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KCSIE 2023: Online Safeguarding is Safeguarding

KCSIE 2023 Updates Related to Online Safeguarding

Over the last two years, the Department for Education (DfE) has made consistent strides to emphasise the importance of online safety and safeguarding as part of its statutory guidance, Keeping Children Safe in Education (KCSIE).

As well as having appropriate filtering and monitoring systems in place, KCSIE makes it clear that school and college staff should know and understand their responsibilities when it comes to online student safety, some of which are changing.

Filtering and Monitoring Standards

Updates to Online Safeguarding

This year, as of September 1st, the new KCSIE 2023 will come into effect and with it we will see a few new updates that are especially relevant to digital safeguarding. In this blog, we cover everything you need to know about the KCSIE 2023 updates, the new Filtering and Monitoring Standards for Schools and Colleges (updated in March 2023), and what these both mean for your online safeguarding processes.

Please note that this blog is all about the KCSIE 2023 updates relevant to online safeguarding. For an overview of all KCSIE 2023 updates, there will be a special training video added to our learning management system, Senso Learn, ready for all school staff at the start of the new school year. You can find out more about Senso Learn here.

What KCSIE 2023 Says:

Governing bodies and proprietors should ensure that all staff receive appropriate safeguarding and child protection training (including online safety which includes an understanding of the expectations, applicable roles and responsibilities in relation to filtering and monitoring) at induction (KCSIE 2023, paragraphs 14 and 124).


The designated safeguarding lead should take lead responsibility for safeguarding and child protection (including online safety and understanding the filtering and monitoring systems and processes in place) (KCSIE 2023, paragraph 103).


Online safety and the school or college’s approach to it should be reflected in the child protection policy which should include appropriate filtering and monitoring on school devices and school networks (KCSIE 2023, paragraph 138).

There is a new reference to children who are potentially at greater risk of harm and how often they access the IT system (KCSIE 2023, paragraph 141).


A new section has been added that explicitly references the newly published filtering and monitoring standards, asking that schools assign specific roles and responsibilities to ensure that filtering and monitoring systems are being used effectively and reviewed annually (KCSIE 2023, paragraph 142).


Schools and colleges should consider meeting the cyber security standards for schools and colleges (KCSIE 2023, paragraph 144).

The Main KCSIE 2023 Takeaways

All-staff training is a key requirement for all schools and colleges.

• DSLs, and not just IT staff, need to be able to understand the filtering and monitoring systems and processes in place.

• More attention should be paid to safeguarding vulnerable children both online and offline.

• Schools should try to meet certain cyber security standards.

• School governors need to make sure that enough is being done to meet the new filtering and monitoring standards for schools and colleges.

Main KCSIE 2023 Takeaways

Effective Monitoring Strategies

Effective Monitoring Strategies

Have Effective Monitoring Strategies that meet the Safeguarding Needs of your School or College.

Monitoring user activity is an important part of providing a safe environment for pupils and staff. A monitoring system allows designated staff members to review user activity on school devices for the purposes of safeguarding. To be effective, it needs to pick up incidents quickly, allowing DSLs to take action and record outcomes.

The monitoring strategy should be informed by the regular filtering and monitoring reviews. Monitoring may take the form of staff watching users' screens, live supervision using device management software, network monitoring using log files of internet activity, and individual student device monitoring using safeguard software or third-party services.

Device Monitoring

Device monitoring can be managed by school IT staff or third-party providers. They need to make sure that the monitoring systems are working, provide reports on pupil device activity, take safeguarding training including online safety training, and report any safeguarding concerns to the DSL.

It's important that users are identifiable to the school or college so that concerns can be traced to an individual,, including those using guest accounts.

Monitoring systems do not stop pupils from engaging in unsafe activities on a device; they simply monitor them. Staff need to make sure that they are supervising pupils effectively, taking steps to maintain awareness of how devices are being used, and reporting any concerns to the DSL.

More specific details are given on the filtering and monitoring standards webpage.

Filtering and Monitoring Standards