Holistic approach to cybersafety

It is recommended that schools establish a small team of interested and motivated staff to oversee a holistic approach to cybersafety within the school environment.

Teacher standing with group of students


Who should be on the team?

It is recommended that:

  • at least one member of the Cybersafety team be well versed technically and familiar with common internet applications used by children and young people
  • at least one member represents school welfare staff
  • at least one member represents management (principal or assistant princial)
  • staff responsible for curriculum development and implementation be represented
  • students and parents may also be considered as potential members where appropriate possibly using the existing school management consultation procedures
  • the Cybersafety team operates within guidelines established with the school management.

Where to start

  • Determine what the school currently does to support and encourage cybersafe behaviours. This may include auditing existing policies and procedures against the list of recommended policies provided in this section. Some policies might be covered already, for example, cyberbullying may be adequately covered by an existing bullying or behaviour policy.
  • Consult with staff, students and parents to identify key cybersafety issues and determine whether current policies and procedures adequately address these issues. It may be useful to draw on Student representative councils and School councils.
  • Consult relevant state and territory education authorities to determine any specific guidance or advice regarding school cybersafety. Links to relevant cybersafety information from the individual state and territory education authorities are provided within this section of the website.
  • Research available school focussed resources.  For example, consider the eSmart Schools resource.  This is an easy-to-use, evidence-based system, providing a framework approach to help improve cybersafety and wellbeing in Australian schools. eSmart helps to embed a culture of positive technology use, create policies and procedures, gain access to evidence-informed resources and track progress in becoming eSmart.

Policy development and implementation

  • Develop and implement draft policies and codes of conduct, including clear incident response flow charts to ensure all staff and, where relevant, parents are aware of how to deal with a breach of a policy or code of conduct. A list of, and links to, common policies and codes of conduct is provided in this section of the website.
  • Consult with staff, parents and, where appropriate, students on the draft policies and codes of conduct. Revise and redraft in line with feedback and consult again if necessary.
  • Promote the revised policies and codes of conduct, specifically the rules associated with each policy and the consequences of breaking any rules.
  • If necessary arrange for policies and codes of conduct to be sent home for parental signature or sighting.
  • Establish a Cybersafety contact person or several people as a first point of contact for students, staff and parents if a cybersafety issue arises. Promote the Cybersafety contact person to students, staff and parents. This person will initiate and facilitate incident responses in accordance with agreed incident response flow charts and maintain communication between parties involved.
  • Review policies and procedures annually as technologies and the use of them evolves rapidly.

couple looking at laptop


Staff and student education and development

  • Plan the inclusion of cybersafety issues within the curriculum with guidance from relevant education authorities utilising both state and territory provided teaching resources and the Cybersmart teacher resources provided.
  • Help staff understand how students use technology by encouraging them to visit the relevant education level within the Teacher resources section of the Cybersmart site.This area contains information about students’ technology use at different year levels and the associated skills, behaviours and knowledge they need to keep safe online. It also contains videos of children and young people talking about their technology use and a video of educators indicating how they incorporate technology and cybersafety into the curriculum at the different year levels.
  • Provide your teachers with the student technology audit. This can help them to establish how their students use technology and they can target their cybersafety lessons appropriately. Identifying the types and level of technology use within individual classes is also a useful conversation starter for identifying and addressing cybersafety issues.

Educate the parents

  • Provide cybersafety information to parents. This could be in the form of a newsletter item outlining cybersafety policies and procedures, the Cybersafety contact person and the implementation of lesson plans for students.

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