Council for the Curriculum, Examinations and Assessment


The Importance of E-Safety and Appropriate Online Behaviour

Schools play a key role in equipping pupils to stay safe online, and whole-school planning in this area is essential. The Levels of Progression for Using ICT include this statement: 'Pupils should demonstrate, when and where appropriate, knowledge and understanding of e-safety including acceptable online behaviour.'

E-safety is not a separate assessment criterion; rather, schools must integrate it across the curriculum at a level appropriate to each pupil. It should be embedded across teaching and learning, not 'bolted on', to ensure that pupils have opportunities to develop their knowledge and understanding in this area. This includes a focus on:

  • pupils' conduct online;
  • their contact with others; and
  • the content they access and produce.

Netiquette is sometimes used to describe acceptable and appropriate online behaviour. It covers, for example:

  • being courteous;
  • being diplomatic;
  • showing sensitivity to others (including cultural awareness);
  • using acceptable, appropriate language; and
  • using and publishing acceptable, appropriate content.

Schools should emphasise the dangers of pupils making personal information available via social networking sites, personal web pages, blogging etc. (Education in safe and effective practices)