2024/2025 Service Definition

Web Filtering & Online Protection (Netsweeper)

About the Service

Our Web Filtering & Online Protection (Netsweeper) service provides safe, filtered, and logged web access for both staff and students for your school's broadband connection. It also provides a monitoring and alerting service that helps safeguard students. 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.
  • Filters devices in school.
  • Provide student safeguarding by proactively monitoring student activities and real time alerting to the safeguarding lead in school when intervention is required.

What are the benefits?

  • Schools can 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 categories or individual websites are blocked/unblocked.
  • Protect students when working online.
  • Schools do not require any filtering equipment to be installed in school with this service.
  • Assists schools in fulfilling their safeguarding duties by providing monitoring, alerting and reports.

What's Included?

Service Features

Feature Description

Web Filtering

  • The filtering service is centrally hosted and managed with local filtering and reporting devolved to schools.
  • It provides safe internet access for schools, managing all web content to our broadband connected schools.
  • Netsweeper Filtering blocks all sites on the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) child abuse image content (CAIC) list.
  • Netsweeper filtering implements the Home Office Terrorism Block list.

Global Filtering 
(All schools -
default setting)


We 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.

By default this service blocks the following categories for all users:

  • 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 via a number of templates. These can be exported for further analysis e.g.

  • Full Search Query Report: This report lists all of the search queries made by pupils and staff, such as Google searches.
  • Prevent Report – Websites: This report lists all of the websites that have been accessed which fall under a category which is contained within UK Prevent.
  • Suspicious Search Report: This report lists all of the search queries which are identified by our Suspicious Search Keywords Shared List.
  • User Inspection Report: This report shows all traffic from a particular user and can be used to further investigate if a user has been highlighted as attempting to access content.
  • Custom Report: 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.

In addition to our templates, schools who would like more control and granularity over their reports may request further permissions to give them access to more information.

Local Control of Filtering

  • 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.

Off-site filtering

(Add-On Chargeable Option)
  • Students and/or Staff can use school devices safely online away from school and receive the same level of web filtering as in school. All policies and logging will function in the same way as when in school.

Safeguarding, Monitoring and Alerting

  • Help provide student safeguarding by monitoring the contents of their screen and alerting school safeguarding lead when a matter of concern is identified. Powerful AI reduces false positives and schools can configure the categories of issues they wish to be alerted to.

Managed Service

  • This is a centrally managed service with management of filtering and reporting devolved to nominated school filtering administrators.
  • We manage 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.