New anti-bullying programme backed by DfE will help beat bullying

Internet Matters in partnership with tootoot, and supported by the Department for Education, are inviting schools to take part in a pilot online service to report bullying and cyberbullying concerns.

Tootoot Make a NoiseThe programme which sits alongside 9 other innovative schemes to tackle bullying, backed with £4.4million of government investment, will enable 120,000 students across 300 schools to report incidents such as bullying, cyber bullying, or homophobic, transphobic and biphobic abuse.

Online reporting platform
At the core of the programme will be the award-winning online reporting platform which gives students and parents an easy and simple way to report all issues relating to bullying and cyberbullying.

To help pupils, parents and staff address the issues raised, the reporting platform will be supplemented by resource hubs dedicated to staff, pupils and parents, and will help schools address the issues or concerns that may be raised through the reporting platform.
Our aim is to create a one- stop shop for bullying support for school staff, pupils and parent.

  • Reporting platform with resources for students
  • Resource hub and reporting platform for parents
  • Safeguarding platform and resource hub for staff

  • Internet Matters and tootoot are inviting schools and Academies, both directly and via their Local authorities and Multi Academy Trusts, to register to join the 12-month programme, funded by the Department for Education.

    We are holiding 6 regional workshops around the country across the next 12 months. We have already had our first one and our next one is in The North West.

    The next workshop which is in the North West is the 27th March 2017, Orford Jubilee Neighbourhood Hub (Jubilee Way, Orford, Warrington, WA2 8HE).

    There are limited school places available on a first come first serve basis.

    To register your school to take part please click the link

    Or if you would live to register your school for future workshops then please register here

    For more info on this initiative visit: or email:

    Tootoot Make a Noise Banner

    Written by Michael Brennan on March 09, 2017 10:34

    Keeping children safe in education

    Statutory guidance for schools and colleges

    2016 Safeguarding GuidanceAt the end of May, the Department for Education released the latest guidance for schools covering safeguarding. This guidance comes into effect from 5th September 2016.

    Below is an excerpt from the guidance relating to online safety in schools.

    Annex C: Online safety
    The use of technology has become a significant component of many safeguarding issues. Child sexual exploitation; radicalisation; sexual predation- technology often provides the platform that facilitates harm. An effective approach to online safety empowers a school or college to protect and educate the whole school or college community in their use of technology and establishes mechanisms to identify, intervene and escalate any incident where appropriate.

    The breadth of issues classified within online safety is considerable, but can be categorised into three areas of risk:

  • content: being exposed to illegal, inappropriate or harmful material
  • contact: being subjected to harmful online interaction with other users
  • conduct: personal online behaviour that increases the likelihood of, or causes, harm
  • Filters and monitoring
    Governing bodies and proprietors should be doing all that they reasonably can to limit children’s exposure to the above risks from the school or colleges IT system. As part of this process governing bodies and proprietors should ensure their school has appropriate filters and monitoring systems in place. Whilst considering their responsibility to safeguard and promote the welfare of children, and provide them a safe environment in which to learn, governing bodies and proprietors should consider the age range of their pupils, the number of pupils, how often they access the schools IT system and the proportionality of costs Vs risks.

    The appropriateness of any filters and monitoring systems are a matter for individual schools and colleges and will be informed in part by the risk assessment required by the Prevent Duty.

    The UK Safer Internet Centre has published guidance as to what “appropriate” might look like:
    UK Safer Internet Centre: appropriate filtering and monitoring

    Guidance on e-security is available from the National Education Network - NEN. Buying advice for schools is available here - buying for schools.

    Whilst filtering and monitoring are an important part of the online safety picture for schools and colleges to consider, it is only one part. Governors and proprietors should consider a whole school approach to online safety. This will include a clear policy on the use of mobile technology in the school. Many children have unlimited and unrestricted access to the internet via 3G and 4G in particular and the school and college should carefully consider how this is managed on their premises.

    Whilst it is essential that governing bodies and proprietors ensure that appropriate filters and monitoring systems are in place; they should be careful that “over blocking” does not lead to unreasonable restrictions as to what children can be taught with regards to online teaching and safeguarding.

    Staff training
    Governors and proprietors should ensure that as part of the requirement for staff to undergo regularly updated safeguarding training (paragraph 64) and the requirement to ensure children are taught about safeguarding, including online (paragraph 68), that online safety training for staff is integrated, aligned and considered as part of the overarching safeguarding approach.

    The full guidance document can be downloaded from the Department for Education website.

    Paragraph 64: Governing bodies and proprietors should ensure that all staff members undergo safeguarding and child protection training at induction. The training should be regularly updated. Induction and training should be in line with advice from the LSCB.

    Paragraph 68: Governing bodies and proprietors should ensure children are taught about safeguarding, including online, through teaching and learning opportunities, as part of providing a broad and balanced curriculum. This may include covering relevant issues through personal, social, health and economic education (PSHE), tutorials (in FE colleges) and/or – for maintained schools and colleges – through sex and relationship education (SRE).

    If you would like to share your thoughts on the latest guidance, please use the comments section below

    Written by Safeguarding Essentials on September 06, 2016 08:20

    New Government Measures For Online Safety…Same Old Story?

    Before Christmas, the Department of Education announced new measures to protect children from cyber bullying, access to pornography and online radicalisation.

    The proposals included:

  • Schools to have robust filtering in place so that children are not allowed to access inappropriate sites. This also includes access to content promoting extremist ideology which could be used in the process of radicalising children and young people.
  • Teaching about online safeguarding through the PHSE and Computing curriculum.
  • The measures have been welcomed by a number of bodies including the National Association of Head Teachers. The DfE will also be working with a number of other partners including the UK Council for Child Internet Safety (UKCCIS) and the National Crime Agency CEOP Command to update resources for parents and a new online training package will be launched for health professionals to assist them with handling online risks.

    However, questions have to be raised about the timing and how effective these measures will be? Releasing consultation details about the proposed measures three days before Christmas is surely not the best time to engage with practitioners as they take their deserved rest after a hard term. In addition, the focus on producing new resources for parents seems a little misguided when Vodafone and other organisations produce valuable magazines and leaflets which cover the same ground.

    Great strides have been made over the past eight years with internet safety in the UK, but these latest measures seem to go over old ground and represent nothing new. Compared to the Office of the Children’s eSafety Commissioner ( in Australia who provide a vast array of updated resources for schools and parents, there seems to be a lot of duplication with the current measures.

    In recent staff training, I showed the CEOP educational film, ‘Jigsaw’. It is over five years old, but it still gets many educational professionals concerned about what parents should be doing to protect their children. One staff member spoke about how this should be shown in doctors surgeries and on primetime television. In many ways, there needs to be a united strategy from the public and commercial sector so that it is not only schools who are targeting parents with the positive e-safety message.

    As I visit educational establishments, there are many comments for practitioners that they are concerned about the impact of unmonitored use of devices by toddlers and young children. There needs to be a real focus from policy makers to look at how to provide more support for parents as they support their children in the digital world.

    If you would like to add your thoughts to this topic, please use the comments section below

    Written by Tim Pinto on January 11, 2016 15:05

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