Some teachers may have reservations about bringing their class online to chat with scientists and we can understand that. We take safeguarding seriously and our site is secure and moderated. To reassure any hesitant teachers, here are some steps we take to safeguard young people in our online activities.
Who’s in charge here?
We have a Designated Safeguarding Officer (DSO) and a Data Protection Officer (DPO).
Our DSO trains other staff on safeguarding procedures and reviews and actions any concerns raised by the team. The DSO passes safeguarding concerns to the relevant class teacher when necessary.
Our DPO makes sure student data is kept safe, and then deleted within 3 months of their involvement in the activity.
Who’s DBS checked?
All staff managing and moderating the activities are DBS checked and receive safeguarding training. While scientists and engineers receive guidance on answering questions from young people, they are not DBS checked by us. However, scientists and engineers do not have any contact with students that isn’t supervised by a DBS-checked member of staff — think of it as inviting a guest speaker into school and ensuring they are with a member of school staff at all times throughout their visit.
What about safeguarding users from other students?
All comments and questions from students are pre-moderated. This means we check every single one before they are posted for others to see. When a teacher books a live chat, only students in their class can join in and a moderator is always present.
The moderator (and class teacher) has the ability to delete comments and ban students from the chat. We can also permanently remove users from the site should we need to.
Do you promote e-safety?
We’re committed to keeping young people safe online and teaching them how to use the internet positively. Chemistry teacher Emily commented on how the activity is good for students’ health and wellbeing, by using the internet chats as a relevant educational tool: “this activity helps promote positive online communication and staying safe online, rather than fighting against social media and similar technology in school.”