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Education Specialists with eSafety as a Priority

Frequently Asked Questions

Find answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about ITS4all’s Managed Web Filtering and Active eSafety Monitoring Service. Please feel free to contact us if you can't find the answer to your question below.

What is e-safety?

E-Safety ensures that young people can access the digital world in a safe and protected way. E-safety is mainly concerned with safeguarding young people’s use of information and communication technologies such as social media, web search and email ensuring that they don’t encounter inappropriate or harmful content and behaviour.

What appropriate filters do you provide in your Managed Web Filtering Service as stated in KCSiE?

We provide four age related appropriate filter policies. These being suitable for Primary Students, Secondary Students and Staff.  There is a 4th filter policy above staff that allows identified eSafety Staff and ICT Support Staff to access Social Networks and Remote Access Tools.

What appropriate monitoring do you provide in your Active E-Safety Monitoring Service?

A definition of Monitoring says “Monitoring is the regular observation and recording of activities”. 
Several companies can record online activity e.g. web filters. Some will even pick up words on the websites.  However, they almost all failed on the context of a capture, which can only be achieved though observation.  We review all captures, even ones that have been pre-graded.  We look for potential inappropriate activity taking into account the context.  We inform Head Teachers and/or DSP for them to make the final decision taking into account their on-site knowledge of the staff/student/pupil and the activity in line with their own eSafety and Safeguarding policies.

How do you Manage Web Filtering

The major web filter providers like Netsweeper automatically categorise websites e.g. Pornography, Sales, Racism, Violence, Social Networks, Virus and adult pages.  (For a list and to see live stats go to https://www.netsweeper.com/live-stats/)

The shared policies are managed by us taking into account the potential risk of allowing websites through the filter.  Initially the categories are allowed or denied for each of the four policies.  We then override the categories either allowing or denying websites on request, again taking into account the risk factors.  There is also the ability to have a Local List where sites that may be required in just one school can be allowed whilst keeping the site denied for other schools.


What does the Monitoring software do?

Based on word and phrase capture the software captures harmful or concerning activity or behaviour that occurs while students are using your school's ICT. Activity can be captured both through keyboard and on screen activity meaning that the software monitors all ICT activity both on and offline. Words and phrases captured are part of a series of pre-defined themes that sit within the software. This is also referred to as active monitoring.

What type of activity or behaviour is the software monitoring for?

The software monitors for concerning or problematic behaviour that may be exposing one of your students to risk. Potential risk can manifest in a number of forms and can be something that is self-inflicted, inflicted on another student or may come from an outside influence.

Specific risks that the software monitors for include:

It is always really important to remember that many of the incidents that are identified in the online environment have lasting real world consequences.

How does Keeping Children Safe in Education affect my school? Is my school required to have a monitoring system in place?

Online monitoring is now a mandatory legislative requirement as part of Keeping Children Safe in Education (KCSiE) statutory guidance that was introduced in September 2016. An increased emphasis on online safety in the guidance means that by law all schools must have an appropriate and effective monitoring system in place.

The use of technology has been identified as a significant component of many safeguarding issues including: radicalisation, child exploitation and sexual predation. The guidance calls for all schools to employ effective online safeguarding mechanisms in order to empower children and safeguard them against online danger.

Compliance will now be inspected as part of Ofsted’s Common Inspection Framework.

Why does my school need to monitor for signs of radicalisation?

Since the 1st July 2015 all UK schools are required to monitor for signs of radicalisation in students in order to fulfil their Prevent duty under the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015. This means that by law all schools need to be able to demonstrate how they are ensuring that children and young people are protected from exposure to radicalisation and extremist influences. The Internet has been identified as one of the key ways that young people are exposed to terrorist and extremist content and influences. As a result of this legislation ITS4all uses monitoring products that feature a hardwired module designed to monitor for words and phrases related to radical and extremist causes. The software is fully compatible with the legislation and can help your school to demonstrate your compliance and show that you are fulfilling your duty of care.

What predefined libraries does the software include?

Themes include:

You have complete control over your Themes and we can turn Themes off if they are not relevant. For example you may not wish to monitor for mild swear word in the case of older students. The only library that this does not apply to is the Prevent library. The Prevent Duty is a legal obligation of all schools and therefore cannot be turned off.

Where do the words and phrases in the monitoring themes come from?

The themes are developed and updated on an ongoing basis by the team with the help of third party support. We know that language and jargon is always changing and so are continually working with the help of our partners to keep our themes current. Some of our sources include but are not limited to:

What is cyberbullying?

Cyberbullying is a form of peer-to-peer bullying which applies to children and young people using digital technologies such as the Internet. It can happen through any device such as computers, tablets and mobile phones and on a wide range of platforms including social media, by email or text message. Cyberbullying takes the form of tormenting, threatening or harassing behaviour and has real and damaging psychological emotional outcomes similar to those of real-life bullying.

What is a violation?

A violation is when a user-defined word or phrase is used triggering an alert by the software. A violation can occur whether users are ON or OFF line* ensuring that all concerning behaviour is recorded.

*Not only do the products we use capture activity within Internet applications – browsers, search engines, email, chat rooms and instant messaging we also monitor the content of all other Windows applications such as zipped files, password protected Word documents, PDF's, spreadsheets, presentations as well as portable devices such as USB Flash Hard drives.

Will the students know they are being monitored?

We advise that schools include the presence of the software as part of their Acceptable Use Policy (AUP). One of the key benefits of using ITS4all active monitoring is to help increase knowledge around online behaviour. In this way school leaders can learn more about their students online activity in order to help educate and shape positive digital behaviour. In addition we can configure the software and alert users when a violation has occurred, again, helping them to understand the difference between appropriate and inappropriate behaviour.

What is an Acceptable Use Policy (AUP)?

An acceptable use policy (AUP) is a document that outlines a set of rules to be followed by users of a set of computing resources. An AUP clearly states what the user is and is not allowed to do while using these resources. Each organisation has a right and a duty of care to monitor computer usage in order to protect users. AUPs are normally displayed when a user logs on to a computer or network and details the ways in which the ICT resources can and cannot be used. An AUP might include information reminding users that logs are kept of websites visited or a pledge by users not to attempt to access unsuitable material.

What is a capture?

Each time a violation is triggered either through the keyboard or on the screen the software will take a screen shot of the screen recording exactly what has happened on screen.

Can I receive immediate alerts for particularly concerning activity?

Yes. As well as having access to an automated data engine which contains a range customisable violation libraries such as pornography, profanity, violence, racism and drugs, We can add concerning words and phrases such as bespoke slang and set an alert for these.

Can you monitor a specific user or user group?

Yes, we will monitor specific users or groups on your request.

Will I have to monitor the captures?

No, we do it all for you daily and immediately email you if there is a cause for concern.

How will I know about the activity in school?

You will receive an in depth report every two months indicating frequent users, computers used, web sites visited and word and phrase violations.

Will someone need training for either the Monitoring Software or the Web Filter?

For the Web Filter, no.  Instructions are given to Technicians so that the correct age appropriate Web Filter is given to users.  Schools contact us direct to have Websites Blocked or Allowed.

For the Monitoring Software it is advisable to have a good understanding of what it does and how it works.  The company providing the software may offer training.  However, we are also trainers and can assist with this if required.  Technicians will be given instructions on how to deploy the software.

How much will Active Monitoring cost?

Once you have purchased the licensing and hosting from the Monitoring Software Company we invoice for the Active Monitoring Service direct.  From as little as £18.50 per week. You couldn’t employ someone with the time and appropriate level of responsibility to carry out the monitoring for as little as that.

How much will Managed Web Filtering cost?

There is usually a per user charge from the Web Filtering Company – this can range from around £2.50 to £3.50 per annum depending on location.  They will charge an additional fee for the Web Filtering to be managed by us, currently this is in the region of £250 to £300 per annum which is equivalent to £5-£6 per week.  Note he Web Filtering Company may charge a one off setup fee to enable your school IP range to use the four shared filter policies.