Online Safety Policy

Wooden figures stand in a circle together

Control of document

Adult Community Learning Senior Leadership Team

Policy aims and intention

This policy will ensure that ACL has a secure framework for remote learning in which staff and learners can work safely.  Associated policies will be updated to reflect remote learning requirements as they are reviewed.

Responsibility Group

ACL Senior Leadership Team

Policy Writer

Vice Principal Quality and Compliance

Date of acceptance

June 2020

Last review date  

November 2021

Next review date  

November 2022


All ACL staff, all ACL learners, and other stakeholders.

Stored location     

ComEd Pool/Policies and Strategies.
VLE and Staff Portal

The Policy


Remote learning takes place when a learner and member of staff giving instruction are not in the same place and the learning session is instead delivered through downloading information, telephone calls, webinars, or live streaming.  This may be a part of curriculum design or as part of a response to ACL closure arrangements.  It is essential that this is undertaken in a safe way, supported by appropriate risk assessments.

This includes but is not limited to:

  • Learners working from personal devices such as computers, tablets, mobile phones
  • Live learning through streamed video conferencing
  • Pre-recorded learning
  • Provision of online learning materials i.e., through the VLE/ Teams, e.g. My Maths
  • Electronic chat forums and virtual classrooms
  • E-Portfolio
  • Setting and marking of assignments, electronically or via the post.


All members of staff are required to work within the clear guidelines of ACL’s Safeguarding policies and follow the guidance which remains applicable to remote online learning.  Staff will continue to raise concerns during remote working, following ACL procedures and alerting the safeguarding team to any disclosures or concerns.

Types of abuse online include:

  • cyberbullying

  • emotional abuse
  • grooming
  • sexting
  • sexual abuse
  • sexual exploitation
  • radicalisation
  • Peer on Peer abuse

For more information on the above and guidance on reporting please refer to the Safeguarding Policies.

Learner Welfare forms are a vital part of safeguarding our learners and should still be completed when learners chose to do so using the Online Learner Welfare form. These forms will be returned electronically, and the information added to TERMs, it will not be shared with other staff unless this is appropriate such as in a safeguarding concern but will be accessible to the tutors teaching that learner.

ACL requires tutors to embed teaching about online safety and risks of harm, within a whole service approach.  This instruction will include how to use technology safely, responsibly, respectfully, and securely, and where to go for help and support when learners have concerns about content or contact on the internet or other online technologies. This online safety training will cover the ACL Netiquette, how to stay safe and how to behave online.

Staff have a responsibility to avoid crossing professional boundaries by not sharing personal information and putting themselves and learners at risk.

ACL will make every possible effort to ensure reasonable adjustments are made for learners including issues around availability and accessibility of learner’s devices and internet connectivity.



  • All staff and learners should be alert to safeguarding risks online and report any concerns to the Safeguarding Team.
  • Remote learning operates within the quality frameworks of the 2019 Education Inspection Framework, and the Matrix Standards.
  • The expectations of teaching, learning and assessment within ACL apply to all remote learning.

This includes but is not limited to:

  • Learning materials are of a high standard, relate to the intended course learning outcomes and are inclusive, current, and accessible to distance learners.
  • Where possible complex ideas are presented in more than one format and/or approach to support different learning styles.
  • Activities consolidate learning and contribute to learners’ wider skills development. Further relevant reading and development opportunities are signposted.
  • Learner work is assessed by tutors and assessors detailed feedback provided.
  • Learners are guided by tutors and assessors to the right learning resources to improve their work.
  • All ACL developed online provision uses the templated course on the ACL VLE and Microsoft Teams for Education. All courses to contain this information as a minimum to ensure consistency across the Service.
  • Staff ensure they use ECC allowed software for delivery.
  • Learners’ personal details are not to be downloaded or stored by staff on a personal home computer. Details should be kept in a secure location on One Drive.
  • If a session is recorded all learners know it is being recorded and where it will be stored for what purpose (live recordings must have captions within 14 days from Sept 2020).
  • Tutors ensure they have suitable evidence for RARPA/ accreditation and audit purposes.
  • Learning materials used, including pictures and videos, comply with copyright restrictions and legal requirements for accessibility.
  • ACL learners are signposted to the online End of Course Evaluation form for completion.
  • ACL session visit team oversee the consistency and quality of learning being delivered and/or work being set.
  • Remote learning to be accessible. This includes adherence to accessibility guidance relating to web-based materials.
  • Staff are supported through workforce development opportunities to develop the skills needed to deliver remote learning effectively and safely.

Confidentiality, Information Sharing and GDPR

ACL must ensure that it can demonstrate full compliance with the principles of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). All staff are required to be familiar with Data Protection guidance, accessible on the VLE/ECC Intranet, or from their line manager. Any data breach or suspected data breach must be referred immediately to your line manager.


Learners participating in remote learning to abide by the ACL Charter and all ACL policies. These can be found on the VLE or by contacting your tutor/assessor.


It is important to recognise that the online classroom is in fact a classroom and certain behaviours are expected when you communicate with those engaging with you. These guidelines are known as netiquette.


• Be on time. Sessions will start and finish according to the timetable. If you join late, please don’t interrupt the session. Remain silent. Your tutor will support you.
• Be prepared. Come to the session with any course materials or resources that you have been asked to have ready.
• Where possible, choose a quiet location where you will not be interrupted – away from pets, children, music playing etc.
• Be ready to take part and contribute to the session. This can be difficult, especially when you don’t already know other learners. However, to make the most of your learning experience we ask that you share ideas, ask questions, and contribute to the discussions.


  • Don’t share your password with anyone – this will protect you from online scams etc.
  • Change your password if you think someone else might know it.
  • Only share an email address or other personal information if necessary.
  • Be prepared to be visible. Think about what is behind you in view – is it something you don’t want others to see, please ensure you have no personal photos of family on show? Teams allows you to blur your background if needed.


  • Be respectful of others and their opinions.
  • Be careful with personal information (both yours and others’).
  • Dress appropriately
  • Beware of using reply all – not everyone may need to see your message.
  • Remember to stay on topic.
  • Remember to listen and not talk over each other – this comes with practice! Mute your speaker when not talking.
  • Treat everyone with respect. Your virtual classroom should be a safe place. Remember your tutor and classmates are real people.
  • Do not use strong or offensive language.
  • Please do not to write or say anything that you wouldn’t say to someone in person, and bear in mind how you would feel if you were on the receiving end.
  • Please remember we still need to keep each other safe. If you are concerned about your own or another person’s safety, please tell your tutor or report it using the Safeguarding number. (0788 301629)

Adapted from:


Working Safely with Display Screen Equipment (DSE)

While preparing and/or participating in distance learning staff and learners are responsible for looking after their own health. This includes ensuring they have adequate arrangements in place to maintain good posture and reduce DSE related risks. Any member of staff who has concerns about their health and safety should contact their line manager in the first instance.

Staying Safe Online

Staff and learners are recommended to read Get Safe Online the advice and information for families and individuals on the National Cyber Security Centre website . This includes top tips for staying safe online and how to protect your data and devices.


  • Session visits of remote delivery
  • Moderation and standardisation of remote learning
  • Learner feedback
  • Personal Development Records