The Online Safety Landscape of Wales

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1 The Online Safety Landscape of Wales Prof Andy Phippen Plymouth University image May 2014 SWGfL

2 Executive Summary This report presents top-level findings from data analysis carried out in April 2014 to understand the current online safety landscape in Wales. This is an initial analysis which will be built on far more richly over the next year in exploring the aspirations, needs and areas of best practice among practitioners, civil servants, community volunteers and, most importantly, young people themselves. This analysis draws on a number of different data sets: 1. Self-review data from Welsh schools who have already engaged in the 360 degree safe tool (see below) 2. Three surveys conducted with Welsh young people, professionals working with young people, and parents (see appendix A for the survey questions) 3. Interviews with a number of people working with young people on online safety issues in Wales From the analysis there are a number of things we are confident about: 1. Online policy and practice conducted by Welsh schools who use the 360 degree safe tool are similar to the overall UK picture 2. However, primary schools are, in some cases, significantly behind, secondaries, as well as some regional variations in policy and practice across the country 3. There is a complexity to the awareness of online safety issue by young people that needs further exploration. For example, while many say they don t need further help, fewer are confident in their abilities to protect themselves online 4. Parental online safety concerns are not reflected by professional ones 5. Parental engagement and behaviour are key problems in a holistic approach to online awareness and safety for young people 6. Resources are patchy and many professionals would like more support 7. Some professionals still experience a lock down approach to online safety by some schools and senior leaders SWGfL

3 However, it should be stressed that this is just a baseline of the data analysis and we hope to develop our knowledgebase over the duration of the project. While the analysis provides many answers, it also raises many questions: 1. Why is parental engagement so poor? 2. Are there differences in policy and practice in different regions? 3. Is young peoples knowledge as strong as they believe it to be? 4. Are there differences between Welsh speaking and English speaking regions (this was hinted at in the analysis of English and Welsh responses to the surveys but needs further exploration)? 5. How can training be improved? 6. How can the Welsh Government best support professionals, parents and young people? As the project continues to develop, these questions will no doubt gain more clarity in terms of their resolution as more information becomes available. SWGfL

4 Introduction The following presents top-level findings from data analysis carried out in April 2014 to understand the current online safety landscape in Wales. The aim of this analysis is to use multiple data sets to understand what current practice is in place, and what are the aspirations of those in Wales around the online safety topic. This is an initial analysis which will build up over the next year as we work more closely with Welsh institutions and individuals to explore aspirations, needs and areas of best practice among practitioners, civil servants, community volunteers and, most importantly, young people themselves. This analysis draws on a number of different data sets: 1. Self-review data from Welsh schools who have already engaged in the 360 degree safe tool (see below) 2. Three surveys conducted with Welsh young people, professionals working with young people, and parents (see appendix A for the survey questions) 3. Interviews with a number of people working with young people on online safety issues in Wales Using these different datasets we will draw initial conclusions on the state of the nation and issues arising. SWGfL

5 360 Degree Safe Analysis 360 degree safe ( was launched by SWGfL in November 2009 to allow schools to evaluate their own online safety provision; benchmark that provision against others; identify and prioritise areas for improvement and find advice and support to move forward. Over 5000 schools have already used the free resource which integrates online safety into school policy and the curriculum in a way that actively challenges teachers and managers in the school to think about their online safety provision, and its continual evolution. The flexibility of 360 degree safe is such that it can be introduced at any speed (as appropriate to the school s situation) and can be used in any size or type of school. As each question is raised so it provides suggestions for improvements and also makes suggestions for possible sources of evidence which can be used to support judgements and be offered to inspectors when required. In one particularly interesting development, where evidence is needed, the program provides links to specific areas of relevant documents, rather than simply signposting documents on the web. This saves time for everyone concerned about online safety, and allows the school to show immediately the coverage and relevance of its online safety provision. 360 degree safe also provides summary reports of progression, (again this is useful when challenged), and is an excellent way of helping all staff (not just those charged with the job of implementing an online safety policy) to understand the scope of online safety and what the school is doing about the issue. Above all 360 degree safe provides a prioritised action plan, suggesting not just what needs to be done, but also in what order it needs to be done. This is a vital bonus for teachers and managers who approach the issue of online safety for the first time, in a school which has no (or only a very rudimentary) policy. This self-review process is more meaningful if it includes the perceptions and views of all stakeholders. As broad a group of people as possible should be involved to ensure the ownership of online safety is widespread. SWGfL

6 Once they have registered to take part in the 360 degree safe process the school will be able to download the Commitment to E-Safety Certificate for signing by the Head teacher and Chair of Governors as a sign of the commitment to use the online tool. Once the school has completed some of the elements of 360 degree safe tool then the E-Safety Certificate of Progress can be awarded. When the school meets the benchmark levels it has the option to be formally assessed before being awarded the E-Safety Mark, an award validated and approved by Plymouth University. An overview of the 360 structure, detailing aspects covered, can be found at org.uk/files/documents/360-degree-safe-structure-map. The following presents an analysis of the data from schools in Wales who have already submitted self-review data to the 360 degree safe system. It allows us to initially consider the strengths and weaknesses of policy and practice in Wales and also allows us to compare the performance of Welsh schools with that of profiles across the UK. In all, this analysis is based on 141 schools across Wales. Table 1 shows the regional location of these schools: Bridgend 17 Cardiff 40 Carmarthenshire 9 Conwy 1 Merthyr Tydfil 11 Pembrokeshire 1 Rhondda Cynon Taff 34 Swansea 3 The Vale of Glamorgan 24 Wrexham 1 Table 1 - Region of Welsh Schools using 360 Degree Safe And table 2 shows the different school phases: NA 9 Nursery 3 Primary 105 Secondary 24 Table 2 - Breakdown of phase of schools in Wales using 360 degree safe. SWGfL

7 From both these we can see a reasonable number of schools in Wales already use 360 degree safe but it is concentrated in a few regions, in particular those regions where briefings and awareness raising around the tool have taken place. We also have a sufficient number of schools to carry out a top level analysis of the data submitted to explore strengths and weaknesses. Figure 1 shows the overall profile of all Welsh schools who use 360 degree safe to self-review their policy and practice. This is the average value of each aspect from all schools who have submitted a self-review on this value. We should bear in mind that for 360 degree safe a value of 1 is strongest and 5 is weakest, so the higher the bar, the weaker the aspect. Figure 1 - Overall profile of Welsh schools online safety policy and practice from 360 degree safe data Comparing this analysis to that of the overall picture drawing on data from schools across the UK (which is illustrated below in figure 2) we see no surprises with this profile the strengths are in policy and technical areas and the weaknesses are in the more resource intensive activities. SWGfL

8 The strongest five aspects are: Policy Scope (2.38) Connectivity and Filtering (2.45) Digital and Video Images (2.5) Policy development (2.52) Acceptable Use Agreement (2.66) All of these, except for Connectivity and Filtering, are policy related. However, the weakest five are: e-safety Group (3.62) Staff Training (3.7) Impact of e-safety policy and practice (3.72) Governor Training (4.03) Community Engagement (4.06) All of these aspects require either a longer term investment in resources or the involvement of others outside of the day to day school setting. Figure 2 - Comparison of Welsh data against whole data set SWGfL

9 Figure 2 shows the Welsh data compared to the overall data set. This is a far larger data set with ratings data from over 3300 schools (who have completed all 28 aspects) from across the wider UK (albeit with the majority of schools being in England) and shows very clearly that that Welsh schools share a very similar profile to the wider dataset. While there is slight variation (see figure 3) these variations are not significant. Therefore we can say that the online safety policy and practice in Wales is typical. Figure 3 - Difference between Welsh averages and overall averages. Values above the line show areas where the Welsh averages are higher (and therefore weaker) and those below the line are where Welsh schools averages are lower (and therefore stronger) In a final piece of comparison, we can also explore standard deviation on each aspect. Standard deviation allows us to compare the spread of values in the ratings of each school, so a high standard deviation means there is a high level of variability between schools and a low one means there is a large amount of commonality. Figure 4 shows both Welsh and Overall standard deviations and again we can see the Welsh schools have a typical profile with little variation between the Welsh scores and the overall ones. SWGfL

10 Figure 4 - Standard deviations and Welsh schools compared to overall data set In exploring the data set further, we can decompose the data to look at differences between primary and secondary schools. Figure 5 shows the ratings between primaries and secondaries and shows there are, for some aspects, significant differences between the different types of school. Figure 5 - Primary and secondary comparison of Welsh schools SWGfL

11 Figure 6 illustrates this in a different way those values with a negative rating are where secondaries are stronger and the positive ratings are where primaries are better. As we can see from this figure, secondaries are considerably strong across the vast majority of aspects. While this does compare with our exploration of the overall data set, the differences between the Welsh primaries and secondaries have in some aspects, far greater differences. Figure 6 - Illustration of differences between primary and secondary practice Exploring the standard deviations also shows an interesting comparison with, again, significant differences with some aspects. In primary schools there is generally greater variability of response than in secondary schools except for e-safety group. This reflects a greater variability of policy and practice across primary schools in Wales. SWGfL

12 Figure 7 - Comparison of standard deviations A final interesting exploration is looking at regional variation. This is only done of those regions where 10 or more schools have returned as assessment on at least one aspect. Any regions with lower contributions than this are not explored: SWGfL

13 Figure 8 - Regional comparison of online safety policy and practice in Wales Figure 8 shows this comparison with a line graph so we can see the general shape of policy and practice in each region. While each region does have a similar profile with peaks and troughs in similar regions, it does show there is variability across the regions. For example, while Bridgend has strengths in some areas (for example, Connectivity and Filtering) it also has weaknesses that are higher than other areas (for example Governor Training). However, Vale of Glamorgan schools have generally a stronger profile across all aspects than other regions. While at this stage we cannot provide any explanation for these differences they do provide interesting questions to explore further. SWGfL

14 In summary for this exploration of the 360 data for Wales we can see an overall profile of Welsh schools which is very similar to the national picture strengths in areas of policy and technical implementation and weaknesses in areas such as community engagement and training. However, when we explore the data in more depth we do see differences in comparing primary and secondary schools (weaker in primary schools in general) and also across regions that provide us with interesting avenues for further exploration. We should also stress that we can only base our assessment on those schools in Wales who already use 360 degree safe and this represents approximately 10% of schools in the country. Surveys with Parents, Young People and Professionals in Wales The second aspect of data analysis is drawn from surveys carried out with parents, young people and professionals in Wales. Each survey was produced in both English and Welsh and disseminated online. Response to the surveys was variable with the following returns: Parents 56 Young people 283 Professionals 205 The volume of returns for the parents survey are not sufficient to allow us to generalise at all although it is worth exploring responses and also it is something of a theme we will return to later. SWGfL

15 Parental Responses We will focus on 3 questions for the parents survey related to concerns and controls in the home. Figure 9 shows the concerns of parents in Wales, who were asked what their top 3 concerns were: Figure 9 - Parental concerns (n=56) We can see three concerns all clearly the most significant ones cyberbullying, inappropriate content and predatory behaviour. In considering what parents might do in the home to address these concerns we can see proportions in figures 10 and 11: SWGfL

16 Figure 10 - Do you have parental controls at home? Figure 11 - Do you have online rules at home? From these responses we can see that while there is generally awareness of ways to protect children in the home many don t have measures in place, which is clearly a cause for concern. However, as mentioned above, the sample size for these responses is not large enough to generalise from these responses. SWGfL

17 Young People Figures 12 and 13 show respondent demography the majority of respondents are in the key stage 2/3 range and we will therefore not explore age differences for this initial analysis. Figure 12 - Respondent gender Figure 13 - Respondent age SWGfL

18 Figures 14 and 15 show a population who go online with a variety of devices, but there are no surprises in terms of how they connect to the Internet, although it is interesting that tablet devices are more likely to be used than laptops and netbooks, which is a recent change compared to our other experiences but does in fact follow national and global trends. It is also interesting to see the duration with over 50% of respondents spending at least 3 hours online. In terms of what the young people do online (figure 16), again, there are few surprises, although compared to other research we are conducting there are fewer respondents using the Internet for social media than we would expect. It is also interesting to note that over 50% of respondents are also developing and posting their own content, rather than just downloading that of others. Figure 14 - Ways young people go online (%age) SWGfL

19 Figure 15 - How long do you people spend online? (%age) Figure 16 - What do you do online (%age) SWGfL

20 Figure 17 explores online behaviours, which relate to upsetting content or conduct. The results in terms of their saying nasty comments or receiving nasty comments are similar to other work, as is seeing things online that have caused upset. Figure 17 - Have you? (%age) Figure 18 - Attitudes toward e-safety SWGfL

21 In figure 18 we can see a population somewhat divided. Less than 50% of our respondents say they are confident managing their online lives and only 50% are happy that they can protect what they post online. We also have a large proportion of respondents who are unsure whether they know more about the Internet than their parents. Overall this is probably one of the more interesting responses to the young peoples survey in that it shows less confidence than some of the other more direct questions related to online safety. For example, in figure 19, when asked what aspects of online safety they want to learn more about, the vast majority felt they were ok and did not need further information. Yet when we consider their responses in figure 18, this confidence is not reflected. Figure 19 - What aspects of online safety would you like to know more about? In terms of where our respondents learn about online safety it is encouraging to see a number of different locations and also many of them saying they learn from their parents. SWGfL

22 Figure 20 - Where do you learn about e-safety? (%age) However, we do have around 10% of respondents who get no online safety education in schools and their learning from parents might be in conflict with only 25% disagreeing or strongly disagreeing with the statement I know more about the Internet than my parents in figure 18. In one final piece of the initial exploration of the young peoples responses, we posed the question Is there anything else you d like to tell us about online issues?. This provided a text based option for respondents to talk about issues they hadn t been able to in the main survey. It was interesting to note the contemporary nature of the responses lots of mentions of alcohol reflect the current social media trend of Neknominations encouraging peers to drink excessive amounts of alcohol or other unpleasant liquids). However, the most widely used word across the responses people, is extremely significant while we might focus on technology a lot of these issues are faced by, and generally delivered by, people. SWGfL

23 Professionals Working with Young People Our final survey explored the attitudes of professionals working with young people. Figures 21 and 22 provide basic demographic information with the majority of our respondents working in school settings and almost half being teachers. However, we do have a broad range of respondents the other option in figure 22 had a whole range of different settings with a significant majority related to law enforcement. Figure 21 - Respondent organisation Figure 22 - Respondent role SWGfL

24 In figure 23, where we ask a similar question of professionals that was posed to parents (see figure 9), we see that while cyberbullying is, again, the key concern the parental concerns around inappropriate content and predatory behaviour are far less significant for professionals. This does pose the question why parents are so concerned about these two issues whilst professionals are not and one might hypothesise that media influence has a role to play here. Figure 23 - Concerns by professionals In terms of where professional s concerns arise, figure 24 shows that cyberbullying is by far the most likely online safety issue that professionals have to deal with and resolve. Other issues are far less likely to arise in professionals working lives although it is interesting to note the issues around gaming, reputation and addictive behaviour which are not significant concerns for parents. SWGfL

25 Figure 24 - e-safety incidents experienced If we then look at the confidence of professionals in resolving issues they face, it is encouraging that the majority are happy that they have the awareness and support to deal with these. However, almost 40% are less confident, which is cause for concern. Figure 25 - Are you happy resolving online safety issues? SWGfL

26 And this might have a relationship with the levels of training received by professionals. As we have already noted in the exploration of the 360 degree safe data, schools are generally quite weak in terms of staff training around online safety and the responses in figure 26 reflect this. Only 34% of respondents have received formal training in the last 12 months, which is a serious cause for concern given the speed of change in the online safety field. Information updates, while better than nothing, are no match for a formal training session. Figure 26 - Training received in the last 12 months This is also reflected in figure 27, where over 60% of our respondents felt there was a gap in online safety policy and practice around training for professionals. It also reflects the findings from the 360 analysis around policy, generally, being in place a less of a concern. However, resources is a key issue in supporting professionals in this area and the volume of respondents who called for better resources for children and parents suggests they are not happy with what is available (a number of professionals said a lack of resources in the Welsh language is a problem). The clear lack of parental resources in something we will return to later in this analysis. SWGfL

27 Figure 27 - Where are the gaps? (%age) We also explored with our respondents how education was delivered to young people in their care. Here we have both positive and negative messages. For example, figure 28 shows a breadth of delivery approaches being used to engage young people with online safety issues. However, as shown in figure 30, over 40% of professionals cover online safety issues either yearly or less than once a year. As with professionals own training, this does sound like a very long time in terms of being aware of emerging online safety issues. For example, returning to something that arose from the exploration with young people, Neknominations were not an issue whatsoever 12 months ago yet it has been one of the leading online problems faced by young people this year. SWGfL

28 Figure 28 - How is e-safety education delivered? Figure 29 - How often is e-safety delivered? SWGfL

29 Figure 30, when exploring the resources used by professionals in Wales, shows the strong influence of CEOP resources and does demonstrate a lack of breadth in some used. This might relate to the frustrations of professionals in the resources available for young people (see figure 28) perhaps one issue is not the availability of resource but the awareness of them? Figure 30 - What resources are used? And finally where exploring education, when considering who delivers online safety education, we can see a strong reliance on outside agencies, which again probably has an influence on issues related to confidence and training by our professionals. While external agencies do have a strong role to play in both training and influence, there needs to be a sustainable approach to their use. SWGfL

30 Figure 31 - Who delivers e-safety? Finally, we asked professionals what the Government could do to help them in their jobs protecting young people online. Again, this was an open response for professionals to express anything they felt strongly about. As has been discussed elsewhere in this exploration of professionals attitudes, parents was by far the most widely quoted term. Training and support for young people was also mentioned by many respondents, as were resources. Interviews with Professionals The main problem with promoting e-safety, the good work done in schools is undermined at home because quite a few parents are unaware of their own child s online activity. In a final piece of analysis, in order to get more in depth exploration with a small group, we conducted a number of interviews with professionals. The professionals spoken to were: 2 digital leaders from the Welsh government programme 2 external agency professionals delivering safety programmes in schools across Wales 2 heads of ICT at secondary schools in Wales 2 heads of primary schools in Wales SWGfL

31 They were all asked four broad questions during the interview: 1. Has e-safety become more of an issue in the last 3 years? 2. What are the key e-safety issues you see? 3. What are the main barriers to e-safety in your work? 4. What would you ask the Government to do to support you in your work? What was both interesting and fascinating to discover from these discussions was that while none were told about the questions beforehand or know who was being spoken to virtually, all interviewees raised the same issues and had the same wishes. These responses also reflected strongly with our survey data from professionals and add a level of confidence in terms of the representative nature of the data collected and the analysis carried out. Illustrative quotes will be used, drawn from all respondents, in an anonymous manner to reflect the issues discussed. Over the last 3 years I think the significance of e-safety at the school has been quite constant. There was a massive drive about 5 years ago to improve e-safety here. All respondents felt that the push for e-safety arose a few years ago and we are now in a steady state where schools are aware of issues and trying to deal with them. Interviewees did mention that schools were sometimes not particularly well resourced to do this but at least awareness was there. However, one frustration from a number of interviewees was a risk averse culture in some schools that extended from online safety issues (for example not providing education on difficult issues such as sexting or pornography as it might encourage pupils to explore these things more) to general use of technology for teaching and learning (for example locking down or banning the use of Twitter, mobile devices, etc. in schools). The main issue by far is cyberbullying which occurs once the pupils are at home. We have no control over their home use of websites such as Facebook, Ask.fm, Snapchat, Instagram. In terms of the issues faced cyberbullying was by far the most prevalent and this comment was echoed by many other interviewees there is only so much a school can do to manage cyberbullying as a lot of it happens outside of the school environment. This leads on to one of the key barriers to e-safety faced by the interviewees: We ve even had one or two cases where pupil s parents have even joined in with the online conversations and the arguments degenerate into family feuds! SWGfL

32 Parental engagement (and in some cases parental involvement) is a key problem for schools whether it is parents not engaging with online safety issues. For example all of the following were mentioned: allowing children to stay online for long periods not telling off when children are abusing excessive gaming not being aware of the online safety issues However, perhaps most worrying is that a number of interviewees mentioned that parents can get involved in cyberbullying incidents and incite further abuse. The other barrier some interviewees mentioned was the lack of support (in some cases) by senior management or a management approach that was risk averse and not at all pro-active. Teachers need to trust pupils with technology and parents need to be much more aware of their own child s online activity! Finally, in terms of what the Welsh government can do to support professionals, our interviewees again echoed the survey responses (see figure 33) parents and parental awareness was a key issue but again support for those schools and other organisations that want to engage with, rather than lock down, technology is a crucial aspect of contemporary online safety and this needs training support and resources coordinated by the Government. Summary The initial analysis to baseline our knowledge of the online safety landscape in Wales has enabled us to understand current practice and explore aspirations of both Welsh young people and professionals around how to move online safety education forward. We have a number of things we know from the data collection: 1. Online policy and practice conducted by Welsh schools who use the 360 degree safe tool are similar to the overall UK picture 2. However, primary schools are, in some cases, significantly behind, secondaries, as well as some regional variations in differences of policy and practice across the nation 3. There is a complexity to the awareness of online safety issues by children and young people that needs further exploration. For example, while many say they don t need further help, fewer are confident in their abilities to protect themselves online 4. Parental online safety concerns are not reflected by professional ones SWGfL

33 5. Parental engagement and behaviour are key problems in a holistic approach to online awareness and safety for young people 6. Resources are patchy and many professionals would like more support 7. Some professionals still experience a lock down approach to online safety by some schools and senior leaders However, it should be stressed that this is just a baseline of the data analysis and we hope to develop our knowledgebase over the duration of the project. While the analysis provides many answers, it also raises many questions: 1. Why is parental engagement so poor? 2. Are there differences in policy and practice in different regions? 3. Is young peoples knowledge as strong as they believe it to be? 4. Are there differences between Welsh speaking and English speaking regions (this was hinted at in the analysis of English and Welsh responses to the surveys but needs further exploration)? 5. How can training be improved? 6. How can the Government support professionals, parents and young people best? However, this analysis, with complimentary data sets, does provide us with a confident starting point in exploring the online safety issues facing Wales and it is something on which we hope to build further for the duration of the project. SWGfL

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