E-safety Review of 2014

Governor Training 8In the final E-safety Support article of the year, we thought it would be an ideal opportunity to look back at some of the major news stories and events that have shaped the world of e-safety during 2014.

In January, the Christmas sales figures reported the huge increase in sales of tablet devises, changing the way many young people interact with the online environment. Unsurprisingly then, the biggest trend on display at the 2014 Bett show was that of implementing these devises into education.

February saw the 11th annual Safer Internet Day. Activities were held across the UK and reached millions. We are of course, looking forward to the event again in 2015. February also saw the fleeting internet craze, Nek-Nominate. This saw many young people taking sometimes fatal risks in order to go one better than their predecessors in this online phenomenon.

In March, a new NSPCC report found that 28% of children aged 11-16 with a profile on a social networking site have experienced something upsetting on it in the last year. In other news, teachers too were once again recognised by unions as needing ‘rules’ for social media usage. However, the positive side of social media was also recognised when the ‘no make-up selfie’ campaign raised millions for charity.

At the beginning of April, Ofsted released their latest inspecting e-safety briefing document containing suggestions for good and outstanding practice in this area. This report was to be later removed from the public domain, although the requirement for a robust e-safety provision in schools was still very much on the Ofsted agenda.

May saw the emergence of ‘Creepshots’, websites that operate like social networking media sites where members are encouraged to post photos that have been taken possibly without consent or knowledge of the person in them. May was also the month when the European Union set a major precedent over what is now referred to as the "right to be forgotten".

Slenderman made an appearance in June, the disturbing Internet creation that is being blamed for a series of near fatal stabbings. In other news in June, Facebook announced plans for a platform for children under 13 to have social networking profile. A report from AGV found that almost 80% of parents blame the Internet for forcing the 'Facts of Life' conversation. It was also suggested that contrary to popular opinion, children's unorthodox spelling and grammar while texting does not stop them learning the rules of formal English.

July saw the launch of Friendly WiFi. Friendly WiFi is the world’s first accreditation scheme designed to verify whether a business’ public Wi-Fi service meets a minimum level of filtering to block out access to pornographic and child abuse websites. This brand new service aims to protect young people when they access the Internet using Wi-Fi hotspots in cafes, restaurants etc.

In August, a study by Oxford University saw the positive side of gaming, suggesting that playing video games for a short period each day could have a small but positive impact on child development. Also in August, Ofcom announced figures which suggested that six-year-olds understand digital technology better than adults.

In September, The Telegraph reported that parents feel more confident talking to their children about notoriously tricky topics like the birds and the bees, puberty and race than they do about how to use the internet safely – and some plan to avoid it, despite admitting its importance. In related news, parents were encouraged to pay more attention to the apps their children download after new research found that nearly a third do not monitor the downloads their children make to their smartphones.

News in October reported that teenagers sending each other sexually explicit messages and images – known as sexting – is increasingly becoming a “normal” part of growing up. However, they were also warned about the risks and potential legal issues surrounding sexting. It was also in October when the leak of images from the popular app Snapchat (which became known as the ‘Snappening’) put the privacy of many young people at risk.

As we reached November, many schools and organisations geared up for Anti-Bullying Week. With more and more children owning mobile devices and spending longer online and on social media, cyber bullying is becoming one of the most common forms of bullying. The annual event organised by the Anti Bullying Alliance saw many activities across the UK.

And finally, in December, the Prime Minister spoke at the #We Protect Children Online summit to commit to tackling online safety. David Cameron revealed details of 3 main strategies to tackle online child exploitation; blocking internet search terms, identifying illegal images and Global child protection and laws.

Looking back, it’s been an eventful year, with the world of e-safety evolving and online trends coming and going in a flash. We expect 2015 to be no different, so will be continuing to support you and your school with up-to-date news and information about the e-safety issues that affect you.

Written by E-safety Support on December 18, 2014 14:04

Teachers Invited to tackle bullying through film

Into FilmResearch suggests that nearly 70 % of children in the UK have had some kind of bullying experience – yet bullying is a sensitive and complex subject which can be difficult to talk about. One way to tackle it is through the inclusive and accessible medium of film. To tie in with Anti-Bullying Week 2014 (November 17-22) Into Film, an education charity supported by the BFI with Lottery funding, has developed a new resource featuring six carefully selected films – three for primary and three for secondary - to promote discussion about bullying and related themes such as friendship, on-line safety, standing up for what is right and the power of groups, positive and negative. Films are free to order for all schools with an Into Film club.

Titles for primary in are Diary of a Wimpy Kid (2010, PG), South African animated adventure Khumba (2013, U) and inventive computer-animated caper Wreck-It Ralph (2012, PG); related activities include watching and discussing a short film about bullying made by young people, mind-mapping and writing techniques to define what bullying is, creating a series of tableaux and planning a two-minute campaign to counter bullying. Incorporating the vital theme of cyberbullying, titles for secondary are The Social Network (2010, 12), about the founders and impact of Facebook, tense British drama UWantMeToKillHim (15, 2013) and futuristic sci-fi movie Ender’s Game (2013, 12). Related activities range from a Character crossroads discussion and worksheet to researching successful people who were bullied as a child, and creating an educational Talking Heads film about different types of bullying and how to stop them. Download the resource here.

Other great resources from Into Film which can be used for Anti-Bullying Week are InRealLife, which uses the hard-hitting documentary of the same name to explore a range of issues relating to the Internet including cyberbullying, and Staying Safe Online, with films and activities for primary and secondary linked to e-safety. All resources are available to download from the website.

Into Film is an education charity that puts film at the heart of young people’s learning. Into Film Clubs are FREE for all state funded schools and non-school settings and offer free access to thousands of films and education resources for learning through and about film, as well as opportunities to learn about filmmaking and go behind the scenes of the film industry. Inclusive and accessible for all students, film clubs help promote young people’s social, moral, spiritual and cultural development helping schools achieve OFSTED requirements.

Supported by the BFI with Lottery funding, together with funding from the film industry and a number of other sources, Into Film incorporates the legacy and staff of two leading film education charities, FILMCLUB and First Light, building on their experience and success in delivering programmes of significant scale and reach to children and young people across the UK.

For further information about Into Film and to start an Into Film Club visit: www.intofilm.org/schools-film-clubs or call 0207 288 4520.

Written by E-safety Support on November 20, 2014 10:41

Is e-safety still on the Ofsted agenda?

Typing on a computer keyboardJust before the summer break, Ofsted published a new, and rather reduced set of inspection guidelines, which took away a great deal of published guidance about good and outstanding practice across a number of safeguarding areas. It also sparked rumours that e-safety was now largely off the Ofsted inspection radar.

In order to shed some light on the current situation, we turned the E-safety Officer for Kent County Council and regarded contributor to the UK Safer Internet community, Rebecca Avery. She suggests that if anything, there is a renewed focus on the importance of integrating online safety into a school’s wider safeguarding agenda.

Here is just a snapshot of the comments made on the matter in a recent article by Rebecca. Click on the links below to read the article in full.

E-safety within the Ofsted School Inspection Framework
A range of e-safety concerns that schools will need to consider and address are highlighted within Keeping Children Safe in Education under “specific safeguarding concerns” including child sexual exploitation, bullying including cyber bullying, radicalisation and sexting. Schools (specifically leader, managers, governing bodies and proprietors) should therefore ensure that e-safety messages are embedded throughout the school’s curriculum to ensure that pupils are prepared for life in modern Britain and the wider world.

Prior to an inspection Schools can demonstrate that e-safety is an important and established issue as part of their safeguarding responsibilities by ensuring that their school website (and other online communication channels) has up-to-date and appropriate information and guidance for parents/carers and children regarding online safety at school and at home.

During the inspection, inspectors will request that certain information is made available, such as any self-evaluation and the school improvement plan. They may also wish to see incident logs including actions taken as well as identifying a designated person who is responsible for e-safety concerns in the school. The inspectors will also gather evidence from pupils about cyber bullying and online safety education and behaviour in school.

Read more

E-safety within “Inspecting Safeguarding”
The September 2014 safeguarding briefing identifies that schools should be safe environments for children and young people to learn and that inspectors should consider how well leaders and managers create and promote a safe culture within settings which will include vigilance and timely and appropriate action when children may be at risk of harm. Today’s children live in a world where the online environment has become seamlessly embedded into everyday life and this must therefore be acknowledged by schools.

When inspectors are considering and evaluating the effectiveness of safeguarding within schools and settings, many points will include e-safety practice. They may include:

  • Effectiveness of Safeguarding Arrangements

  • Leadership and management

  • Behaviour and Safety

  • E-safety should therefore be embedded throughout school safeguarding practice and be clearly identified as an issue for leaders and mangers to consider and address. Online safety is an essential element schools safeguarding responsibilities and should be considered to be a key priority for all members of staff. The e-safety agenda has shifted towards enabling children to manage risk, rather than filtering/blocking and therefore requires a comprehensive and embedded curriculum which is adapted specifically to the needs and requirements of pupils and the technology with which they are exposed too.

    Read more

    We would love to hear your thoughts and experiences of e-safety inspections in you school – please let us know by using the comments section below.

    Written by E-safety Support on October 02, 2014 10:12


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