibility, Resilience and Reasoning as an ethical framework for online engagement and to empower young people in the online space. We commit to assisting schools to mitigate and responding to the evolving  online risks: contact, conduct, content and commercialism. 

We will utiliise a holistic approach to online safety underpinned by the eSafety Commissioner’s PEER Toolkit: Preparation; Education; Engagement and Respondinging (PEER). We acknowledge our schools  have a duty of care to protect the online safety of students. There is a plethora of advice, models, and frameworks for identifying safety issues, and implementing risk management systems. These can range from targeting particular risk areas to holistic approaches which attempt to address all risks. Consequently, not only may there be competing issues and values at play, there can be a complexity of interrelated and overlapping advice, strategies and approaches. Within all this, online safety and establishing a concise strategic direction and vision for online safety could be lost. The PEER online safety and Digital Well-being: Preparation; Education; Engagement and Responding,  are four clear foundational concepts that should be within any strategic approach to cyber safety, thus they should complement, not replace, any approaches to safety in schools by providing direction, reason and understanding for online safety and well-being actions.   

A community response to a community issue

Preparation refers to the environment element refers to the organisation culture, the provision of policies, a working framework and mechanisms as founding for a protective online culture. The online safety includes 4 functional areas: the school management level (policies and the support network for students); the school framework and ICT approach (day to day ICT e.g. physical hardware set up and (security); the operational level (e.g. day to day filtering and responses to incidents); and the interactions with the home environment.

Approaches to online safety in schools should include a online safety education strategy for school community stakeholders: students, parents, and staff. A curriculum based approach is required to mitigate online safety risks and protect students in the class room. Additionally education for ‘Digital Citizenship’ (responsibilities online, personal safety online, social media literacy, and digital ethics), increasing user responsibility with devices and internet usage is scaffolded by education packages that are tailored for grade/age appropriateness. 

The education of students is a key focus of any school’s cyber safety actions, however, this can be undermined if the school’s strategy does not address the other E elements or ensure all stakeholders are educated and engaged. 

The online safety engagement strategy will be specific to online safety and have three engagement strategies: proactive actions; reactive actions; and long term. Proactive actions can include: planned parent and community engagement session; regular engagement and communications with the school community through website, blog and newsletter messages; follow up with staff to ensure they are using current and relevant material; providing professional development for teachers; participation in community events (i.e. internet safety day); and raising awareness of online reporting mechanism (for staff, parents and students).  Reactive actions can include: sessions for parent and community engagement on or in response to specific issues; engaging external agencies (police etc.); warning fliers; and/or school wide response sessions to incidents.

 Long term the attributing factors to succeeding in the development of digital citizenship is the support of parents and school policies. Strategies are needed to engage community stakeholders in identifying online safety issues responses and development of organisational culture supportive of online safety. 

Responding is the fourth foundational online safety concept. Responding is to ensure no student is suffering or needs assistance, as well as meeting accountability and risk mitigation obligations (student, staff and legal) of the schools. This element is focused on monitoring, reporting (including regulatory reporting for student protection) and reviews. This includes systematic and regular reviews each term, as well as a major review each year (of policies and to identify possible issues for the following year). 

Reviews should include: all online safety policies, guidelines and tools; online safety response guidelines on action to be taken; school uses of social media; lines of responsibility in school; school ICT process and technology; blog, newsletters and fliers processes; school Net filtering; online reporting mechanism, class room sessions; training and professional development of staff, and the school physical grounds. 

Previous adopted 4Es of online safety 2017-2020

Updated in May 2018 and August 2018.

Updated December 2019 – terminology online instead of cyber.

Updated December 2020 – PEER framework  and school tool kit eSafety Commissioner Office.

The 4 Es of Cyber Safety and Digital Wellbeing was created in April 2017 for the Anglican Schools Commission Southern Queensland’s Cyber Safety Champions Network.

Updated February 2021  – Online Safety Educational Framework and PEER migration.