Online and Virtual Education Guidance
Diocese Sheffield Academies Trust
This guidance sets out the provision of Online Education and Virtual Learning for pupils in the Diocese Sheffield Academies Trust.
This guidance seeks to:
● Ensure a high-quality learning experience for Online Education/Virtual Learning
● Make clear the responsibilities of all parties involved and the delivery of the lessons; and
● Safeguard all parties involved.
Location of online video lessons
The location in which both pupils and teachers take part in the online lesson should be in an appropriate room, and within earshot of a parent or carer. This will ensure the student can raise any concerns, whether practical or related to safeguarding.
Whilst space in houses may be limited, and may be shared with others, the teacher will work with the parents to make sure that whatever space is available to use is neutral, safe, conducive to learning, doesn’t reveal any personal information, and doesn’t present a safeguarding risk.
In order to prevent inappropriate content being shown to others via the webcam, the background shown should ideally be neutral, and not create a risk of offensive or age-inappropriate content being displayed. For example, there shouldn’t be a TV or screen switched on, or posters that may cause offence.
Teaching space should not reveal any details about the teacher’s personal life. Care should be taken to remove anything that would not be appropriate in a face- to-face lesson either, for example, personal items, laundry drying, or anything that may distract students.
Professional Behaviour and Dress
As lessons will happen in an informal home environment, it is important that both teachers and students follow the same behaviour as they would in a school environment. This will help minimise any safeguarding risks. There will usually be two members of staff involved in any live lesson delivery in line with NSPCC guidance.
● Having a parent or carer within earshot of the student taking part in the online lesson.
● Appropriate dress- both staff and students should wear clothing that would normally be worn in public.
● All pupils must follow the teacher’s instructions as students would ordinarily in the classroom environment.
● Not taking phone calls, messaging others, or using devices that aren’t requested by the teacher for learning.
● Not having other browsers or apps open during the online lesson to reduce the risk of inappropriate content being displayed.
Reporting of concerns by a Child
DSAT’s Online Education and Distance Learning safeguarding follows the same reporting process as with face-to-face lessons in school. Any concerns will be addressed to the school’s Designated Safeguarding Lead (names and contact information are on school websites) and procedure followed as per safeguarding policy (also on the school’s website).
Communication and Data Protection:
Our Online Education and Distance Learning programmes will be delivered through the Zoom or Teams technology that is free and accessible to all of our pupils.
As part of this offer there are a number of principles in place to support safe learning programmes, and these are outlined below.
Screen sharing and file sharing:
Teams and Zoom allow teachers to show their full screen or a chosen window, including teaching resources or websites. Teachers need to make sure they don’t inadvertently display:
● Personal information - e.g., having a social media website open, which may reveal personal information
● Inappropriate content - e.g., photos, text, apps or websites that may display content unsuitable for children
For this reason, teachers should have a “clean” screen and desktop.
Taking screenshots, recording video of sessions and screen sharing:
Teachers can record the sessions for safeguarding reasons and to potentially address any concerns raised during a session. These will be deleted weekly and therefore should parents have concerns, they will need to be raised straightway. Any recorded material will only be used internally and will not be shared beyond the school. Students will be instructed not to do this. If teachers see that videos or screenshots are being made by the pupil, they will turn off the video immediately and remove the child from the lesson. The parent will be contacted by the school with a request for the recording or screenshot to be deleted and a risk assessment carried out. Any breach of this aspect of the policy could result in the child being removed from future virtual lessons.
Parental involvement and Expectations:
Having the support of a parent/carer in setting up the lesson is often needed as the invitations will be sent to a parent through class dojo or by text. We ask that parents/carers are within earshot as this is important for safety as well as for practical help. Parents/carers are asked to be present at the start and finish of lessons wherever this is possible, and particularly for younger children.
The level of involvement of the adult during the lesson will depend on the age of the student. Younger children may need a person in the room to help keep them focused and safe, particularly if it is a new activity. But too much parental involvement can also be distracting or cause shyness with older students. In general, it is recommended that after the first few lessons, the parent/carer is within earshot but not “in the lesson” wherever possible.