The 360 degree safe Cymru tool is changing

The online safety landscape is continually changing – particularly for the learners in our schools and colleges. So it’s important that the online safety guidance available is regularly updated and relevant to the needs of schools, their learners and staff.

Since its launch in 2014, the 360 degree safe Cymru self-review tool has been used by most schools in Wales to review and improve their online safety practice. Later this term the tool, which is accessed through Hwb, will be updated with improved navigation and new content.

Additional navigation routes through the tool will enable schools to move more easily from one section of the tool to another. New graphs will illustrate more clearly the schools’ areas of strength and development, and will allow better comparisons between its performance and that of all the schools using the tool. The guidance available in the tool will be updated in line with ongoing developments in digital technologies, new legislation and social trends.

The Data Protection aspect has changed the most, because of the new UK data protection laws and the EU General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR). Schools now have greater responsibilities to take care of data and will need to inform their data subjects of why they need to hold the data and how long they will hold it for. The data protection level statements and improvement actions in the tool have been reworded to ensure that schools have a clearer picture of good practice.

The Online Safety Mark benchmark level for data protection will initially remain at level 3, but will increase to level 2 in 2019 – to reflect the greater expectation on schools in terms of data protection. The online safety policy templates have also been updated and include new Acceptable Use Agreements. These will help schools gain consent for collecting data from parents and carers.

The updated tool will be launched later this term and further information will be published in the tool closer to the launch date. School users may wish to allocate some time in the coming months to revisit their 360 degree safe Cymru review, to ensure that they are aware of the latest guidance and to check that the levels they had previously chosen are still accurate, given the changes to the content in the tool.