Engaging parents with e-safety

Why e-safety education must begin at home


NSPCC SurveyThe news has once again reminded us about the dangers children face online, with a recent report from the NSPCC suggesting that toddlers as young as one are now being targeted by online predators.

With 35% of 5-15 year olds now owning a smartphone (up from 18% in 2010) and 40% of the same age group and indeed now 15% of 3-4 year olds owning a tablet, access to the Internet from portable devices is easier than ever.

However, figures from the Ofcom, Children and parents: media use and attitudes report, state that as many a 73% of 5-15 year olds are using a tablet at home.

It’s clear from the figures above that there is a large number of children who don’t own a tablet but do use one at home. So let’s consider this in the context of parental controls.

When a parents gives a child a new media device, they are advised to set parent controls, privacy setting etc to protect their children. But what do they do with their own devices? The figures suggest that some 33% of young people are using a tablet at home which have perhaps not been set up for the child, but rather the adult and therefore not necessarily as well protected.

As if to illustrate why this may be an issue, a concerned mum recently advised that their 9 year old daughter had returned from a visit to a friend where they had been watching inappropriate content that they had found on the Internet while using the parents tablet. The parent had some understanding of parental controls, but had not implemented them on their own tablet properly.

In this case, the parent had a level of appreciation about the online safety of their child, but this is not always the case. During our recent e-safety seminar, the difficulties of engaging parents was one of the key concerns raised. In several cases, school events for parents were held with only one, two or three parents attending. Even when the events were held at drop-off and pick-up time, still attendance was poor.

As the summer break approaches, it is crucial that parents are made aware of their responsibility to protect their child online, be that while gaming, using the Internet, texting, emailing and so on.

To help engage parents, here are 3 tips that were discussed by teachers at the e-safety seminar:

  1. Carry out surveys and share finding with parents - Ask pupils which apps they are using, have they witnessed cyberbullying, do they understand the implications of sexting etc and share these findings with parents to illustrate issues within your school setting.

  2. Share video links with parents - If you show pupils an e-safety video in school, send this to the parents and ask them to watch it too to help reinforce the message. There are lots of great videos from NPSCC, CEOP, Think You Know etc

  3. Send news headlines and web links to parents - Allow them to digest the information in their own time. Drip feed information regularly to ensure that they are constantly reminded about online safety. All E-safety Support members can add the ‘News Widget’ to their school website.

If we are to accept that children as young as one are now being targeted online, it has never been more important to have parents understand that e-safety education must begin at home.

If you have any tips on engaging parents, or would like to share your experience with other readers, please email news@e-safetysupport.com.

If you would like further support on engaging parents, E-safety Support members can assess a bank of parental engagement resources including an online parent training course which can be issued via email and allows parents to take the course at a time to suit them.

Written by Safeguarding Essentials on June 23, 2016 10:50

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

    Childnet Film Competition 2016

    Childnet launch the 7th Childnet Film Competition

    Childnet Film Competition 2016E-safety charity, Childnet, have launched the 7th Childnet Film Competition to encourage young people aged 7-18 to create a short film to educate their peers about staying safe online.

    With the aim of celebrating the positive things that young people are doing online, the competition showcases young people’s creativity and their understanding of online safety issues.

    As Becky Nancarrow, Education Projects Officer at Childnet said, "we know that young people are powerful agents in creating a better internet and inspiring other young people to use the internet for good. The Childnet Film Competition is a great way for schools to inspire young people to take the lead in educating their peers about staying safe online whilst equipping them with the skills they need to become confident digital creators.”

    This year’s theme is all about how we can all make a positive difference online by supporting young people to ‘shine online’.

    Primary aged young people (7 – 11) are invited to create a 60 second film in response to the theme: 'Shine Online' - Tell us how you're using the internet positively

    Secondary aged young people (11 – 18) are invited to create a 2 minute film in response to the theme: ‘Shine Online’ – How can you make a positive difference online?

    For both age groups Childnet are looking for creative, imaginative films which reflect a positive and inspiring message. Young people might express their ideas through comedy, animation or music. Or how about creating an advert, campaign or documentary? The top three films in each category will be invited to a private screening at the BFI in London and the winners will be awarded film kits for their school.

    To inspire young people to help others stay safe online, schools are being encouraged to share their film competition stories on social media using the hashtag #shineonline. Whether this is a message about what you’re up to, a picture from the creative process or even and a tip from the young film makers, schools can share their updates with @Childnet.

    Important dates:
    1. Competition closes Monday 13th June 2016
    2. Finalists notified Monday 20th June 2016
    3. Screening and finalist’s event at the BFI Monday 18th July 2016

    To enter the Childnet Film Competition please send an email to film@childnet.com to request an information pack.

    If you would like any more information, or find out more and download the schools packs visit Childnet.com

    If you would like to register a group of talented young people you know, then please send an email to film@childnet.com. Don't forget, the closing date for entries is Monday 13th June 2016 at 5pm.

    Written by Childnet International on April 25, 2016 12:37


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