2021/2022 Service Definition

Web Filtering (Netsweeper)

About the Service

Our Web Filtering (Netsweeper) service, provides safe, filtered and logged web access by schools for both staff and students.

It provides you with the flexibility to locally manage, monitor and control access to websites. The service provides the following functionality for schools:

  • Education focused web filtering.
  • Ability to filter based on IP address ranges or by using an external directory such as your School's active directory domain.
  • Local control to allow your School to manage which websites it wishes to allow or block.
  • Monitoring and alerting of web access.

What are the benefits?

  • Schools are able to implement granular filtering themselves based on their own classroom or user needs, removing the need to contact Lancashire County Council Education Digital Services to request individual websites are blocked / unblocked.
  • Schools do not require any filtering equipment to be installed in school with this service.
  • Assists schools in fulfilling their safeguarding duties through the use of reports and alerts.

What's Included?

Service Features

Feature Description

Web Filtering

  • The filtering service is centrally hosted and managed and provides safe internet access for schools, managing all web traffic from Lancashire County Council Education Digital Services broadband connected schools.
  • Netsweeper Filtering blocks all sites on the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) CAIC list
  • Netsweeper filtering implements the Home Office Terrorism Block list

Global Filtering (All schools – default setting)

Lancashire County Council Education Digital Services have initially assigned a default filtering set based on school type (Nursery/Primary / Secondary etc.), which should meet most schools' needs. Your school can then choose to tailor this to your individual requirements. 

The system wide Enforced  Blocked Categories are as follows (these categories cannot be overridden by schools in the local settings):

  • Pornography
  • Child Pornography
  • Criminal Skills
  • Extreme
  • Hate Speech
  • Weapons
  • Viruses
  • Child Erotica
  • Gambling
  • Intimate Apparel
  • Marijuana
  • Substance Abuse
  • Malformed URL
  • Copyright Infringement
  • Malicious Web Obfuscation
  • Malware
  • Phishing
  • Webproxy

Reporting and Alerting Capabilities

Schools can configure and schedule their own reports of internet usage. These can be exported for further analysis.

Local Control of Filtering


(No filtering hardware required in school)

  • Local control is built-in to give your school more flexibility when setting filtering to suit your needs. Your School has the ability to block or unblock individual websites or categories.
  • Filtering can be based on IP address ranges or by using directory services such as active directory.
  • Certain websites, including illegal sites or categories of websites classed as inappropriate by the Netsweeper Filtering service, are blocked at a global level, ensuring protection for pupils and staff. All other categories are available for your school to select as either allow or block.
  • This service may require your technical support staff to configure services locally. In view of the levels of flexibility offered with the Web Filtering service, your school has full responsibility for managing access to websites and to ensure that staff, pupils and guests can only access appropriate content using either a School device or personal device on the network.
  • Support articles on using the filtering service are provided to ensure that you have advice on functionality.
  • Full details are available on our filtering support pages on our website.

Managed Service

  • This is a centrally managed service.
  • Lancashire County Council Education Digital Services manages all central filtering for schools including future investment, upgrades and supplier management.
  • Management of filtering and reporting is devolved to school administrators.

SSL Filtering

  • Both HTTP and HTTPS traffic will be typically be subject to filtering.
  • Traffic to/from certain sites such as NHS and financial services will not be decrypted.