Protecting and safeguarding your school from Extremism

Extremism has suddenly arisen within the compounds of schools across the UK, and pupils are in danger if schools do not provide a channel to report such behaviour or activities.


E-safety grooming extreemismSafeguarding and protecting pupils should be a schools number one priority according to 86% of parents asked in a recent questionnaire. John Hayes, Security Minister and the Department for Education has recently outlined that all schools and staff have a duty to report incidents of extremism, radicalisation and safeguarding.

Yet what measures are schools putting in place to protect pupils and staff against the latest safeguarding threat. Ofsted are focussing heavily on a schools ability to recognise, understand and report incidents of extremism and radicalisation. However services that support the school network are failing to provide adequate answers, resources and training to help schools deal with this new and ever growing threat. SLT teams are being expected to quickly become experts on this new safeguarding issue, yet without a guided support network, how can any school or member of staff be expected to provide the evidence and information required if they don’t know what this is.

Pupils of the 21st Century are at much greater risk than they have ever been. The introduction of technology and social media, and the interaction between cultures has brought pupils closer together than ever before. In order for a school to protect their students is to engage and educate their students around the signs and dangers of radicalisation and extremism particularly when using technology and social media.

One recent method that schools have been adopting to help protect their school pupils is to provide a communication channel to allow pupils to report any incidents of extremism that they themselves may be susceptible to. However a number of schools that have used a communication method have found that it has been most powerful allowing pupils to report and raise concerns for their friends or family members directly to their school. Proactive schools have found that tackling these new issues head on by engaging the wider community to educate have also proven to be an excellent starting point.

This new safeguarding issue within schools is unfortunately one that is going to increase if schools do not put the relevant communication, reporting and action policies in place.

Michael is the founder of Tootoot, the safeguarding application which allows pupils to report incidents such as extremism as well as bullying, racism etc. Find out more.

Written by Michael Brennan on August 06, 2015 08:52

Reporting bullying for the 21st Century

E-safety and Cyberbullying in school - Don’t just rely on face-to-face reporting


Have you ever wanted to be able to report a worry, bullying or other incidents such as sexism or racism directly to your school but you don’t know who to tell, or if you do, you find that your teachers tell you to report it to them or to someone face-to-face?

That’s all well and good if you are confident and feel able to speak up to somebody about everything that is happening to you. But what happens if you're not one of these confident people? What happens if you’re too scared to tell someone face-to-face? What happens if you finally build up the confidence to speak to a teacher, but your bully is standing across the playground, glaring at you? What happens if you are in your room on a Sunday night, too frightened to go to school tomorrow, knowing that before you even see a teacher, your bully will be harassing you on social media or waiting for you at the school gates?

These are just some of the questions that race through school children’s minds of all ages across the UK on a daily basis. The government states that 39% of children don’t know who, where or how to report incidents other than through face-to-face directly to their school! As a result of this, every single day, 16,000 children across the UK skip school because they are unable to report and resolve issues or worries within their school environment.

Too many schools rely on old-fashioned face-to-face methods as a channel for their students - no matter what their age - to report worries, bullying, and safeguarding issues! These issues are only going to grow and develop further unless alternative methods are used within the school environment to encourage school children to speak up. New forms of technology and social media are forever closing the gap between victims and aggressor’s through the form of cyber-bullying. Therefore modern schools and modern societies need to adopt a modern approach to allow children to report incidents and worries such as bullying, as well as problems at home that may be effecting their school lives. Tootoot’s recent research found that; providing 10,000 students with an alternative technological method allowing them to report worries - resulting in a 49% uptake - increased reporting by 6 times compared with that of face-to-face reporting.

I was bullied as a young boy and wanted to help other students to not suffer in silence. I developed tootoot to provide vulnerable students with a voice to report incidents of bullying and other safeguarding worries directly to their school. Find out more.

Written by Michael Brennan on May 27, 2015 09:43

Tootoot

Helping your students to report bullying directly to your school

Tootoot LogoTechnology is forever evolving, as are the bullies. Gone are the days where victims of physical or verbal bullying longed for the 3 o’clock school bell, signalling the final challenge of missing the bullies at the school gates, knowing that the safety of home was only a stones throw away. The only bell that can be heard now is that of a mobile phone, iPad or laptop signalling a Facebook or Twitter notification from those bullies still standing at the gate.

As a child who suffered from both physical and cyber-bullying, trying to stay safe online and avoid the bullies was the hardest part. Whether at school or at home the Internet found me. There was no escape. Having just made the transition into high school, I was an easy target. But my greatest challenge was knowing where I should report these cases of bullying to. Learners today face many different types of problems both in and out of the classroom. Racist abuse, Mental Health issues and Revenge porn just to name a few. But how and where do learners report these incidents?

As technology has evolved so does the need for schools to be able to adopt technology that allows their learners to be able to report these incidents. Providing an email address or reporting form on a schools homepage is simply dangerous as schools are unable to trace reports and monitored types of case that are being reported. After extensive research and working as a learning mentor in both Primary and Secondary schools, I realised that there was no safe, stand alone secure system for schools to allow their learners to reporting bullying and any other incidents directly to them.

In 2014 I launched tootoot! www.tootoot.co.uk - an online anti-bullying tool for schools - allowing students to report bullying anonymously and safely, directly to their school. Tootoot is rolling out nationwide and is already helping thousands of students report incidents of physical, verbal and cyber-bullying online. Tootoot is currently being used across the UK by schools to help their learners speak out.

The benefits of using the tool come from the whole school community, as demonstrated by the comments from our users:

"Tootoot lets me report anything to my school, whether I'm in school or at home on my mobile phone" - Jordin, Student

"Tootoot has allowed our students to report incidents safely and anonymously in school and from home, directly to me" - Katie Malley, Deputy Head Teacher, Werneth Primary School

"Tootoot has given me peace of mind knowing my child can report any issues or worries to her teachers, in confidence" - Colin Young, Parent, Berwick Academy

For more information visit www.tootoot.co.uk or email Michael directly at michael@tootoot.co.uk

Written by Michael Brennan on April 10, 2015 10:05


Join Safeguarding Essentials

  • Protect your pupils
  • Support your teachers
  • Deliver outstanding practice

Recent Stories
Story Tags
addiction anti_bullying_alliance anti-radicalisation apps ask.fm assembly avatars awards awareness bett Breck_Foundation bug bullying BYOD calendar cber_bullying censorship ceop chatfoss checklist child child_exploitation childline childnet child_protection childwise christmas ClassDojo classroom competition cookies CPD creepshot CSE curriculum cyberbullying cyber_bullying cyber_crime cybersmile_foundation cybersurvey data_protection DCMS Demos development devices DfE digital_citizenship digital_footprint digital_forensics digital_leaders digital_literacy digital_native digital_reputation digital_wellbeing eCadets education e-learning emoticon e-safe esafety e-safety e-safety, e-safety_support #esscomp #esstips ethics events exa exploitation extreemism extremism extremism, facebook fake_news fantastict fapchat FAPZ film filtering freemium friendly_wifi gaming GDPR #GetSafeOnline glossary GoBubble gogadgetfree google governor grooming #GSODay2016 guidance hacker hacking icon information innovation inspection instagram instragram internet internet_matters internet_of_things internet_safety into_film ipad iphone ipod irights IWF #KeepMeSafe language leetspeak lesson like linkedin live_streaming malware media mental_health mobile monitor monitoring naace national_safeguarding_month navigation neknominate netiquette network news NHCAW nomophobia nspcc NWG ofcom offline ofsted omegle online online_safety oracle parents phishing phone Point2Protect policy pornography power_for_good pressure PREVENT primary privacy professional_development protection PSHE #pupilvoiceweek ratting rdi reporting research risk robots safeguarding safeguarding, safer_internet_day safety SCD2015 #SCD2016 school sdfsdf security self-harm selfie sexting sextortion ShareAware sid SID SID2016 SID2017 SID2018 smartphone snapchat snappening social_media social_media, social_networking staff staff_training #standuptobullying statutory_guidance Stop_CSE stop_cyberbullying_day stress students survey swgfl SWGfL tablet teach teachers technology texting tootoot training TrainingToolz troll trolling twitter UKCCIS uk_safer_internet_centre UK_youth unplug2015 video virus webinar website we_protect what_is_e-safety wifi wi-fi windows wizard working_together yik_yak young_people youthworks youtube YPSI yubo
Archive