2022/2023 Service Definition

Web Filtering (Netsweeper)

About the Service

Our Web Filtering service (Netsweeper), provides safe, filtered and logged web access for both staff and students for your school's broadband connection. This service is an integral feature of our Broadband and Online Service Bundle.

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

  • Education focused web filtering
  • Different filtering policies based on username, group membership or IP range
  • Local control to allow your school to manage which websites and categories of websites it wishes to allow or block.
  • Monitoring and reporting on web access
  • Meets the DfE recommendations for web filtering to protect pupils online and the standards for schools’ web filtering set by the UK Safe Internet centre.
  • Illegal content (as listed on the Internet watch Foundation) remains blocked at all times and access cannot be over-ridden by school staff

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 monitoring and reports

What's Included?

Service Features

Feature Description

Web Filtering 

  • The filtering service is centrally hosted and managed, in addition to being locally managed. It 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 Netsweeper system features categories where there is an "Enforced Block" (these categories cannot be overridden by schools in the local settings). These are as follows:

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

Reporting and Alerting Capabilities

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

  • Search Query Report(v1): This report lists all of the search queries from your site, this will list things like Google searches.
  • Prevent Report – Websites(v2): This report lists all of the websites which have been accessed which would fall under a Category which is contained within UK Prevent.
  • Suspicious Search Report (Domain/User – v2): This report lists all of the search queries which are identified by our Suspicious Search Keywords Shared List.
  • Suspicious Search Report (P2P/IP –v2): This report lists all of the search queries which are identified by our Suspicious Search Keywords Shared List.
  • User Inspection Report (Domain/User – v1): This report shows all traffic from a particular User, this can be used to further investigate if a User has been highlighted as attempting to access content.
  • Custom Report (Table – v1): This report has been created to give you more freedom to create custom reports. You are able to use this to create your own report along with customising most of the settings.

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, individual IP addresses 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 with management of filtering and reporting devolved to nominated school filtering administrators.
  • Lancashire County Council Education Digital Services manages all central filtering infrastructure for schools including future investment, upgrades and supplier management.

SSL Filtering

  • Filters both HTTP and HTTPS (with appropriate certificate) web traffic, ensuring that pupils are protected.
  • Traffic to/from certain sites such as NHS and financial services will not be decrypted by default.