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Case Study:
Western House Academy

Case Study Primary - Improvement & Inspections School Improvement Primary - Staff & Recruitment Leading CPD

For Western House Academy, equipping their staff with the latest online safety knowledge is of paramount importance.

The school has always placed a huge emphasis on ensuring that all pupils are taught in a way which allows them to make safe decisions when they are online.

Rob Jones, Deputy Headteacher & Designated Safeguarding Lead, explained how they have embedded a culture of online safety across the whole school community.

The importance of online safety

Rob said: “I’m the Designated Safeguarding Lead, alongside my role as Deputy Headteacher at Western House Academy.”

With the online world rapidly evolving, it was collectively felt at Western House Academy, that in order to be equipped, a proactive rather than reactive approach was needed.

Rob explained: “Online safety is something that should be at the forefront of our minds, more so now than ever before.”

“Technology has become an important tool to use in the classroom, which means that there is a responsibility for us to ensure that children are using it safely.” he continued.

He added: “It’s become a part of who we are and what we do.”

Joining National Online Safety

Being on top of current online safety concerns was a key reason for the school in choosing to join National Online Safety. Whilst the children are encouraged to take an active role in keeping themselves safe online, Rob also stresses the importance of ensuring that school staff and parents are properly informed.

Rob said: “I looked at the resources that already had in the school, and realised that we were missing a few things, including CPD for staff around online safety.”

“Also, I felt that we needed some resources for parents and carers to engage with too.” he continued.

He revealed: “After speaking to colleagues, they recommended National Online Safety. I was really pleased with the wealth of resources that were available in comparison to the platform that we were using previously.”

“I appreciated the lesson plans too and thought that we could certainly make good use of those within the school.” he commented.

He said: “It’s great that parents and carers can engage with the resources too. That’s fantastic.”

“We’re very excited to involve the whole school community in the programme.” he nodded.

Excellent feedback

Staff at Western House Academy have shown a real enthusiasm for the platform, which has delighted the school.

Rob revealed: “We’ve had fantastic feedback from staff, particularly around the fact that the CPD is video based. It’s very engaging.”

“You have an expert talking you through the content on the screen, which is great. Everyone learns in different ways, so we find that very useful.” he explained.

When asked what the school’s biggest takeaway has been from the Certified School programme, Rob said: “I think the biggest benefit is the breadth of CPD opportunities for staff.”

“The platform has a range of webinars and courses which relate to more than just online safety.” he added.