HC Deb 02 December 1999 vol 340 cc306-7W
22. Mr. Illsley

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what steps he is taking to prevent children at school accessing inappropriate material via the internet. [99365]

Mr. Wills

We are determined that pupils should be protected from unsuitable material while accessing the wealth of educationally valuable material on the internet. DfEE and the British Educational Communications and Technology agency (BECTa) have produced a detailed information pack for teachers and parents about pupils' safe use of the internet. The Superhighway Safety pack, which is available free and is also on the National Grid for Learning, provides guidance on the wide range of measures which schools can adopt. These range from using walled gardens and filtering software, to monitoring and tracking pupil access and providing "user contracts" for pupils, spelling out how they should behave.

The Grid itself is a safe area of the internet, with all sites linked to it conforming to ground rules and a code of conduct. Content must not contain unsuitable material, or links to unsuitable material. Linked sites are required to co-operate fully with GridWatch, which provides a reporting mechanism in the event of unsuitable material appearing on the Grid, as well as immediate remedial action.