FAQ & Support

For further information, feedback on technical issues or queries about the tool or the accreditation process, please see the frequently asked questions here.

If the FAQs do not provide the answer you require you can use the “Further Support” form below to seek further help.

    • What is the 360 degree safe tool?

      The 360 degree safe tool allows schools/academies to review their online safety provision, benchmark it against good practice and other schools/academies, produce action plans and access good practice resources.

    • Is there a charge to use the tool?

      No, the tool is provided free of charge by the South West Grid for Learning Trust. If a school wishes to apply for the Online Safety  Mark, charges will be made and details can be found under the Accreditation tab.

    • Where can I find additional information about the tool?

      This can be found under the Overview tab and includes a Start Guide, Structure Map and Case Studies A pdf version of the tool content can be printed from the reports page.

    • Can I just use the pdf version for my review?

      The pdf version is a useful aid to schools carrying out their review, but does not provide all the interactive functionality of the online tool – including the improvement actions, reports and links to good practice documents. We strongly recommend that you use the online tool but, if required, have the pdf version alongside you and your colleagues as you carry out your review.

    • How many accounts can each school have in 360 degree safe tool?

      The tool works on the basis of one account for each school/academy, but the school/academy can have as many users as it wishes. When the school is registered initially the first user will be given Administrator rights. The Administrator can add other users to the tool and will be able to see details of who is registered to use the tool under “my account” (from your name on the top right of the home page)

      It is important that if the Administrator leaves the school/academy or changes, that the school/academy informs us by emailing 360safe@swgfl.org.uk of the change so we can allocate Administrator rights to the new relevant staff member, or any other user that the school wishes to have administration rights.

    • How many staff members in a school can register for 360 safe tool?

      There is no limit to the number of people who can access the tool, in fact we encourage a team approach to using the tool and reviewing each aspect. The Administrator can add users under "my account". 

    • How do I register my school to use 360 degree safe tool?

      You should use the registration page. Schools/academies in England can register automatically by using their DfE number or postcode. If the school/academy is already registered the tool will tell you that this is the case. If you do not know who the Administrator is, or if the person is no longer at the school/academy you can ask for a new person to be made Administrator in their place. You should request this from the enquiries tab in the tool or by email to 360safe@swgfl.org.uk.

      If you do not have a DfE number, if the tool cannot find your school/academy, or you are a school in Northern Ireland you can register manually. The registration will need approval and this can take up to 5 days, but is usually done much sooner. 

    • If my school is in a Federation with other schools can we carry out a joint review, rather than separate reviews for each school?

      The tool is intended to be used by single schools. However, if it is a "hard federation" with one governing body and the policies and practice across schools in the Federation are identical, you may wish to carry out a single review for a Federation. We can rename one of the school accounts so it becomes the Federation account and we can transfer user permissions from one school to another or to a Federation account. If you would like more information and would like to request the setting up of a Federation account, please email: 360safe@swgfl.org.uk. Please note that a Federation can be assessed for the Online Safety Mark as long as it has a single Governing Body. 

    • How do I register for 360 degree safe if I work for a Local Authority/ MAT or other recognised organisation and need a demonstration account to work with schools?

      You should email 360safe@swgfl.org.uk and explain why the account is required.

    • How do I carry out my review?

      You should click on the “Review” tab. You will then be presented with a graph that shows your progress in the tool. Clicking on the review button at the bottom of the page will take you to the review starting page.  You can click on the Element bar, then the Strand and subsequently to the review pages for the 21 aspects.  On the review page the improvement actions will change depending on which level statement you choose. You can also access each aspect in the review from the graph on the review home page. To do this, click on that aspect in the graph where it intersects the red Online Safety Mark benchmark line.

    • What are the level statements?

      Each aspect has five level statements (5 to 1). You should choose the statement which is closest to that which best describes your current school/academy provision for that aspect. Click on your chosen level and then click save. The tool will provide an improvement action, which is different for each level. You can also add a commentary - current position, action plans and evidence. 

    • What are the commentary boxes for?

      You can use the commentary free text boxes as you wish. If you are going to apply for the Online Safety Mark you will be required to describe your provision for each aspect in the current position free text box, showing how it meets the benchmark level. You could use the boxes to work collaboratively with others in the school/academy, or with external consultants.

    • What reports are available?

      There are a number of  different reports available to schools/academies under the Review/Reporting tab. These provide various levels of detail about your review, progress and progress history in the review and allows you to select the date for which you wish the review to be printed.

    • How can I save my reports?

      When you call up a report, you will have the option of printing it or downloading it to your device. The tool does not save copies of reports, but you can print a report of the content entered into the tool by the school/academy by the current or a previous date. 

    • How can I download my Certificate of Commitment and Certificate of Progression?

      To access your certificates, go to the review page and click on the certificates link. You can then download certificates as they become available. 

    • What is the Online Safety Mark?

      The Online Safety Mark is a nationally recognised qualification which acknowledges and celebrates the quality of the school’s/academy’s online safety provision. Further information is available under the Accreditation tab.

    • How do I apply for the Online Safety Mark?

      To apply, the school/academy will need to reach the benchmark level for every aspect and must provide a description of their provision for each aspect in the “Current Position, Evidence and Improvement Actions” free text boxes on the review pages. An online application form can be found under the Accreditation tab. Schools/academies should note that many applications are initially rejected because the school has not provided sufficient detail in its commentary to show that it has met the required benchmark level in each aspect. In contrast, very few schools are unsuccessful, following the Assessor's visit, because of this initial sifting/quality assurance process 

    • How can I get further support?

      If the FAQs do not provide the answer you require you can use the Contact Form. The tool is intended to be easy to use, however external consultancy can be offered to schools that require it – but there would be charges for this. Details can be found under the Accreditation/SWGfL Consultancy tabs.

    • How has the tool been updated?

      The tool has a brand new design and layout. When logged in, schools will see a radar graph representing their school’s position compared to the national level as well as the benchmark, i.e. the Online Safety Mark, level in every aspect.

      There are now 21 aspects instead of 28, making it more focussed and simpler to use.

      The level statements and improvement actions have all been updated, to reflect changes in technology, behaviours, legislation and statutory guidance.

      The Online Safety Mark benchmark level has been increased from level 3 to level 2 in five aspects (Technical Security; Data Security; Staff Training; Agencies; and Outcomes/Impact.

    • What happened to your previous data?

      Your chosen levels and commentary have been transferred from the nearest equivalent aspect in the old tool to the new aspect in the new tool.

      The only exception to this is the new Monitoring aspect. Here the chosen level has been copied from the old Filtering and Monitoring aspect, but not the commentary.

      To check what has happened to data in each aspect, you should click on the orange bar at the top of each aspect review page which says: “This aspect has been updated since you last reviewed it. Review the changes here.” This will explain how the data in the new aspect has been transferred and whether there is a change to the benchmark level.

    • Can I still see my old data?

      Yes, you can print your “Detailed Summary Review” from the Reports section of the tool and you can select a historical date for the report.

    • Will it be harder to reach the new benchmark levels?

      Generally, no, the new benchmark level should be no harder to reach as we have adjusted the level statements to keep the requirements similar. The exception to this is the Data Protection benchmark level statement, which is more stringent because of the recent changes in data protection legislation, GDPR and related guidance.

    • What should existing users do next?

      Now is the time for you to update your review so that you can check your online safety policy and provision meets the latest guidance and good practice. Depending on your own and your school’s circumstances you may find that you have time at home or in school over the next few months to update your review.

      Carefully check the level statements to ensure that the level you chose previously is still relevant.

      Read the improvement actions to see what you might include in your action plans to move to the next level in each aspect and prioritise these.

      If you are considering an application for and Online Safety Mark assessment or re-assessment check that you meet the new benchmark levels and that your commentary describes clearly how your provision matches the benchmark level statement.

    • Can schools apply for the Online Safety Mark at present (while schools are closed)?

      Yes, applications are still being accepted and are very welcome.

      If you are due to be re-assessed (after three years) you are encouraged to update your review in the new tool and apply on the application form for re-assessment (which can be found on the Accreditation/Online Safety Mark page in the tool).

      In the current circumstances we are willing to extend the expiry date of your award – please email 360safe@swgfl.org.uk to discuss, though it should be possible, and may be easier, for a school to update its review and complete the application form over the next few months.

      If you are applying for the first time, you need to check that in your review you meet the new benchmark levels and that your commentary describes clearly how your provision matches the benchmark level statement and then apply using the online form on the Online Safety Mark page in the tool.

      Early in the summer term, 2020, we will be trialling some “remote” Online Safety Mark assessments. It may be possible to extend these to other new applicants, please contact 360safe@swgfl.org.uk to discuss. This may suit some schools and be difficult for others. It will also be possible, at present, to accept applications, appoint an Assessor, but delay the visit until such times that schools are open and on a date that suits the school.

    • Can schools be assessed against the previous version of the tool?

      We would encourage schools to update their review and be assessed against the new criteria.

      However, it will be possible for schools to be assessed against the previous criteria until October 31st, 2020 should they so wish. We would use the “historic report” for the school at the time the tool was updated. We would expect that to have been recently reviewed by the school prior to the update – otherwise it would be well out of date by the time of the assessment.