e-Safety should never be a barrier to innovative use of technology

Alan Mackenzie - e-Safety AdviserHello, I’m Alan Mackenzie.

e-Safety has been a passion of mine for a very long time; I love technology and the huge benefits that can be realised through global connectivity and collaboration.  I’m a strong believer that e-safety is an enabler, not a showstopper; it should never be a barrier to innovative use of technology.

For many years I was the e-safety lead at Lincolnshire County Council, raising initiatives across all schools, police, the voluntary sector and others with positive outcomes and a significant increase in e-safety awareness

Working at the local authority allowed me to take a more strategic view of school needs, particularly in regards to policy, liabilities and the management of e-safety as a whole. I have a deep understanding of the technology used in schools whether for curriculum or administration purposes; this includes services such as internet filtering, new collaborative tools such as social networking and the use of new technology such as tablet devices and cloud computing.

I became a CEOP Ambassador many years ago, which was a great starting point, but there is far more to e-safety; the concept of digital citizenship is rightly growing in impetus.  The world is changing, technology is diversifying at an extraordinary rate and the use of technology by children is growing massively.  Whilst e-Safety is predominantly about safeguarding, the wider aspects of ‘online safety’ are really starting to come to the fore which take into account more emotional, behavioural and usage aspects of technology.

I am an associate member of the UK Council for Child Internet Safety (UKCCIS) and I also partner with other companies and charities who share the same ethos as me in order to spread the word that e-safety is something that can be positive and empowering.  In July 2015 I was delighted to be invited to sit on the board of the multi-award winning eCadets scheme as a non-executive director.

I have worked with hundreds of schools all across England, but I also like to get involved with projects on behalf of other companies and charities to lend a helping hand, which includes reviewing new products on the market to advise on any e-safety or safeguarding issues, writing whitepapers or articles on a range of different subjects, or to get involved and advise on new educational initiatives by others, and speaking at many conferences.

Some Past Articles
The Guardian – Don’t let e-safety worries be a barrier to using social media in school – link HERE
The Guardian – The Ofsted e-safety framework, is your school ready? – link HERE
Family Online Safety Institute (FOSI) – e-Safety, the enabler not the showstopper – link HERE
Impero Software – A balance between blocking and managing the internet in school – link HERE

After careful consideration we decided to use Alan’s services in school primarily because of his in-depth knowledge and experience of using ICT in schools and e-safety background. Recently Alan attended a governor’s meeting to deliver an e-safety awareness session; it was clear, informative and thought-provoking. We will continue to use Alan’s services in the future across the whole school not only for e-safety but to drive the use of technology with staff and the children.

HeadteacherSwineshead and Sutterton Fourfields Federation, Lincolnshire

First of all, I wanted to say how well received your visit was. It’s rare to have such unequivocal support for any consultant to the school!… but I think your straightforward and pragmatic approach was welcomed by all those that you met.

Director of ICTSouthbank International School

The e-safety/EMPOWER course proved to be very informative and valuable. I would urge anyone who is an ICT Co-ordinator or delegated Safeguarding contact in your school to sign up as the course tackled a range of issues, information and strategies designed to help your school cope with the demands of modern technology and communication. I cannot rate this course highly enough.

Class TeacherQuadring Cowley and Brown’s Primary School

The training was invaluable, not only reinforcing how successful our e-safety in school is but also in providing forward-thinking ideas and having opportunities for dialogue with like-minded professionals who recognise the importance of e-safety in school. During a recent Ofsted inspection, the inspector responsible for safeguarding, identified having a designated e-safety officer as a real strength, and a contributing factor to our excellent safeguarding procedures. It is training that a member of the leadership team from every school needs to go on.

HeadteacherNorth Cockerington Primary School

Contact Me:

If you would like to chat and see how I can help you, send me an email or give me a call:

Alan Mackenzie


01522 25 30 88