Surrey Arts safeguarding policy for online learning

This page outlines procedures and safeguarding policy for Surrey Arts Online Learning (SAOL). This policy is to be read in conjunction with: SAOL set up and technical guidance for tutors (PDF) and SAOL set up and technical guidance for students (PDF).

Page contents


Lessons taking place should be normal teaching practice and the video environment should be considered a 'classroom'. Tutors will have the same expected professional behaviours and safeguarding roles as set out in The Surrey Arts Tutor Handbook. There are additional responsibilities and considerations as laid out below.

Any lesson must take place using the Surrey Arts approved SAOL platform, which is currently the Zoom Education Platform.

Staff are not permitted to use private Zoom or other accounts to teach Surrey Arts students.

Surrey Arts Zoom accounts are only to be used for lessons arranged by Surrey Arts. Staff are not permitted to use their Surrey Arts Zoom account for private or social purposes.

Advanced security procedures have been implemented within our set up to ensure the learning environment is safe and secure. These include:

  • A unique password for teacher's Zoom room
  • Recording feature is disabled
  • Student screen sharing is disabled (a teacher can temporarily make a student a co-host for the purpose of screen sharing, see below)
  • File sharing via the Chat is disabled
  • Private Chat is disabled
  • Teacher controls who can enter from the Zoom Waiting Room
  • Teacher can remove anybody from the lesson at any time
  • Teacher can lock the lesson at any time (preventing any further participants from entering)
  • Students are not allowed to rename themselves after entering the lesson

All lessons will be accessible for Surrey Arts managers to 'drop in' and oversee at any time for the purposes of quality assurance and safeguarding.

Staff, parents/carers, and students will all have Surrey Arts contacts they can report any issues to. Contact channels will be disseminated for both safeguarding and technical issues.

As per our standard safeguarding policy, a member of management staff will always be on call at all times when teaching is taking place, to report any urgent safeguarding concerns.

All tutors taking part in the programme will take part in specific SAOL training. This will cover safeguarding procedures, use of the software and appropriate teaching methods. Training should be renewed every year and will be logged centrally with other safeguarding training.

Information for parents, carers and students

Parents/carers and students are reminded that for the duration of the session the space in your home where the session takes places is public and will be audible and visible via your camera. With respect to particular behaviours, language and dress-code, that space should be regarded as equivalent to a school classroom.

Parents/carers must give prior consent to their child taking part in Surrey Arts lessons delivered through the Zoom Education Platform, and agree to the following code of conduct:

  • Parents/carers should ensure their child's name is correctly entered in the Zoom profile before starting the session
  • Parents/carers should be nearby when the lesson takes place, but are not expected to directly take part in the lesson.
  • Parents/carers should announce their presence to the tutor at the start of the lesson.
  • If a parent/carer is not present at the start of the lesson, then the lesson will be terminated by the tutor. The pupil may then re-join once an adult is present.
  • Other children are not allowed to be present during lessons.
  • Students should receive lessons in a shared family space (or school classroom) and not in a student's bedroom, unless there is no alternative (e.g. because of instrument location, such as drum kit)
  • Parents/carers should maintain an 'open door' policy during lessons.
  • Students and parents/carers should know how to act if they have any concerns with regards to a tutor or other Surrey Arts staff member. Concerns should be sent to
  • Students should be dressed appropriately for a lesson, wearing clothes suitable for being seen in public.
  • School uniform is not necessary.
  • Parents/carers must also adhere to the expectations of dress and setting.
  • Language must always be professional and appropriate during lessons, including any family members that may pass in the background.
  • Parents/carers and students should stop lessons by leaving the Zoom room if they feel the tutor is not meeting expectations and report this to Surrey Arts.

Information for parents/carers and students participating in ensembles and group sessions

As above, parents/carers and students are reminded that for the duration of the session the space in your home where the session takes places is public and will be audible and visible via your camera to a potentially large group of students and Surrey Arts staff. With respect in particular to behaviours, language and dress-code that space should be regarded as equivalent to a school classroom.

Please ensure your child:

  • Keeps their microphone muted when asked to.
  • Does not to private message other participating students during a session (for example via text message or social media).
  • Keeps their video camera switched on throughout the session.
  • Has their name correctly entered in the Zoom profile before joining the session?
  • Does not to share session IDs and passcodes via the internet.

Please note: Expectations of student behaviour are the same as those for a school lesson. Surrey Arts staff are authorised to remove any student from a session who is not meeting acceptable behaviour standards. Surrey Arts reserves the right to exclude students from online activities in the event of unacceptable behaviour.

Information for tutors

Session and data management

  • Teachers must ensure that the operating system and Zoom App in use during lessons are kept updated, to ensure that lessons are protected against emerging security threats
  • Administrators will have access to all lesson sessions. Tutors will all have individual log-ins to the system as 'hosts'.
  • The list of tutors who have access to a Surrey Arts Zoom licence will be monitored regularly by Surrey Arts administration to ensure it includes only those currently delivering SAOL.
  • Lessons will be scheduled in advance by Surrey Arts administrative staff. Session ID in the form of both Zoom number and hyperlink will be generated centrally by an administrator and sent to both tutors and students. (Tutors will not send out lesson invitations). This means that:
    • Parents/carers do not need a Zoom account to access Surrey Arts lessons, and students do not log-in and so no log-in data is collected
    • Each tutor's ID number/hyperlink is unique to that tutor's Zoom 'room'
  • Staff should ensure their name is correctly entered in the Zoom profile before starting the session.
  • Staff should use an approved Surrey Arts logo as the profile picture for their Surrey Arts Zoom account (jpeg available on request).

Computers and equipment

  • If using their own desktop or laptop computer tutors should set up a dedicated user account with a clear desktop and only related programmes in order to prevent accidental sharing of unrelated or inappropriate material.
  • Tutors are permitted to use the 'share screen' function taking special care to choose specific resources and not their entire desktop. Students are not permitted to use this function.
  • The live lesson must not be recorded on a personal device, nor should any photographs be taken under any circumstance.
  • All other web browsers and programmes not related to the lesson must be closed before starting the lesson

Please Set up and technical guidance for tutors (PDF) for further detailed information and guidance.

Location of lessons

  • Lessons should ideally take place in front of a neutral plain background (applies to both tutor and student).
  • Tutors can use a Zoom Virtual Background setting if preferred to hide the teaching space, but this is a choice as it may interfere with learning. Please refer to the Set up and technical guidance for tutors (PDF)
  • Any furniture, pictures and ornaments visible in the tutor's teaching space should be non-distracting or school appropriate (e.g. posters, images).
  • Care should be taken to minimise visibility of any personal items (e.g. family photos).
  • Lessons should take place in a suitable quiet space, without intrusions from others, or movement taking place behind the tutor visible on camera.
  • Tutors are advised to situate themselves so that their webcam is not pointing towards a window. This will help to make their video stream clearer.
  • Tutors may wish to invite a Surrey Arts colleague or manager to visit their Zoom space to help risk assess their teaching area.
  • Tutors should know how to act if they have any concerns about a student/ parent/carer.

Additional protocol for staff leading ensembles and other group activities

Additional risk

  • Increased safeguarding risks associated with working online with groups that larger than one-to-one:
    • Risk of unauthorised entry to lesson by a 'bad actor' greater because larger group numbers make it harder for staff to verify students waiting to enter the room
    • Risk of sharing of IDs /passcodes via email and social media greater because of likely age range, and because of the larger numbers who need the Zoom ID details
    • Risk of inappropriate behaviour by students (like face-to-face settings)
    • Risk of inappropriate, disruptive or private activity in a student's home being seen by the whole group (ie. activity behind camera)
  • Risk increases in proportion to the size of the group,
  • Risk increases in proportion to how many students are secondary school age.
  • Risk increases if parent/carers are not sufficiently aware of the nature of large group Zoom meetings
  • Risk assessments need to take account of student context e.g whether the group includes vulnerable students

Protocols for all ensembles and other group activities

  • Only students who are correctly named (first and second name) should be admitted from the waiting room
  • All participating staff to be made co-hosts at the start of each session
  • Staff should quickly act if they think an unauthorised person has gained entry to the lesson, either by sending them back to the waiting room (where you can message them using the Chat), or by removing them, (after which they cannot return)
  • Screen sharing by participants is disabled across all SAOL. If group/ensemble leaders want to allow a student to share their screen, then the session host can temporarily make the student a co-host. Staff should be aware that a student who is also a co-host has powerful privileges and co-hosting should be disabled as soon as the screen sharing is finished.

Protocols for sessions with over 5 participants

  • A new Zoom ID and passcode to be issued for every session, unless specifically agreed by a senior manager that a fixed ID can be used
  • At least two session leaders to be present at all times
  • Group leaders should consult with their managers about staff/student ratios. As a minimum there must be one member of staff overseeing the main room (the host) and one per break out room
  • Staff should agree who has prime responsibility for monitoring the waiting room and admitting students

Break out rooms

  • Leaders should consider whether separate Zoom meetings should be convened rather than using break out groups
  • Any breakout groups must always be facilitated by a member of staff. The host must always stay in the main room
  • Staff supervising break-out rooms must have a plan in place should they lose connection. This will normally be to phone the session leader.

Files available to download

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