education.vic.gov.au

External access

Overview

To create safer online environments, schools must limit direct communication between primary school-aged students and external parties.

In years 7 to 12 (or for age equivalent ungraded students) schools must limit online external access to the essential needs of learning programs.

Age considerations

  • The eSafety commissioner separates its child friendly guidance into children (6 to 11) and young people (12 to 18) reflecting their ability to make informed choices as they get older.
  • Students at primary school are less able to discern malicious and unsafe behaviour online. For this reason, tighter restrictions should be placed on primary school students.
  • Secondary school students are more likely to have a need to connect outside of the school or department online environment in support of their studies and career planning.

Actions for my school

Schools with department-managed online environments

  • Schools with department managed online environments don’t need to take any action.
  • The department has switched off external access for Microsoft 365 and Google Workplace for Education for primary schools and primary students in P to 9 and P to 12 schools.
  • Several commonly used sites that support teaching and learning in primary schools have been exempted from the block and students will continue to receive emails from them. For a list of these sites, refer to the external access email whitelist (PDF)External Link (staff login required).
  • Changes for ungraded schools are under development. The department will work with schools to implement these requirements during early 2023.
  • School staff and teacher’s external access abilities are not impacted.

Schools who manage their own online environments

  • Schools who manage their own online environment are required to enact requirements for primary students in primary, P to 9 and P to 12 schools.
  • The department has provided instructions to specialist technicians working in schools who are using their own instances of Microsoft 365 and Google Workplace for Education on how to disable access and how to attest their compliance.
  • Principals and specialist technicians must ensure the required actions are taken by Monday 14 November 2022.
  • Schools with ungraded students must switch off external access for primary aged equivalent students unless they decide to switch off external access for their whole school.
  • School staff and teacher’s external access abilities are not impacted.

Ungraded students

Changes for schools on the department online environment with ungraded students are being developed, so that only the students who are primary school age equivalent will have their external access switched off. Schools will not experience an immediate change of settings. The department will work with schools to finalise and implement these changes in early 2023.

Schools with ungraded students on their own online environment must switch off external access for primary aged equivalent students unless they decide to switch off external access for their whole school.

Further assistance to schools

School who manage their own online environments

The department have worked closely with both Google and Microsoft to provide schools with a comprehensive list of what is required to switch off external access.

Specialist technicians have been sent links from the department for both Microsoft 365 and Google Workplace for Education on how to make the changes. If for some reason you haven’t received this information, please raise a service request via the Services PortalExternal Link (staff login required).

All other enquiries (including ungraded students)

If you have any questions, please raise a service request via the Services PortalExternal Link (staff login required).

Includes information on limiting online external access to the essential needs of learning programs

Reviewed 11 October 2022

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