The purpose to of this policy is to outline the mission of Express English College regarding the safety of students, staff, visitors and other users, when accessing information online at the college, and when students engage in Express College English teacher-directed study using the internet away from the college (home; residential accommodation; homestay accommodation; online classes).
The key goal of the college is to maintain a safe and secure environment where students, staff, and other users are protected from accidental or deliberate exposure to illegal, offensive or otherwise inappropriate material online.
Resulting from this, Express English College works hard to maintain the security of all computer and network systems.
Express English College aims to promote openness, freedom of expression, and critical thinking that enhances a positive learning experience, this being balanced by the legal, moral and ethical duty to protect all participants in the online life of the college.
Specifically, this means that we work hard to:
Make sure students are not exposed to online materials that could cause harm to themselves or others;
Stop students interacting with others in a manner that may cause harm to themselves, or possibly to other individuals;
Prevent students using the internet in a way that might, potentially, cause harm to themselves and even to other people.
These goals are achieved in the following ways:
Students, staff, and visitors are, without exception, unable to access, either on the college computers, or via their own 3G, 4G or 5G networks, any site which is considered inappropriate, (please see Express English College’s Prevent policy for additional information).
These sites are likely to present – or imply – hate-filled, racist, sexually degrading, or other kinds of insulting or demeaning content.
Some ‘blocked’ sites may also seem to promote or normalise violence, convey extreme opinions, and send a message counter to core values at the heart of UK society.
English College maintains firewalls throughout computer resources to facilitate this policy.
All staff are made aware that students are likely to have their own 4G (or other) networks. Many of these may not be equipped with firewalls. Both teaching and non-teaching staff facilitate online safety and security by monitoring potential online dangers – from all devices on the premises. To carry out this duty, staff may need to take appropriate steps to ensure that students refrain from using websites that are inappropriate for a safe and heathy educational environment. This may, in certain cases, include recourse to the Abusive Behaviour policy and procedure (please see this document for details).
Please note that all students will be required to sign the Online Safety Policy Agreement before they access the internet.
The firewalls in use at the college (see above) block access to online visuals or language that may reference such topics as:
• Racism/racial hatred/ethnic minority hatred/ethnic cleansing
• Glorification of weaponry/promotion of dictatorships, etc
• Adult themes/inappropriate romantic content
• The occult, or similar ‘underground’ groups, hate groups, etc
• Use and abuse of drugs, buying drugs, distributing drugs
• the promotion of gambling
• Gaming – depending on content/context
• Advisory/glorifying content themed around hacking or cyber crime
• Matching and dating sites/content/advertisements
• Other material running counter to a safe educational context – this is not an exclusive list.
Please remember that unsuitable content is denied purely on the grounds that they are illegal, inappropriate, offensive, or potentially threatening to the security of the college’s systems, students, staff, and other users.
Any member of staff, including teachers, who advise or request students to use their own devices as part of their study, for example, for research or homework purposes, are responsible for the monitoring of students’ internet use; however, that also means that students should equally take responsibility for such use, and use their device only for work purposes when instructed.
Teachers (and all other staff) should not add as friend or contact, nor accept such a request, on social media or social networking sites including Facebook, Twitter, etc, students aged:
18+: until a minimum of four months after they have completed their course;
Under 18: ever (or until at least four months after they become 18).
Express English College advise extreme caution to both staff and students regarding the above.
Express English College, in exceptional circumstances, offers online classes, such as during the time the Pandemic mandated closure of the building. For students under the age of 18, and adults classified as vulnerable, relevant aspects of the Safeguarding Policy apply, relating to the online protection of said groups. Please see: Safeguarding Policy and Prevent policy.
In summary, teachers of under-18s and vulnerable adults must have completed appropriate safeguarding training and Prevent training. They must also do their best to monitor the use of online resources by students from under 18 or vulnerable adult groups, to minimise potential harm or threats to which they may be unknowingly subject.
Online classes, especially when involving one to one tuition, attracts the same level of professionalism as face-to-face teaching, and this of course extends to e-safety.
Students working with teachers online should not exchange personal information beyond that which would be appropriate for a face-to-face class activity, and avoid exchanging personal telephone numbers, email addresses, or making or accepting friend requests, etc (see above for guidance).
To arrange or change class times, and for any other academic matters, students should use the college communication systems to pass messages to their teacher: ([email protected] or [email protected]), and teachers must advise the academic manager when they wish to communicate with their online student; the AM will make contact with them or their parents on their behalf, using college email.
Review: Reviewed August 2021 (TC)
This document to be reviewed by the management team not less than every six months. Next review due February 2022. It may also be subject to any changes based on UK law.