We are helping to lead the battle to protect teachers and pupils from unwanted and often illegal internet intrusion.

Thanks to a new advanced product, schools can prevent pupils viewing unsuitable material while on the premises, avoiding the possibility of court action for failing to provide proper duty of care.

The product from US market leader iboss has recently been launched in the UK and provides instant detection and prevention of all types of inappropriate, timewasting or illegal material online. Unlike traditional so called 3rd generation proxy based web filtering systems, iboss operates at wire speed while providing a view across all 131,000 TCP and UDP ports. This means it will not slow down your network, while being able to manage everything that traverses your internet connection. The dangers of the internet were highlighted by the British Educational Communications and Technology Agency (Becta) who claimed that children and young people are vulnerable and may expose themselves to danger, whether knowingly or unknowingly, when using the internet and other technologies. Additionally, some young people may find themselves involved in activities which are inappropriate, or possibly illegal.

iboss prevents that possibility and is available from Inspired as part of any upgrade to a schools technology or alternatively can be supplied and installed as a one off product for schools wanting to protect themselves and pupils. An onsite demonstration or evaluation can also be supplied.

Technology is a key part of the curriculum in any school and the dangers are now very real. Students with internet access are more confident and have been shown to produce better-researched, more effective and well-presented projects, which is why this is encouraged in all places of learning.

However, the requirement to ensure that children and young people are able to use the internet and related communications technologies appropriately and safely has to be addressed as part of the wider duty of care to which all who work in schools are bound. The challenge is to support learning, rather than block it.

Becta stated that head teachers, with the support of governors, should take a lead in embedding safe internet practices into the culture of the school, perhaps designating a member of the senior management team with responsibility for internet safety but in a busy school with hundreds of pupils there is no way that this can be done with certainty – which is where iboss takes over and acts as a permanent guardian.

Aside from managing web access, iboss is also able to detect and prevent sensitive data being leaked from the network, further enforcing compliance with the Data Protection Act.