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 E-Safety & Social Media Policy  


CTS Training is committed to the availability of digital technology to enhance the learning experience. However, with these new technologies (particularly internet-based) come risks associated with invasion of privacy, cybercrime, and safeguarding/prevention issues due to:

•    Lack of awareness and understanding of the risks associated with technology and the preventative measures required to prevent hacking, viruses, etc.

•    Availability and evaluation of quality information found on the internet in terms of accuracy and relevance.

•    Implications of sharing personal information through electronic communication platforms such as email and social media, resulting in inappropriate contact or communication with unknown individuals.

•    Copyright infringement due to plagiarism or illegal downloading and sharing of files.

•    The taking and distribution of personal images or video footage without an individual’s knowledge or consent.

•    Access to illegal, harmful, or inappropriate content such as images, video, written media, and games.

It is imperative that a dynamic approach is used to adapt to the rapidly changing digital landscape, and that a balance is struck between guaranteeing learner safety whilst still ensuring the availability of quality digital provision. This is the focus of the CTS e-Safety and social media Policy which runs parallel with other relevant policies including ‘Acceptable Use of ICT’ and ‘Safeguarding and Prevent Policy.’ We believe that safety is as important in the virtual world as it is in the real world.

Scope of Policy

The E-Safety & Social Media Policy applies to staff, learners, and any other person or organisation which may have, or require, access to our IT-based systems.


Internet usage may include (but is not limited to) the following activities:

•    Use in the classrooms to support and enrich learning. 
•    Use of social networking, and other web-based communication tools that enable learners and tutors to collaborate outside of the training environment to aid learning, research, and social exchange.
•    Use of online learning and/or undertaking of external assessments/examinations and initial and diagnostic assessments.
•    Use of remote learning technologies to complete tutor set work or revision from home.
•    The ability to contact professional organisations and individuals in different fields of expertise for the purpose of technical support and knowledge.
•    Enhance staff performance and professional development through access to quality educational materials and good curriculum practice.
•    A means of processing and storage of central administration data.
•    Remote access to email and electronic documents outside of office hours or when working from home (restricted to staff only).


Staff Responsibilities


You must not access or attempt to access any internet sites that contain any of the following: 

•    Material of a sexual, pornographic, or obscene nature. 
•    Material of a discriminatory nature. 
•    Material that promotes an extremist or terrorist ideology.
•    Material pertaining to the purchase of firearms.

Should you access any prohibited sites unintentionally, you must report the incident to your manager for it to be logged. Deliberate accessing of certain material on CTS ICT equipment or personal devices will be considered gross misconduct resulting in disciplinary action, which may result in termination of employment. CTS Training has appropriate filters and sonic walls in place to prevent staff or learners from accessing any of the content detailed above via CTS desktop PCs or electronic devices and will be routinely monitored all to ensure no attempt has been made to access such content. If a website is blocked that staff or learners feel should not be then a request should be made to managers. 

Social Media

Social Media sites should not be used by staff during working hours except where learners are being educated on the safe use of social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, etc, or when staff with permission are using CTS Social Media accounts. Where the use of social media is taking place, the tutor supervising the learners must ensure that all security protocols are adhered to and that privacy settings are set to a level that ensures profiles are not accessible and all personal details remain private. Learners will be given access to the Wi-Fi for use at break and lunch times only or for when access to the internet is required as part of their programme at CTS Training, Learners will be given a temporary Wi-Fi code, and this will allow them to access CTS secure Wi-Fi network. Learners may choose to access social media during these times, and it is therefore imperative that they are trained on the safe use of social media. Learners should not be allowed to use their personal electronic devices in the classroom for any reason other than if required for part of the session they are attending. It is the responsibility of the tutor to ensure that mobile phones are not used during sessions as part of ongoing classroom management. 

Members of staff should never knowingly become ‘friends’ with learners on any social media site or engage with learners using social media or other internet-based platforms. 


Staff should help educate learners in keeping safe especially vulnerable groups. Whilst regulation and technical solutions (such as filtering systems) are important, they must be balanced with educating learners to take a responsible approach. The education of learners in e-safety is an essential part of using technology in classes. Staff should act as good role models in their own use of ICT.

Where Internet use is pre-planned in sessions or enrichment activities, learners should be directed to sites that are appropriate for their use and procedures should be followed for reporting any unsuitable material that is found on Internet searches. Where practicable staff should pre-check sites and any possible searches.

Where learners can freely search the Internet staff should be vigilant in monitoring the content of websites in case there is any unsuitable material. 

Staff should be aware of the potential for cyber-bullying in their sessions where malicious messages e.g., using forums on the VLE (MOODLE etc) and social networking sites, or via internal class emails or text messages on mobile phones etc, which can cause hurt or distress.

Learners should be taught to be critically aware of the materials/content they can access online and be guided to validate the accuracy of information.

Learners should be taught how to keep themselves safe online and the importance of having strong passwords and never sharing their personal information online. 

CTS is committed to ensuring all learners are safe and this policy should be read in conjunction with the CTS Acceptable Use ICT Policy and Safeguarding and Prevent Policy. 

Images and Videos

Staff must not upload photos or videos to any social media or other website or blog without the express consent of the learner (or in the event of them being under the age of 18), their parent or their guardian.


When communicating with external organisations or learners via e-mail, your allocated CTS email address should be always used. Never contact an external organisation or learner from a private email address. Be conscious of the written word and if it could be misconstrued by the recipient, leading to spurious allegations against you.

Although the CTS network is protected by anti-virus software, it is still possible for an email containing a virus to arrive in a member of staff’s inbox. Attachments should only be opened if they are from a known and trusted source. Files ending in .exe must never be opened.
Passwords to your email account must be kept confidential, be periodically changed (as automatically instructed), and must never be disclosed to another member of staff or learner.

File Sharing

Technology such as peer-to-peer (P2P) and bit torrents are not permitted on the CTS network due to the risk of breaching the Copyrights and Trademarks Act.

General Use of CTS ICT Resources

Staff must never adjust any of the settings on their PC/laptop or install any software without consent as it may result in network security being affected. CTS’s GDPR Policy should be referenced, and Managers should be consulted prior to the use of any external devices or media such as USB memory sticks, CD-ROMs, etc.

General Data Protection Regulation

The protocols detailed in the CTS GDPR and Communications Policy must be always adhered to regarding electronic data, its storage, and transmission. Where required, consideration should be given to secure data encryption. 

As per the Acceptable Use of ICT Policy staff should note that internet and email activity is subject to monitoring.

Learner Responsibilities

The use of ICT has huge benefits to your learning however CTS has a duty of care to ensure you are safe and are not exposed to or able to access any illegal or inappropriate content. Wherever possible we aim to provide ICT resources that are appropriate for the purpose. Learners are encouraged to bring in their own ICT equipment and to access various technologies both in class and outside but must follow the CTS eSafety and Acceptable Use ICT policy when in class. 

We ask all learners to participate in e-safety activities in the class and to report any suspected misuse of our equipment to a member of staff. Learners and staff are expected to:

•    Behave in a safe and responsible manner. 
•    Treat equipment with respect. 
•    Check first with their tutor before using USB/flash memory key(s) on CTS ICT equipment. 
•    Be polite and do not use e-mail, social media, blogs, etc to make negative comments, bully, or insult others.
•    Use the resources only for educational purposes.

If you have any questions regarding your use of the IT equipment at CTS, please speak with your tutor or the Manager. The deliberate misuse of the IT equipment or behaving in a way that is deemed as bullying or offensive to staff or other learners will result in disciplinary action being taken and could result in you being dismissed from programme. 

You will be given a unique username and password when you start your programme with CTS. This will allow you to log in to CTS ICT equipment. It is your responsibility to remember your login details and to keep them safe. Do not give your login details to any other learner. If you forget your password, you should inform your tutor and they will arrange for this to be reset. The ICT department will monitor the websites each user has accessed in line with our Acceptable Use ICT policy and Safeguarding and Prevent Policy. If any learner is found to have accessed any websites that are prohibited at CTS, then disciplinary action will be taken. 

Use of the Internet

Internet access is provided to help you with learning activities such as research. It is not to be used to access anything illegal, or anything that could be deemed as offensive. This includes (but is not limited to):

•    Material of a sexual, pornographic, or obscene nature. 
•    Material of a discriminatory nature. 
•    Material that promotes an extremist or terrorist ideology.
•    Material pertaining to the purchase of firearms.

If you are unsure, or if you come across anything you feel is inappropriate, turn your computer monitor off and inform your tutor immediately. Never try to bypass the security by using proxy sites, these are all monitored.

You will be given access to the Wi-Fi for use at break and lunch times only or for when access to the internet is required as part of their programme at CTS Training. CTS will provide you with a temporary Wi-Fi code and this will allow you to access CTS's secure Wi-Fi network. Some of you may choose to access social media during these times and it is therefore imperative that when doing so you abide by the terms of this policy. If any learner is found to breach this policy, then CTS reserves the right to block access to the Wi-Fi and disciplinary action may be taken.

Data Storage

You are only permitted to store data that is relevant to your course. Personal data such as documents, music, or photos are not permitted due to potential breach of copyright, containing illegal material, and it is taking up space on the computer hard drive or network servers. You will be supported to create a CV as part of your programme with CTS. This should not be saved on PC desktops, and this will mean other learners can access your personal data which is against GDPR legislation. Your tutor will support you with the storage of your CV within your home drive which is secured against your personal login. CTS staff and Tutors are permitted to access these drives to confirm compliance with this policy and to mark or review coursework.


Social Media 

Unless part of a lesson, social media is not permitted on CTS computers or other electronic devices except during break and lunch times. Outside of programme hours, you must not upload photos or videos to any social media website (eg. Facebook) of any member of CTS staff or fellow learners without their consent. Be conscious of any comments made on a social media website about another person or CTS as an organisation; they could be libelous, or at the very least hurtful to the individual. It is not advisable to upload pictures or videos of yourself, as they can easily be edited and used against you.

Always keep your personal information private and never post personal information such as your full name, date of birth, address, phone number, etc. Small pieces of information can easily be pieced together to form a comprehensive insight into your personal life and daily activities. Also, be careful what you post online, future employers have been known to search social media sites.

Consider using a nickname and only inviting people you know. Beware of fake profiles and people pretending to be somebody else. If something does not feel right, follow your instincts, and report it to your tutor or other appropriate adult. Never create a fake profile as a joke and pretend to be somebody else – this can have serious consequences. Some social networking sites have a chat facility. You should never chat with anyone that you do not know or do not recognise. It is recommended that you never meet a stranger after meeting them online and if a stranger asks you to meet up then you should tell somebody immediately. 

Do not request any member of the CTS staff to be a friend on Social Media sites. 

Social Networking Sites - Issues to be Aware Off

Snapchat: It has millions of users from around the globe. However, the popular “bubble messaging” app does have its fair share of privacy and security issues that put many users’ privacy at risk. For instance, the app was hacked in 2014 and a large number of personal photos of Snapchat users were publicised. Apart from that, the app does destroy the snaps, but there is a short window that people may use to take screenshots of the snaps and later exploit it.

TikTok: is one of the most popular video-sharing apps with around 500 million active users worldwide. While thirteen is the minimum age required to use the app, anyone can download it as there is no proper way to verify age. Another concern for parents is the inappropriate language used in some videos, which is not suitable for kids. Finally, all TikTok accounts are public by default – this means anybody can view the videos uploaded by your children and contact them.

Instagram: is a widely known photo-sharing application that allows you to capture and share photos with your followers. Due to the ever-growing popularity of the app, it has become a potential target for hackers who are after users’ sensitive photos and information. Instagram is linked to high amounts of online bullying due to the nature of the app and the users receiving likes for images they post of themselves named “Selfies.”

No action is foolproof, but there are steps students can take to protect themselves online and lessen the chance of becoming the victim of unsolicited messages:

•    Never give out personal information, passwords, PIN numbers, etc.
•    Remember that personal information includes your name, age, e-mail address, the names of family or friends, your home address, phone number (cell or home), or school name.
•    Choose a username that your friends will recognise but strangers will not (such as a nickname used at school).
•    Do not submit or post pictures of yourself to any website, including your own.
(These can easily be copied and posted to any other website.)
•    Passwords are secret. Never tell anyone your password except your parents or guardians.
•    Do not respond to "spam" or unsolicited e-mail.
•    Set up e-mail and instant messenger accounts with your parents.
•    Do not respond to, or engage in, cyber abuse.

Sexting and Explicit Images

Sexting is when you send a sexual message, photo, or video to someone else. It could be a picture of you, but sometimes people send pictures and videos of other people.
Messages could be to a friend, boyfriend, girlfriend, or someone online.

Sexting includes:

•    Being partly or completely naked, or in your underwear.
•    Posing in a sexual position.
•    Sending ‘nudes’ or ‘dick pics’.
•    Talking about sexual things you are doing or want to do.
•    Doing sexual things on a live stream.

If you have sent a nude and you are worried about what might happen, there are things you can do:

•    Ask for the message to be deleted.
•    Explain that you are not comfortable with them keeping the picture and ask them to delete it.
•    Do not reply to threats.
•    Do not reply to someone trying to threaten or extort you, and do not send more photos. It can be scary, but it can help you to keep in control.
•    Talk to someone you trust especially if you are being threatened.
•    Use Report Remove to get it removed from the internet.
•    If you are under 18 and a nude image or video has been shared online ChildLine can help you get it removed from the internet.
•    Report what has happened.
•    If you are under 18 and you are worried or being threatened, you can make a report to CEOP. Making a report is not confidential but they can help to stop what is happening.
•    Get help with how you are feeling.

Sexting should always be consensual. That means it is not okay for someone to pressure you to send a nude.

Feeling pressured can include:

•    Feeling like you owe someone something.
•    Worrying that they will not like you as much if you do not.
•    Being asked repeatedly.
•    Not wanting to hurt someone’s feelings.
•    Worrying about getting into trouble or being hurt if you do not.
•    Being offered money or a gift.
•    Anything else that makes you feel like you must send a nude.
•    If someone will not stop messaging you or asking you for nudes, blocking and reporting them can help to keep you and other young people safe.

It might be tempting to ask for a nude when you are flirting or in a relationship. But it can also make someone feel uncomfortable or scared.

If you want to ask for a nude, think about:

•    How the other person will feel.
•    Being asked for a nude, especially when you do not want to, can make a lot of people feel uncomfortable.
•    How old you both are?
•    It is against the law to ask someone who is under 18 to send a nude, even if you are under 18 as well.
•    Whether it will put pressure on the other person.
•    Making someone feel bad for not sending a nude, even if you do not mean to, is a type of pressure. If you are not sure if someone would feel pressured, do not ask.
•    How you would feel in their position.
•    It can help to think about how you would feel if someone asked you to do something you were not comfortable with or put pressure on you.
•    What might happen if you do?
•    Making someone feel uncomfortable or upset by asking for a nude can have a big effect on your relationship with them.

Even if someone sends you a nude or sexual message, it is not okay to share it without their permission, also if the image of the person is under 18 then you are committing an offence.
Anyone who has or sends indecent images of someone under the age of 18 is breaking the law. Both having and distributing images of this nature is an offence under the Sexual Offences Act 2003. Encouraging someone to take or send 'sexts' can also be illegal and the taking off, possession, and distribution of these images can result in severe criminal punishments including Prison.

Cyber Bullying
Can be defined as sending or posting harmful or malicious messages or images through e-mail, instant messages, mobiles, and websites. 

Examples of cyberbullying include:

•    Sending cruel, vicious, and sometimes threatening messages.
•    Creating websites that contain stories, cartoons, pictures, and jokes ridiculing others.
•    Posting pictures of classmates online with the intent to embarrass them.
•    Breaking into an e-mail account and sending vicious or embarrassing material to others.
•    Engaging in IM (instant messaging) to trick another person into revealing sensitive or personal information and forwarding that information to others and taking a picture of a person using a digital phone camera and sending that picture electronically to others without consent.

If you are the victim of a cyberbully:

•    Do not reply to messages from cyberbullies.
•    Tell an adult you know and trust.
•    If the bullying is occurring through text messaging, use call display or dial *69 to identify the phone number and have it tracked through your mobile/pager service provider.
•    Instant messages (e.g., Yahoo Instant Messenger, Microsoft Messenger) are best handled by blocking messages from certain senders.  
•    Bullies are likely to register for an anonymous e-mail account such as Hotmail.
•    If you receive threatening e-mail messages, instruct your e-mail program to block messages from that address. Then inform your Internet Service Provider (ISP).
•    If physical threats are made or the bullying escalates, inform your local police.
•    Do not erase or delete messages from cyberbullies. You do not have to read them but keep them as evidence. You may get similar messages from other accounts.
•    The police, your ISP, and/or your telephone company can use these messages to help you.
•    If necessary, get a new phone number, account, or e-mail address and give it out to only one person at a time whom you know you can trust.

If you have any concerns relating to cyberbullying, offending material, or unacceptable behaviour please report them to a member of the Senior Management Team.

Mobile Phones

Many modern mobile phones function very similarly to a computer insofar as you can access Facebook, YouTube, email, and the internet. This can be a great way of staying connected with your friends and family. But, in the same way, that some internet services can be used inappropriately, the same is true with mobile phones. Use your phone in the same sensible way that you would a computer.

Mobile phones should not be used in the classroom without the permission of the tutor.

Ongoing Training 

You will receive ongoing e-safety training during your time at CTS as part of our commitment to keep all our learners safe. If you have any cause for concern or feel you have been bullied online, then you should report this to a member of CTS immediately. 

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