Yet another Internet scare story is posted today, this time courtesy of the BBC under the headline "School Computers Fail to Filter". Personally, I'm quite impressed that school filter systems manage to filter out so much given the lengths that some people go to disguise content on the web. I would also question to what extent is the 10% actively sought out by pupils or staff, and to what extent is the viewing accidental. Given that most pupils get around their school filter systems through the simple expedient of using a mobile phone, yet again a story is being pedalled with no attempt to place it into context. What is important is the choices a pupil makes if they come across inappropriate content, and that is the key role of us as educators in order to get pupils using the internet in a responsible fashion. I'd also like to know how much appropriate content is blocked to get to the 90% figure.
On reading the story again, I couldn't help but notice the similarity to a story put out in the northwest a few months back which I blogged about here. It turns out the source for both stories is E-Safe Education who are, in fact, Zentek, a Bolton based IT company who sell, among other things, E-safety solutions for schools. It couldn't be a case of a journalist up against a deadline to come up with a story could it?