Internet monitoring and reporting: How Fastvue can help with the latest KCSiE requirements

Digital safeguarding and online safetey in schools and classrooms


Simon May

The Keeping Children Safe in Education (KCSiE) guidelines are of great importance for the safety and well-being of students. Not only are they designed to keep students safe online, but they’re also a legal requirement for schools to follow. 

The KCSiE guidelines undergo updates annually to reflect the evolving landscape of online safety and safeguarding practices. In the latest version (2023), schools are required to follow the requirements set out in the Cyber Security Standards, which creates a greater focus on web filtering and monitoring, stating schools must protect all devices on their network with a properly configured boundary or software firewall. 

With regards to monitoring, it states:

“... for monitoring to be effective it must pick up incidents urgently, usually through alerts or observations, allowing you to take prompt action and record the outcome.”

In the UK, Designated Safeguarding Leads (DSLs) and the IT Team must understand these updates and implement appropriate measures to ensure they are adhering to them effectively. 

Most schools do not have the necessary technical skills in-house, which is where Fastvue comes in; helping to navigate the ongoing KCSiE changes and ensure compliance.

Web filtering and monitoring standards

The KCSiE guidelines provide a list of monitoring strategies including:       

  • Physically monitoring by staff watching screens of users

  • Live supervision by staff on a console with device management software 

  • Network monitoring using log files of internet traffic and web access 

  • Individual device monitoring through software or third-party services

Physically monitoring the screens of users is often not a viable solution due to the lack of staff resources in classrooms. Installing device management software also has challenges, especially in BYOD environments.

Given you are required to have a firewall in place, the third option of using the firewall’s log files arguably becomes the most cost-effective and scalable strategy to meet the monitoring requirements.

Fastvue Reporter works with all the major firewall providers and takes care of all the technical requirements around monitoring their log files, alerting you to all the online safety issues required by KCSiE guidelines and PREVENT legislation in the UK. 

To demonstrate how Fastvue Reporter can help schools and other educational institutes meet the KCSiE requirements, we’ve taken snippets from the 2023 guidelines and outlined Fastvue’s solutions.

Filtering and monitoring standardsFastvue’s solution
The senior leadership team are responsible for: procuring filtering and monitoring systems and overseeing reportsFastvue provides the capability to provide both ad-hoc real-time reports and scheduled reporting that can be automatically emailed in a variety of formats to senior leaders, and retrospective reporting on many criteria including user, date, web category, site, search phrase, video title, and department.
You need to understand: what your filtering system currently blocks or allows and why.Fastvue’s simple user interface makes it very easy to report on what is being or allowed blocked in real-time.Fastvue also highlights allowed undesirable sites and applications, and blocked productive websites and applications, enabling network administrators to keep on top of their security policies. The reason a site or application is blocked or allowed is also displayed in the IT Network and Security report, such as ‘Blocked due to URL category’, or ‘Allowed due to URL white list’. 
Check that your filtering system is blocking access to illegal child sexual abuse material, unlawful terrorist content, adult contentFastvue’s Safeguarding Report shows access or attempted access to websites that fall into any of the defined unacceptable web categories. These categories include child sexual abuse, terrorist content, adult content and more. The firewall action is displayed next to each website, clearly illustrating whether it was blocked or allowed by the filtering system.
Your firewall and/or filtering system should block harmful and inappropriate content, without unreasonably impacting teaching and learning.Fastvue not only shows the blocked website and category, but it also displays the ‘visited site’ and monitors the context of the visit. For example, a student may be looking at a sports website that includes some gambling advertisements that are blocked by the firewall. Instead of simply alerting that the student was blocked from a gambling website, Fastvue provides the context that the student was actually on a sports website.
Your filtering systems should allow you to identify device name or ID, IP address, and where possible, the individual. The time and date of attempted access. The search term or content being blockedFastvue’s reporting provides detailed real-time and retrospective reporting on individual online activity, including time and date, search terms, sites visited, time spent on any site, blocked sites, and site categories (unacceptable, acceptable, blocked etc).Fastvue will show the username when known (if the firewall is configured to log usernames), falling back to the machine’s hostname if possible, and then to the source IP address.
Device monitoring can be managed by IT staff or third-party providers, who need to make sure that monitoring data is received in a format that your staff can understand, and users are identifiable to the school or college, so concerns can be traced back to an individual, including guest accountsFastvue takes large volumes of technical data and translates it into easy-to-understand reports that can be consumed and understood by all educational staff, reducing the burden on the IT team while making the data useful. It also reports on a per-user basis and any account accessing the firewall, including guest accounts. Finally, Fastvue’s unique Site Clean technology takes complicated log data and translates it into usable information reflecting real browsing.

About Fastvue

Fastvue’s real-time internet monitoring proactively detects risky online behaviour. This enables schools to meet their duty of care and look after student welfare and well-being online, while allowing greater internet access and improving learning outcomes.

If you’re ready for Fastvue to help you simplify and effectively meet the KCSiE requirements, get in touch today.

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