Appendix 4: Guidance for delivering organised online activities for children

Appendix 4: Guidance for delivering organised online activities for children

A risk assessment should be carried out for any online activity involving children. Any online activity should take place on approved online platforms only. These platforms will need to have the following features: 
⦁    Access to the platform is enabled only for the intended participants
⦁    Personal information (including names, contact details and email addresses) is only accessible to those with the right permissions and is not publicly viewable
⦁    Staff are able to remove people from the platform if necessary

Types of Online Activity 

Non-Interactive Livestreaming 
This section refers to live streaming video, online lectures, or webinars where participant video/audio is not enabled. The platform must:

⦁    Be appropriate for the participants’ age group
⦁    Enable you to restrict the audience to just the intended participants
⦁    Ensure that participants’ personal information (e.g. contact information) is not visible to anybody else presenting or viewing the stream
⦁    Enable you to reject or force somebody to leave the session if necessary
⦁    Enable you to control whether participants are able to have their videos/microphones on
⦁    You must make sure that you comply with any safeguarding policies belonging to the platform

Prior to running a live session, you should: 

⦁    Familiarise yourself with the University’s safeguarding policy
⦁    Ensure you have the contact details of your Designated Safeguarding Lead and Local Safeguarding Officer on hand and they are aware the session is taking place
⦁    Ensure you have enough staff to support the event. At least two members of staff should be present to supervise the activity (for example one member of staff presenting and the other member being present and monitoring any messages on the platform), and where an activity is being delivered for a partner school or college, a member of that school should be present at all times
⦁    Familiarise yourself with the platform privacy settings and know how to report offensive and abusive content
⦁    Make sure you are using an institutional account (not a personal account) • Ensure that all staff supervising the activity are familiar with the platform and understand how participants will be using it
⦁    Plan the structure and content of the activity carefully to ensure that discussions remain on topic
⦁    Define a clear time and space for the webinar to take place. (e.g. participants should only be able to contact the speakers/contributors and vice versa during the webinar on the agreed platform)

 You should also ensure that the participants:
⦁    Do not share private information about themselves
⦁    Do not respond to contact requests from people they do not know
⦁    Understand who they should contact if they hear anything upsetting or inappropriate 

During the live session:
⦁    Ensure that the session is taking place in a neutral area where nothing personal can be seen and there is nothing inappropriate in the background - use a neutral platform background if necessary
⦁    Supervising staff should monitor interactions (verbal and in live chats) to check they are appropriate and relevant and manage any which are not
⦁    If one staff member leaves the session for any reason (e.g. connection issues), they should get in contact with the other staff member as soon as possible (by phone if necessary) and attempt to re-join the session if possible
⦁    If re-joining is not possible, then a back-up staff member should be contacted and they should try to join the session as soon as possible to maintain the supervision ratio 
⦁    If it is not possible to have two members of staff present, then the event should be ended as soon as reasonably possible, and this should be communicated to all participants
⦁    At the start, the main speaker should remind participants how to keep themselves safe (as outlined above) in addition to reminding them of the ground rules
⦁    If staff share their screens at any point, they must ensure that there is nothing inappropriate on the screens/internet pages/browser history
⦁    Challenging behaviour or inappropriate comments should be dealt with immediately, which may involve muting or removing the particular participant from the platform
⦁    If a participant raises a safeguarding concern, or if a member of staff is concerned about a participant, the procedures for reporting a safeguarding concern should be followed

Interactive Livestreaming 
This section refers to live streaming video or webinars where participant video/audio is enabled. 
If live video and audio is being used, there should be careful consideration of the location that everyone uses. It is possible that participating children may be in their homes or bedrooms, and this may not be appropriate. You should choose a platform that allows you to disable users’ microphone and video cameras. If the nature of the activity requires interactive livestreaming, all of the above guidance on non-interactive livestreaming applies. 
However, in addition to this, you should also: 

⦁    Seek advice from the DSL or DDSL while completing a risk assessment and well in advance of the planned activity
⦁    Ensure that participants understand the delivery methods of online sessions and are clear of the purpose for this particular activity
⦁    Remind participants not to take photographs of the screens or share any images of the online session

Staff should not be in a private chat/video call 1-2-1 with a participant unless this was arranged in advance with manager approval. If this happens by accident (someone else loses signal etc.) the staff member should immediately come out of the breakout room/chat and end the session.

Back to safeguarding policy.