Cymraeg

Hwb

Guidance and policy

4. Guidance and Policy

Maintaining statutory and non-statutory guidance to reflect technological developments and changes in how the internet is used.


  • The Welsh Government will revise and update the statutory safeguarding guidance, 'Keeping learners safe', which will include an update on online safety.

    The draft guidance 'Keeping learners safe' was published for full, public consultation during summer 2019.  A summary of consultation responses was published in January 2020 and a final version of the guidance was published in autumn 2020.

    The online safety chapter has been reviewed and updated.

    We will work with stakeholders to support implementation during 2020.

    Action status: In progress.

    Welsh Government officials worked closely with key stakeholders during 2018–19 to revise and update the statutory guidance 'Keeping learners safe'.

    The draft guidance Keeping learners safe has been published for full, public consultation during summer 2019. Policy leads will update the guidance in line with responses from the public consultation, and a final version will be published in spring 2020.

    The online safety section has been reviewed and updated in line with the rest of the guidance.

    Action status: In progress.

    We have published statutory guidance – Keeping learners safeto help support education services in delivering its statutory responsibilities to maintain a safe learning environment, and identify and respond to well-being concerns with other agencies, where necessary.

    This guidance is due to be refreshed to take consideration of developments in legislation and policy, including online safety, online bullying and sexting
    as appropriate.

  • The Welsh Government will ensure the issues of online grooming and child sexual exploitation are considered when updating the statutory guidance 'Safeguarding Children and Young People from Sexual Exploitation'.

    A summary of responses to a formal consultation on revised statutory guidance on safeguarding children at risk of child sexual exploitation was published in February 2020.  A final draft is due for publication in winter 2020. This includes information about safeguarding children from online grooming and exploitation.

    Action status: In progress.

    A 12-week consultation on statutory guidance to safeguard children from child sexual exploitation was launched on 15 July 2019. The guidance includes advice on online grooming, and online abuse and exploitation.

    Action status: In progress.

    The Safeguarding Children and Young People from Sexual Exploitation (2010) guidance aims to help teachers, health professionals, social workers, the police and other key practitioners in Wales to tackle sexual exploitation. The guidance also helps them to identify children at risk, equips them to protect these vulnerable children and to take action against the perpetrators.

  • A multi-agency task and finish group will develop all Wales practice guidance on safeguarding children at risk of online abuse. This will be consulted on and issued by Cardiff and the Vale Safeguarding Board on behalf of the Association of Directors of Social Services (ADSS) Cymru and the Safeguarding Boards in Wales. The National Protection Procedures and supporting practice guidance are intended to be issued in early 2019.

    An all Wales practice guide on safeguarding children from online abuse has been issued with the Wales Safeguarding Procedures on behalf of the Safeguarding Children Boards.

    Action status: In progress.

    An all Wales practice guide on safeguarding children from online abuse has been developed with a multi-agency group chaired by Colin Turner, formally of CEOP. This will be issued in November 2019 with the Wales Safeguarding Procedures on behalf of the Safeguarding Children Boards.

    Action status: In progress.

    A multi-agency task and finish group has been convened to develop refreshed statutory safeguarding guidance on child sexual exploitation. The guidance will be issued for formal consultation in autumn 2018 and will include information on online grooming and child sexual exploitation.

    We have provided funding to enable Cardiff and the Vale Safeguarding Board to review and develop National Protection Procedures. We are working with task and finish groups to develop practice guidance to be used in conjunction with National Protection Procedures. This will include updating the All Wales Protocol on the Protection of Children from Abuse via Information Technology.

  • The Welsh Government will maintain the recommended web filtering standards for schools in Wales.

    We are working with local authorities across Wales to review and update the Recommended web filtering standards for schools in Wales, which were published in February 2018. The update of the document will be available on Hwb later in the academic year.

    Action status: Ongoing.

    The Recommended web filtering standards for schools in Wales document was updated and published in February 2018 and is available for schools in Wales. The key aim of the web filtering standards outlined within the document is that they will enable access to websites that support the effective delivery of teaching and learning in schools.

    The standards will provide learners with the opportunity to learn within a safe, responsible and supportive environment, and prevent access to inappropriate content. An effective online safety programme of education should supplement this guidance to teach children and young people the importance of responsible and considerate online behaviours.

    Action status: Ongoing.

    The web filtering standards are a common set of agreed standards for internet access that provide schools with the tools to make informed choices about appropriate filtered internet provision, whether delivered by the local authority or another provider. The standards support schools to be fit for twenty-first century learning and teaching while still safeguarding children and young people.

     

    The standards also include the prerequisites for Hwb tools, which outline the digital requirements for schools to get the most from the digital learning platform toolset.

  • The Welsh Government will review and revise the non-statutory anti-bullying guidance, 'Respecting others', which includes advice on tackling online bullying in schools.

    In November 2019 we published a suite of anti-bullying guidance Rights, respect, equality which provides statutory guidance for both governing bodies of maintained schools and local authorities to help address and prevent bullying in education settings in Wales. The suite also includes advisory guidance for children, young people and their parents and carers to help those affected by bullying, outlining rights and responsibilities.

    To support practical implementation of the guidance we have produced an online toolkit playlist of resources for each stakeholder group.

    During 2020, we will support implementation of the guidance.

    Action status: In progress.

    The revised draft anti-bullying guidance and toolkit was published for consultation between November 2018 and February 2019. The summary of responses was published in May 2019.

    The revised guidance sets out the importance of taking a whole-school approach, and proactively challenging and preventing bullying. We want to ensure the online bullying aspects of guidance link closely with our broader aims of online safety and we have worked closely with SWGfL to achieve this. The revised guidance will be available in the new school year.

    Action status: In progress.

    In 2003 we published non-statutory guidance to help tackle bullying in schools in Wales – 'Respecting Others: Anti-Bullying Guidance'. In 2011, the guidance was updated and expanded to address five key areas of bullying. One of these key areas is online bullying. Working with key stakeholders we are currently reviewing 'Respecting Others' to ensure the guidance continues to provide effective support to local authorities, schools, parents, carers and learners. The revised guidance will be published for consultation in 2018.

  • The Welsh Government will review the anti-bullying resources that are currently available for schools and assess any needs to better support education practitioners to tackle bullying in education settings.

    Our suite of guidance Rights, respect, equality provides statutory guidance for both governing bodies of maintained schools and local authorities to help address and prevent bullying in education settings in Wales. The suite also includes advisory guidance for children, young people and their parents and carers to help those affected by bullying, outlining rights and responsibilities.

    To support practical implementation of the guidance we have produced an online toolkit playlist of resources for each stakeholder group hosted on Hwb. The playlist will continue to be updated as new resources emerge.

    Action status: In progress.

    The new anti-bullying guidance will be accompanied by an online toolkit hosted on Hwb. The toolkit will offer resources and support for practitioners, learners, and parents and carers, and will be available in the new school year. The toolkit will be a live resource that will grow over time with new resources added as they become available.

    Action status: In progress.

    In addition to revising the 'Respecting Others' guidance, we are also working with key stakeholders to look at what strategies and resources are needed to support delivery of the anti-bullying message in education settings. A review of the materials that are currently available is underway and, based on the findings of that review, we will consider developing further resources to support education practitioners to address bullying.

  • The Welsh Government will maintain 'Respect and resilience' guidance for schools.

    We continue to maintain Respect and resilience – Developing community cohesion for local authorities, headteachers and governing bodies of maintained schools, headteachers and governing bodies of voluntary aided and foundation schools, teachers in charge of pupil referral units, childcare providers, church diocesan authorities, teacher training institutions, Local Safeguarding Children Board Chairs, Community Safety Partnerships, and organisations that have a lead responsibility for safeguarding children and community cohesion.

    The document was last updated in January 2019 and our Resilience Team continue to share information in respect of good practice in order to support schools in recognition of their role in developing and supporting strategic approaches to promoting and maintaining community cohesion and preventing violent extremism via the All Wales Prevent Group, which forms part of the Wales CONTEST and Extremism Board.

    Action status: Ongoing.

    We will maintain Respect and resilience – Developing community cohesion issued January 2016 for local authorities, headteachers and governing bodies of maintained schools, headteachers and governing bodies of voluntary aided and foundation schools, teachers in charge of pupil referral units, childcare providers, church diocesan authorities, teacher training institutions, Local Safeguarding Children Board Chairs, Community Safety Partnerships, and organisations that have a lead responsibility for safeguarding children and community cohesion.

    Respect and resilience – Developing community cohesion was last updated in January 2019. Our Resilience Team continue to share information in respect of good practice in order to support schools in recognition of their role in developing and supporting strategic approaches to promoting and maintaining community cohesion and preventing violent extremism via the All Wales Prevent Group, which forms part of the Wales CONTEST and Extremism Board (additional information may be found under Action 7.4).

    Action status: Ongoing.

    The Respect and resilience – Developing community cohesion (2016) guidance aims to support the development of community cohesion and prevent violent extremism in all secondary schools, pupil referral units, special schools and other educational settings.

  • The Welsh Government will implement ‘Connected Communities: A strategy for tackling loneliness and social isolation and building stronger social connections’.

    On 11 February 2020, we published Connected Communities: A strategy for tackling loneliness and social isolation and building stronger social connections, the first cross-government strategy to address loneliness and social isolation. It sets out our vision for a connected Wales; one where everyone has the opportunity to develop meaningful social relationships and where people are supported at those trigger points in life when they are most vulnerable.

    The strategy’s four priorities are: increasing opportunities for people to connect; a community infrastructure that supports connected communities; cohesive and supportive communities; and building awareness and promoting positive attitudes. Each of these priorities is supported by a number of commitments to help in their delivery; this includes online safety for children and young people, and youth work.

    We will publish a report every two years on progress against delivering the commitments, and will share any further actions or changes to its approach on tackling loneliness and social isolation.

    The aims and objectives of the strategy have provided a solid foundation from which to frame our response to COVID-19. However, we have taken the opportunity to review the priorities in the strategy with colleagues across government in the short, medium and longer term in order to ensure they accurately reflect the changes in society that have taken place and to consider what further action might be required as a result. We are also working with external stakeholders to help us better understand the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on loneliness and isolation.

    Action status: In progress.

    The Welsh Government’s Programme for Government ‘Taking Wales Forward 2016–21’ includes a commitment to develop a cross-government strategy on loneliness and isolation.

    The ‘Connected Communities’ strategy, which will be published later this year,  marks the first step in changing how we think and act upon loneliness and unwanted social isolation within government, communities and as individuals. It will:

    • set out a vision of the kind of society we want to see, where individuals and communities feel connected
    • define what we mean by loneliness and social isolation
    • set out our key priorities and aims in tackling these issues and how we all can work together to play a part in promoting well-being and building a more connected and inclusive Wales.

    The strategy will focus on the role that government can play and how it supports local authorities, public services and the third sector, as well as communities and individuals, to play their part and facilitate people’s social connections.

    For children and younger people, the internet and digital technology is an integral part of their lives. However, research highlights the potential disadvantages of social media for young people which can be an avenue for bullying, harassment and social pressure that can cause, or contribute to, a child’s or young person’s sense of isolation and loneliness.

    The strategy identifies the key role of schools in building emotional and psychological resilience in children and young people and outlines how the Welsh Government intends to support a whole school approach to emotional and mental well-being.


In 2020, the Welsh Government is building on previous work and exploring new areas of work which seeks to positively impact on keeping children and young people safe and secure online.

  • The Welsh Government will continue to review, update and promote its guidance 'Live-streaming and video-conferencing: safeguarding principles and practice'.

    First published in May 2020, during the COVID-19 outbreak the Live-streaming and video-conferencing: safeguarding principles and practice guidance formed part of the continuity of learning programme, ‘Stay Safe. Stay Learning.’, and was aimed at maintained settings in Wales.

    Updated in September 2020 to reflect children and young people returning to school, this guidance provides practitioners and professionals with information on how video-conferencing and live-streaming can be used safely and securely.

    We will continue to review, update and promote the guidance to ensure children, young people and education professionals are appropriately safeguarded.

  • The Welsh Government will publish and promote the guidance 'Sharing nudes and semi-nudes: responding to incidents and safeguarding children and young people. Guidance for education settings in Wales'.

    Our Sexting: Responding to incidents and safeguarding learners guidance, published in 2017 and produced as part of the UK Council for Internet Safety’s (UKCIS) Education Working Group, will be updated. The guidance is being refreshed in consultation with the National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC), the All Wales School Liaison Core Programme (AWSLCP), SWGfL, the NSPCC, regional consortia, the Safeguarding in Education Group (SEG), Estyn and other key stakeholders.

    The guidance aims to support schools, colleges and other educational settings in developing procedures to respond to incidents involving the sharing of nudes and semi-nudes. We will work with education professionals and key stakeholders to promote and embed best practice procedures and increase awareness of sources of support.

  • The Welsh Government will explore the need to adapt and publish the UKCIS Online Safety Audit Tool to support trainee teachers and newly qualified teachers.

    The UKCIS Online Safety Audit Tool is designed to help trainee teachers and newly qualified teachers (NQTs) better understand their role in keeping children and young people safe online and their school’s policy and practice. It offers opportunities for research as well as reflective questions to accompany their development as teachers.

    We will explore the appetite for this tool in Wales.