Highland schools successful use of the 360Scotland tool in preparation for 1:1 Chromebooks rollout
 
Robert Quigley describes the successful take up of the 360Scotland tool across Highland schools.
 
Since taking up my secondment in early September, away from my ‘usual’ post as Head Teacher of Milton of Leys Primary in Inverness, it became very clear that across Highland Schools, there was no strategic approach to tackling online safety. As with many other schools across Scotland and the UK, there were pockets of good practice in individual classrooms where class teachers who have a personal interest in online safety, had planned and delivered a variety of Online Safety learning, but this was not being ‘joined up’ across the whole school or even further, across Highland region.
 
SWGfL’s 360 Tool has been instrumental in providing a ‘base line’ of expectation for all schools in Highland by allowing schools to speak the same ‘language’ in terms of how they describe their practice and progress. Tying in directly with an exciting and innovative 1:1 rollout of Chromebooks across all Highland Schools, the 360 tool is ideal for engaging schools in the self-evaluation process as a starting point for preparing to receive their devices and to begin embedding an approach to digital learning.
 
Since the 360 Tool has been introduced to schools, it has been very warmly received and although perhaps daunting at first due to schools feeling that they are very much at the beginning of the online safety journey, once they have begun engaging with the audit, nearly all schools to date, have commented on how easy and intuitive the tool actually is. In one case, a Head Teacher had made the suggestion that they wished ‘How Good is Our School’ (Scottish Self-evaluation framework) could have been designed in a similar fashion!
 
Other feedback across the schools who have engaged in the process to date, has included positive feedback on how the tool has encouraged them to better provide opportunities for pupil voice in the field of digital learning-either through creating a standalone Online Safety Committee or adding Online Safety into Pupil Council remit or by recruiting Young Digital Leaders who have been instrumental in providing pupil validation to self-evaluation.
 
At present, over 40 Highland schools have registered for the tool and the vast majority of these schools are now actively working through the process, supported by myself as part of the newly devised Highland Strategy for Digital Citizenship which requires schools to appoint a member of staff to become Digital Leader and undertake training which includes a significant section devoted to outlining the 360 Tool. This support has ensured that once the school starts working through the audit, they are finding that the process is relatively painless and not onerous at all.
 
In addition, a small number of schools who have been inspected by Education Scotland, have also made comment to how positively the action plan/report has been received in relation to the ‘Safe Guarding’ section of the pre-inspection paperwork and discussion during the visit as the report covers a number of key aspects within the inspection.
 
In conclusion, the Highland reception to the 360 Audit Tool has been very positive and we are well on the way to having all Highland Schools at the stage of having at least completed the audit and therefore being on the ‘Progression to Safety Online’ with a small number of schools actively considering applying for the ‘Online Safety Mark’, which would make these Highland Schools amongst the first in Scotland to achieve such accreditation.
 
Over the next five months, it is hoped that the vast majority of Highland Schools will have registered for the tool and that many will have successfully completed the self-evaluation ahead of their 1:1 rollout. This in turn, will certainly help to ensure that Highland pupils are increasingly able to stay safe online, whilst developing their digital literacy.
 
Robert A Quigley
(Head Teacher, Milton of Leys Primary, Inverness)
Currently on Digital Citizenship/Internet Safety Secondment