Charlotte Aynsley, Safeguarding Advisor, Impero

In recent discussions with college leaders, I have noticed a common refrain: they welcome our current return to relative normalcy, but they believe that the balance of offline-to-online education will never return to its pre-pandemic equilibrium. In other words, school leaders realise that online learning is here to stay, although they don’t know in exactly what form. 

This is generally positive news, but running a hybrid school (or college, university or any other educational institution) raises safeguarding challenges. While in-person safeguarding can return to the pre-pandemic status quo, online learning is newer and its safeguarding practices have been developed under pressure and in haste over the past year. Schools and other education providers have done an admirable job with this, but the systems many have adopted are not quite as robust as they need to be. We must now begin to create safeguarding structures with online learning as a first-class consideration. Here are four areas to consider in that endeavour. 

Policies and practices for a digital age 

Clear guidelines must be established to ensure that online learning reflects the same high standards they have been established for in-person learning. Many educational institutions have begun drafting these guidelines, but it is now clear that they are a long-term necessity. Relevant leaders must review existing codes of conduct, acceptable use policies, safeguarding policies and behavioural rules and adapt them to suit both online and in-person delivery. 

Policies need to address issues like appropriate clothing and phone use while remote learning. In addition, the use of online technology for education should be confined to the hours that the school building is normally open, both for student and staff wellbeing and to prevent inappropriate contact out of hours. Parents should also be informed about the arrangements so that they are able to reinforce the boundaries at home. 

Infrastructure for keeping young people safe remotely 

It is essential that those operating in a hybrid learning fashion do not divide their safeguarding into two disconnected systems, one for online concerns and the other for physical ones. Rather, a modern safeguarding solution should encompass both the physical and virtual classroom, leaving no opportunities for concerns to go overlooked. 

Solutions should enable staff members to report concerns from anywhere - many such platforms are available, including options completely free of charge. 

Communication and support remain key 

As with any major change, leadership must ensure they communicate the nature of the change and the reasoning behind it to parents, staff and students. This maintains a high level of confidence in the system and ensures that everybody knows who to talk to if they have questions or issues. 

Planning for if things go wrong 

If internet-based classrooms are a part of the teaching mix, online safeguarding issues will inevitably arise, and well-prepared staff must know how to address them. For instance, if something inappropriate comes up during a remote lesson, teachers should know what to do and they should always get help from the safeguarding lead. 

This means that there should a robust system for checking that standards are being upheld online. This may involve recording virtual lessons for later review but always being mindful of data protection legislation, or occasional drop-ins by other members of staff. 

Heading into a new world of teaching and safeguarding   

The coronavirus pandemic will permanently change what learning looks like. Safeguarding must be a fundamental consideration as education leaders establish the new paradigm – but given the incredible hard-work and ingenuity they have demonstrated during the pandemic, there is good reason to be optimistic.

Charlotte Aynsley, Safeguarding Advisor, Impero

You may also be interested in these articles:

Sponsored Video

Register, Login or Login with your Social Media account:


Upcoming FE Events

Advertiser Skyscrapers

Newsroom Activity

FE News: The Future of Education News Channel shared a video in channel. 10 hours 28 minutes ago

What do we need to keep from the past year of...

In partnership with Capita. Schools in 2019 looked much like schools in 1919. Schools in 2020 were radically different. Could it be, now that new...

FE News: The Future of Education News Channel shared a video in channel. 10 hours 28 minutes ago

How worried should we be about lost school time...

In partnership with Nuffield Foundation.The disruption to formal schooling over the past year has left children having covered less of the...

FE News: The Future of Education News Channel shared a video in channel. 10 hours 29 minutes ago

Have we lost sight of education’s purpose? | The...

In partnership with BigChange.There are reasons why the English school system is built the way it is: a complicated system of exams, assessment and...

Latest Education News

Further Education News

The FE News Channel gives you the latest education news and updates on emerging education strategies and the #FutureofEducation and the #FutureofWork.

Providing trustworthy and positive Further Education news and views since 2003, we are a digital news channel with a mixture of written word articles, podcasts and videos. Our specialisation is providing you with a mixture of the latest education news, our stance is always positive, sector building and sharing different perspectives and views from thought leaders, to provide you with a think tank of new ideas and solutions to bring the education sector together and come up with new innovative solutions and ideas.

FE News publish exclusive peer to peer thought leadership articles from our feature writers, as well as user generated content across our network of over 3000 Newsrooms, offering multiple sources of the latest education news across the Education and Employability sectors.

FE News also broadcast live events, podcasts with leading experts and thought leaders, webinars, video interviews and Further Education news bulletins so you receive the latest developments in Skills News and across the Apprenticeship, Further Education and Employability sectors.

Every week FE News has over 200 articles and new pieces of content per week. We are a news channel providing the latest Further Education News, giving insight from multiple sources on the latest education policy developments, latest strategies, through to our thought leaders who provide blue sky thinking strategy, best practice and innovation to help look into the future developments for education and the future of work.

In Jan 2021, FE News had over 173,000 unique visitors according to Google Analytics and over 200 new pieces of news content every week, from thought leadership articles, to the latest education news via written word, podcasts, video to press releases from across the sector, putting us in the top 2,000 websites in the UK.

We thought it would be helpful to explain how we tier our latest education news content and how you can get involved and understand how you can read the latest daily Further Education news and how we structure our FE Week of content:

Main Features

Our main features are exclusive and are thought leadership articles and blue sky thinking with experts writing peer to peer news articles about the future of education and the future of work. The focus is solution led thought leadership, sharing best practice, innovation and emerging strategy. These are often articles about the future of education and the future of work, they often then create future education news articles. We limit our main features to a maximum of 20 per week, as they are often about new concepts and new thought processes. Our main features are also exclusive articles responding to the latest education news, maybe an insight from an expert into a policy announcement or response to an education think tank report or a white paper.

FE Voices

FE Voices was originally set up as a section on FE News to give a voice back to the sector. As we now have over 3,000 newsrooms and contributors, FE Voices are usually thought leadership articles, they don’t necessarily have to be exclusive, but usually are, they are slightly shorter than Main Features. FE Voices can include more mixed media with the Further Education News articles, such as embedded podcasts and videos. Our sector response articles asking for different comments and opinions to education policy announcements or responding to a report of white paper are usually held in the FE Voices section. If we have a live podcast in an evening or a radio show such as SkillsWorldLive radio show, the next morning we place the FE podcast recording in the FE Voices section.

Sector News

In sector news we have a blend of content from Press Releases, education resources, reports, education research, white papers from a range of contributors. We have a lot of positive education news articles from colleges, awarding organisations and Apprenticeship Training Providers, press releases from DfE to Think Tanks giving the overview of a report, through to helpful resources to help you with delivering education strategies to your learners and students.


We have a range of education podcasts on FE News, from hour long full production FE podcasts such as SkillsWorldLive in conjunction with the Federation of Awarding Bodies, to weekly podcasts from experts and thought leaders, providing advice and guidance to leaders. FE News also record podcasts at conferences and events, giving you one on one podcasts with education and skills experts on the latest strategies and developments.

We have over 150 education podcasts on FE News, ranging from EdTech podcasts with experts discussing Education 4.0 and how technology is complimenting and transforming education, to podcasts with experts discussing education research, the future of work, how to develop skills systems for jobs of the future to interviews with the Apprenticeship and Skills Minister.

We record our own exclusive FE News podcasts, work in conjunction with sector partners such as FAB to create weekly podcasts and daily education podcasts, through to working with sector leaders creating exclusive education news podcasts.

Education Video Interviews

FE News have over 700 FE Video interviews and have been recording education video interviews with experts for over 12 years. These are usually vox pop video interviews with experts across education and work, discussing blue sky thinking ideas and views about the future of education and work.


FE News has a free events calendar to check out the latest conferences, webinars and events to keep up to date with the latest education news and strategies.

FE Newsrooms

The FE Newsroom is home to your content if you are a FE News contributor. It also help the audience develop relationship with either you as an individual or your organisation as they can click through and ‘box set’ consume all of your previous thought leadership articles, latest education news press releases, videos and education podcasts.

Do you want to contribute, share your ideas or vision or share a press release?

If you want to write a thought leadership article, share your ideas and vision for the future of education or the future of work, write a press release sharing the latest education news or contribute to a podcast, first of all you need to set up a FE Newsroom login (which is free): once the team have approved your newsroom (all content, newsrooms are all approved by a member of the FE News team- no robots are used in this process!), you can then start adding content (again all articles, videos and podcasts are all approved by the FE News editorial team before they go live on FE News). As all newsrooms and content are approved by the FE News team, there will be a slight delay on the team being able to review and approve content.

 RSS IconRSS Feed Selection Page