Safeguard Framework

The Netsafe Safeguard Framework was developed by Netsafe and its partners to support schools and kura looking to create safe online learning environments. Safeguard lays out seven Key Areas of focus, each with a defined target state. When schools have achieved the target state in each Key Area, they can be assured that they are doing everything they can to safeguard their school, students, and staff from the harm of online safety challenges.

The Safeguard Framework underpins Netsafe’s approach to digital citizenship and online safety in the education sector. The framework is a structured approach for New Zealand schools looking to help their students to:

  • Be confident in their identity, language and culture as a citizen of Aotearoa New Zealand; and
  • Become socially and emotionally competent and resilient; and
  • Become a successful lifelong learner; and
  • Participate and contribute confidently in a range of contexts to shape a sustainable world for the future.

The Safeguard Framework reflects a growing understanding of the way digital citizenship is central to effective learning and wellbeing, as well as the importance of evaluation in school and Community of Learning transformation.

Our Netsafe Schools Programme is centred around the seven Key Areas and indicates to school communities that a Netsafe School has taken practical steps to create a safe environment. The Netsafe Schools Programme is new for 2018, and helps schools establish, develop and promote online safety in their school community by becoming a Netsafe School.

All of the tools and resources available in the Netsafe Kit have been designed to provide help and assistance for schools working towards the target states of the Safeguard Framework. The Safeguard Review Tool and Surveys help schools to review their current planning against the seven Key Areas of the framework to identify strengths and areas for improvement. The Safeguard Planner provides a guided planning process and resources based on the framework.

Schools can assess which stage of the journey toward the target states they are currently in using the Safeguard Review Tool and the Safeguard Surveys.

The Netsafe Safeguard Framework

The seven Key Areas in the framework are informed by EROs Wellbeing Indicators.


 Students Ākonga Involving students in online safety. Students are active partners, driving initiatives, and accessing support when required.
 Partnerships Mahi ngātahi Working with parents, whānau, iwi, community and other agencies. The school is actively partnering with parents, whānau, iwi, community and support agencies.
Stewardship Kaitiakitanga Considering requirements and use when providing access to digital technologies. Our use of digital technology considers our statutory requirements, our values and vision, and equity.
  Leadership Hautūtanga Leading the learning and providing support and procedures. Our policies, technologies, and incident management processes support the safe use of technology.
  Curriculum Marau Supporting students to develop online safety skills. We maximise the opportunities for students to develop online safety skills and become digital citizens.
 Professional Confidence Te tū māia Building professional knowledge, competence and confidence. Our staff can integrate online safety into learning programmes, model online safety confidently, and effectively respond to incidents.
 Inquiry and Review Te aromātai Reviewing and reflecting on current practice and identifying next steps. We regularly review our online safety programme drawing on a range of information sources.

This framework was heavily influenced by the following ideas and concepts:

Digital Fluency and Digital Citizenship  |  LGP: Balancing prevention and promotion