Two-thirds of teachers agree use of internet connected devices increases abuse in schools

Two-thirds (63%) of UK teachers believe that internet-connected devices result in more frequent abuse of both teachers and students within the school environment, according to research from classroom management and safeguarding software provider, Impero.
 
The research, based on a survey of 500 primary and secondary school teachers across the UK, found that 70% struggle with monitoring and controlling student behaviour on the internet amid increasing use of technology in schools.
 
More than half of teachers (58%) agree that mobile phones in particular should be banned from school premises. Despite concerns about the misuse of connected devices, 83% of teachers agree that properly operated and secured devices can be used to improve student engagement and performance in the classroom.  A child using a computer

Safeguarding policy

Increasingly, schools are aware that e-safety is the responsibility of every teaching and staff member, also known as a “whole school” approach. Today, 59% of teachers work in schools  which take this approach to safeguarding and e-safety.
 
A further 16% say it is the responsibility of a single full-time staff member, whilst 14% agree that the responsibility lies with a specific group of teachers in their school. 
 
More than a quarter of teachers (28%) say that their school does not have policies in place for reporting and punishing students who abuse connected devices. Relatedly, 38% say that their school does not provide an appropriate level of support and adequate resources to help them use internet-connected devices effectively in the classroom.
 
They survey further found that:
 
The majority (78%) of teachers say that they report significant concerns immediately, although one in five (18%) say it can take them several hours to act.
 
Nearly a third (29%) say that staff and teachers do not receive regular safeguarding training.
 
Nonetheless, almost all teachers (98%) report that their school uses safeguarding tools to some extent.

Charlotte Aynsley, safeguarding advisor at Impero, says:
 
“Internet-connected devices are a regular part of both home and school life, so it is essential to ensure that these tools are both safe and productive for young people. It’s concerning that almost a third of teachers aren’t regularly receiving safeguarding training. Especially as online safeguarding concerns rapidly change and young people are becoming increasingly adept at using different devices and platforms, including unfortunately to access harmful content and abuse their peers. These stats clearly suggest that the rise of digitalisation in schools requires updated policy changes and further adoption of the ‘whole-school approach’.”
 
When it comes to specific safeguarding tools, the numbers are also concerning.
 
Just 65% of schools use software to filter and block inappropriate content online.
 
Fewer than half of teachers (45%) say that their school uses software to log, track and report student wellbeing or bullying concerns.
 
Four in ten (42%) use software to limit how students use internet-connected devices in a learning environment.
Justin Reilly, CEO, Impero and a former headteacher adds:
 
“Teachers already do remarkable work, but their capacity to keep young people safe is unnecessarily limited by a lack of proper support. With rising concerns around harmful content, 100% of schools should have the correct tools in place, including keyword filtering and classroom management tools, to help teachers conduct digital lessons safely and productively.”
 
Impero released a major update to Impero Classroom (4th April) the only classroom management solution that works across five student device platforms and features native integration with Microsoft Teams.  For more information visit www.imperosoftware.com.