Web Monitoring and Filtering
WBC ICT Information: Inappropriate access to information via the internet is clearly a large area of concern for schools. As a school we have signed up to the full network service as offered by Warrington Borough Council ICT department and have followed guidance offered from them to change Primary DNS entries to recommended settings. We have a robust online safety policy that is reviewed annually or whenever deemed necessary due to changes in legislation or occurrences within school or the news.
Below is a small example of the categories of sites WBC are blocking for our school:
- Child Abuse
- Drug Abuse
- Explicit Violence
- Extremist Groups
- Illegal or Unethical
As the local authority’s ICT team look after web filtering for our school, they will investigate any web filtering related issues, including:
- Access to website containing inappropriate or potentially harmful material
- Access to websites containing educational or related material deemed appropriate for your school
- Providing web access reports on an annual basis
- They also ensure that the service is maintained and is accessible for all schools to use.
As WBC provide the filtering service to schools they are helping to support us in ensuring that all relevant safeguards, statements of assurance are being completed so that we can be assured that the web filtering service provided is meeting the guidelines published thus far.
The UK Safer Internet Centre have drawn up some provider response checklists which WBC are working with their supplier to ensure are completed.
The UK Safer Internet Centre provider checklists can be found here.
Our system provider “Fortinet” have submitted responses to both the monitoring and filtering checklists and can be found here:
From the work done with the WBC supplier, we are confident that the current web filtering service meets and exceeds the Ofsted guidelines.
The solution is fully resilient and is constantly updated via national feeds from the wider internet community to ensure that as new websites are created they are categorised and sanctioned accordingly.
The Network SLA that our school has signed up to includes several elements of which filtering forms a part. Above the web filtering aspect of the service, WBC ICT also provide the following features which are all currently active for our school:
- Antivirus - This prevents viruses which are hosted on websites from automatically infecting your endpoints. This does not however protect you if you actively click on a download link.
- Application control - This stops some applications running which utilise peer to peer (file-sharing) features.
- Intrusion Prevention - This element actively works to stop hackers from gaining access to our endpoints.
- Website Certificate Inspection - This feature checks websites to ensure any certificates they have are valid and up to date, this stops users ending up on some malicious websites or websites that are not being maintained appropriately.