Safeguarding, Child Protection and Online Safety

MOBILE PHONES, SOCIAL MEDIA AND ONLINE SAFETY

It is hard to imagine how different childhood is now because of technology and social media. If your child has a phone then do please remind them of the school rules (no phones should be seen except in the ‘phone zones’).

You may also have agreed some rules for home to help them to stay healthy and happy. Bestselling author, Steve Biddulph, advises a family rule where you don’t have mobile phones, I pads or computers in bedrooms (until at least the age of 16).

There is also a fabulous new section of the NSPCC website called ‘Share Aware’ that you can explore with (and without) your child. This is taken from the introduction.

TALK ABOUT THEIR ONLINE WORLD

We talk to children about crossing the road, bullying and speaking to strangers. But what about staying safe in the digital world?

Having regular conversations about what your child is doing online - just like you would their day at school - is the best way to keep them safe.

You'll be able to spot any problems, encourage them to come to you if they’re worried and make sure they know what’s ok to share online - and what’s not.

You can find out more about the social networks, apps and games your child uses with our Net Aware tool.

The net aware tool is really useful. It details all the different social media that they will encounter. It also reminds everyone of a number of key rules. For example Facebook is only for 13+, snapchat is only for 13+, Instagram is only for 13+ …. this could help you win a number of arguments. There is also information about agreements, settings and parental controls that are well worth reading, discussing and agreeing. There is discussion of uses of different site, games and apps, and also analysis of associated risks.

Sadly we do need to be aware of associated dangers. Our PSHCE and ICT/Computing curriculum cover e safety but conversations at home are key as it is outside school that young people use social media. As a school we cannot resolve the disagreements and upset caused by our students’ use of social media in the evenings and weekends particularly when they are using age inappropriate sites etc without regard for controls or privacy settings.

There are also greater dangers than cyber bullying. The TES recently published the story of Breck Bednar. It is a horrendous story about a young boy who was groomed via an online gaming site. The TES unapologetically shared the story in full to ensure all parents/carers and those who work with young people are fully aware of the dangers. The Breck Foundation was set up to help prevent future tragedies (www.breckfoundation.org) and the website provides resources and information for parents, children and schools.

Contacts

Designated Child Protection Liaison Officer

Sue O'Connor - Assistant Headteacher (Behaviour, Welfare and Safety)

0114 267 0000

Deputy CHILD PROTECTION LIAISON OFFICER

Louise Hamnett - Associate Assistant Headteacher (Learning Support and Inclusion)

0114 267 0000

Useful Documents