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

Join Childnet’s school consultation

Join Childnet’s e-safety for schools consultation into best practices in preventing and responding to cyberbullying

Cyber Self HarmChildnet, as part of the UK Safer Internet Centre, is in the process of creating new guidance for schools about preventing and responding to cyberbullying, as well as accompanying teaching resources. This work is supported by the European Commission and UK Government and will be launching in early 2016.

In developing this work, Childnet is looking to find examples and ideas of what schools are doing to prevent and respond to cyberbullying so they can share best practices with schools across the UK.

They are inviting school staff to complete the following short survey which should take about 15 minutes.

You will have the opportunity to add your school’s name to the national cyberbullying guidance for schools.

If you have any queries, please contact

Complete the online survey here - Deadline: 17 June 2015

Childnet Digital Leaders Programme launching in September 2015

Childnet recently announced that registration is now open for Childnet’s exciting new peer-to-peer education programme for secondary schools!

Launching in September 2015, the Childnet Digital Leaders Programme aims to empower young people to champion digital citizenship and digital creativity within their schools and to educate their peers, parents and teachers about staying safe online.

The programme, which is part of Childnet's work as the UK Safer Internet Centre, will offer pupils structured training and ongoing support from Childnet’s expert team, helping make e-safety learning fun and effective and ensuring that schools deliver an outstanding whole school community approach to e-safety.

Further information will be coming soon

Written by E-safety Support on May 21, 2015 10:26

Cybersmile Foundation Launch Online Initiative

The Cybersmile Foundation to help victims of digital abuse with virtual hugs

Cybersmile E-safetyThe Cybersmile Foundation are launching a new online initiative to combat the effects of cyberbullying and digital abuse with the help of virtual hugs. Trained support advisors will use the Twitter platform to actively search for individuals who express negative feelings and respond with tweet empowerment, and a virtual hug to encourage positivity and wellbeing among users.

According to recent studies*, 50% of teens have been bullied online while a majority of young people fear that digital abuse is on the rise. 87% of those participating in a recent survey conducted by McAfee also witnessed some form of cyberbullying.

People expressing negative feelings and emotions will be presented with a fun animated gif to brighten up their day, with the hashtag #WeAreHere so that other users can also find support and encouragement. Keywords such as 'sad', 'unhappy', and 'miserable', will be monitored to ensure users who are facing difficulties and need advice get assistance quickly. The Cybersmile Foundation will also provide professional help to people suffering from depression and users discussing 'suicide' on social networks. Adults as well as children can also log on to the Cybersmile Help Centre for more information or request live support from a Cybersmile support advisor.

"We are very excited about the launch of our #WeAreHere

With millions of people using social media every day to connect, play games and share stories, online bullying remains a big problem for many services and stakeholders are keen to take action to support victims of digital abuse.

*McAfee Teens and the Screen Study 2014

Written by E-safety Support on April 23, 2015 09:15

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