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In response to identified gaps in online safety education, eSafety undertook research to support the development of a framework for online safety education in Australian schools, from K-12. This report focuses on the rapid review of evidence to assess current understandings of best practice in online safety education.

Key findings:

  • Several online safety education frameworks exist but none are comprehensive enough to be adopted as a national standard.
  • There is a need for greater efforts to improve the quality of educational programs for children.
  • A sound online safety education framework should cover the full range of potential issues, risks and harms that children may encounter, as well as consider the issues of greatest parental concern.
  • The framework should be based on concepts found in digital citizenship and social and emotional learning programs, augmented with content addressing common risk and protective factors. This would be underpinned by evidence, guided by principles of effective prevention and delivered in supportive school systems with strong partnerships with other agencies.
  • Online safety initiatives, both in Australia and internationally, must be assessed for their effectiveness. This is needed as high-quality prevention initiatives must be underpinned by recent, rigorous and reliable process and outcome evaluations.
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