Safe Internet & Mobile Use

Ghamkol Sharif Mosque recognises that the internet is a useful resource for all concerned.  In particular when this resource is used appropriately, it helps the Charity deliver the Ghamkol Sharif Madrasah’s vision and motto.  

The Charity takes all aspects of safeguarding issues seriously and is absolutely committed to safeguarding the children in its care, its staff, volunteers, congregation, beneficiaries, visitors and all those affected by its services and activities either on its premisses or off-site.

Achieving a culture of safeguarding is a collective responsibility and one shared by whomever is involved directly or indirectly with the work and services of the Charity.  The principal responsibility is that of the Charity, its staff and volunteers.  This policy statement applies equally to all, irrespective of seniority or position in the Charity.

This policy statement also applies to children, parents and guardians, who must also ensure a culture of safeguarding is upheld and implemented, taking responsibility in supporting the Charity in ensuring this policy statement and related polices and procedures are adhered to.

Whomever uses the internet or a mobile phone, concerning the work or services of the Charity, must use these resources with care, to ensure that children are kept safe from exposure to harmful material, in accordance with national guidelines and good practise.

Parental permission

Unless indicated otherwise, beneficiaries, in particular children, accessing services at the Charity will be allowed to access and use of the internet, only under the instructions and guidance of the Charity.

Guidelines for children

The Charity adheres to the recognised S.M.A.R.T. guidelines, which are prominently displayed throughout the Madrasah and are discussed with children on a regular basis. Parents and guardians are encouraged to adopt these guidelines and discuss them with their children.

These are:

SSafeKeep safe by not giving out personal information – such as name, email, phone number, address, or school name – to people who you don’t trust online.
MMeetingNever agree to meet anyone you have only met online unless your parent or carer is with you.
AAcceptingDo not accept emails or instant messages, or open files, images or texts from people you don’t know. They can contain viruses or nasty messages.
RReliableNot all the information found on the Internet is reliable and people you meet online won’t always be telling the truth.
TTellTell a member of staff or your parents if someone or something you encounter online makes you feel uncomfortable.

Protecting children

We have put in place a number of restrictive safeguards to keep children safe whilst accessing the internet, from the Charity’s IT equipment:

  • Only Charity approved IT equipment is to be used on our premises in the delivery of services
  • All IT equipment is supervised by Charity personnel, when in use
  • Parental controls have been activated on all IT equipment accessible to children:
  • Google SafeSearch Filtering is turned on 
  • YouTube Restricted Mode is set to on
  • Children are not allowed to use IT equipment in private or isolated areas
  • Personnel keep a close eye on children, and the sites that they are accessing when they use the internet
  • IT equipment have an up to date virus checker and firewall installed
  • Internet histories are regularly checked to monitor which sites are being accessed
  • There is CCTV, with audio in all teaching and communal areas
  • All personnel and children are regularly reminded of this

If, despite these safeguards, a child encounters accidently harmful material on the internet, or receives inappropriate messages, or experiences online bullying, whilst using the Charity’s IT equipment, a Designated Safeguard Lead (DSL), will be informed and the incident will be noted on an Incident Record in the child’s file. The child’s parent will be asked to sign the Incident Record. The DSL will investigate how to prevent a reoccurrence of the incident.

If personnel at the Madrasah become aware that a child is deliberately attempting to access sites containing sexual, extremist or otherwise inappropriate material, or has been shown such material by a third party, they will complete a Serious Incident Form and the matter will be dealt by a DSL in accordance with our Child Protection Policy.

Mobile Phone Access & Usage

The Charity has introduced specific rules and guidelines for the possession and use of mobiles concerning the Madrasah.  

In ensuring the Charity’s culture of safeguarding is properly implemented for the Madrasah, where children and personnel are protected from abuse, harm, and distress, we have a zero tolerance for children to have in their possession a mobile phone, a tablet or any other electronic device that can access the internet or allows telecommunications to take place.

All personnel, parents, guardians and children must abide by the terms of this policy statement, to ensure that we all:

  • Protect children from harm and abuse
  • Prevent staff from being subject to false allegations 
  • Help staff remain focused on the care of children
  • Work in an open and transparent environment.

Staff use of mobile phones

Personal mobile phones belonging to Charity personnel are allowed to be kept in their possession, while working with or in the presence of children during Madrasah opening times.  However, personnel are not allowed to use them, unless it is an emergency, this includes access to social media platforms, internet browsing or taking photos or producing videos.

If Charity personnel need to make or receive an urgent personal call they will do so in an appropriate place, after making arrangements for the safeguarding of the children in their care.

Charity personnel are reminded that Ghamkol Sharif Education Centre, has extensive CCTV coverage with audio.

Children’s use of mobile phones

Children are actively encouraged to not to bring their phones or similar devices to the Madrasah.

If a child needs to bring such devices to the Madrasah, they must be deposited in the main office before the start of their class and collected at the end of their class.

Unless there is an emergency, children are not allowed to have their phones switched on, or are allowed to use them on the premises of the Madrasah or on any other premises connected with the services and activities of the Madrasah, without the permission of the Charity.

The Charity does not accept any responsibility for loss or damage to mobile phones or other property brought to the Charity by children.

Children must not use their mobile phone to take photographs or videos of any kind whilst engaged in the services and activities of the Madrasah. If they want a photograph or a video of a particular activity they can ask a member of staff to take one using the Charity’s equipment.

Visitors’ use of mobile phones

In the interest of safeguarding we ask all parents and visitors not to use their phones or other mobile devices on Madrasah premises or on related premises while Madrasah services and activities are been delivered. Taking of photographs and videos by parents or visitors is strictly prohibited.  If a parent would like to have a photograph of their child involved in an activity or at play, they can ask a member of staff to take one using the Charity’s equipment. 

General Note

As a faith based charity, we recognise there will be occasions during communal events, services and activities, parents, guardians, family members and friends will wish to take photographs and make videos.  In all such instances, and if appropriate, we will inform those involved that on such circumstances, there may be no restrictions on the taking of photographs and videos.  It is then the responsibility of the parent or guardian to take appropriate precautions if they do not wish their child to be in a photo or video.  The Charity takes no responsibility in managing or administering the use of photographic or video equipment by third parties, or the subsequent use of images or videos.