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Online Safetyesafety

An overview

Online safety is introduced to students through the ICT curriculum and in addition, it is addressed in each year during PSHE/Citizenship lessons. We also run online safety assemblies and special events such as Safer Internet Day which takes place in February every year.

Our online safety policy is an integral part of our safeguarding policy and can be found on the policies page of our website. This policy is reviewed annually. In addition all students sign our Acceptable Use Policy which can be viewed here.

Online safety is an integral part of our ‘Behaviour for Learning’ policy and online safety issues are monitored and addressed regularly to address the constant changes in the use of technology.

What can you do as a parent or carer to keep your child safe online?

The internet is an amazing resource which enables children and young people to connect, communicate and be creative in a number of different ways, on a range of devices. However, the internet is always changing, and being able to keep up to date with your children’s use of technology can be a challenge. You may sometimes feel that your children have better technical skills than you do, however children and young people still need advice and protection when it comes to managing their lives online and using the internet positively and safely.

Parents and carers play a key role in supporting children to learn about how to stay safe online, and they are one of the first people children turn to if things go wrong. We know it can be difficult to stay on top of the wide range of sites and devices that young people use, so we hope that the following advice helps.

It is essential to be involved in your child's online life. The internet has become an integral part of people’s lives and it is a key element of the way in which many young people now socialise. As a parent or carer you have a challenging job, you need to know what your children are doing online and also help them to do it in a safe way. With technology changing on a day-to-day basis, the best way to stay informed is to get involved.

Some useful conversation starters are as follows:

  • Ask your child to tell you what they like most about the internet and why e.g. sites they visit, ways to communicate, games they play, etc.
  • Ask your children what they would like others to do to improve or change the internet and make it a better place.
  • What does a better internet mean to them? (Is it safer, kinder, more fun, fewer age restrictions, etc.?)
  • Ask them to tell you how they stay safe online. What tips do they have for you to deal with online issues and where did they learn them?
  • Ask your children if they know where to go for help, where to find advice, privacy settings and how to report or block within the services they use

What can you do right now?

There are real advantages in maintaining an open dialogue with your child about their internet use, encourage them to talk to you about their time online; for example who they’re talking to, what services they are using, and any issues that they may be experiencing. Also, bear in mind that multiple devices now connect to the internet including gaming consoles and that internet connections could be made through free Wi-Fi or 3G/4G mobile connections.

Create a family agreement to establish your children’s boundaries, and your expectations, when on the internet. Give your child strategies to deal with any online content that they are not comfortable with – such as turning off the screen, telling an adult they trust and using online reporting facilities.

Use parental controls on devices that link to the internet, such as the TV, laptops, computers, games consoles and mobile phones. Parental controls are not just about locking and blocking, they are a tool to help you set appropriate boundaries as your child grows and develops. They are not the answer to your child’s online safety, but they are a good start and they are not as difficult to install as you might think. Service providers are working hard to make them simple, effective and user friendly. Find your service provider and learn how to set your controls.

  • Familiarise yourself with the privacy settings and reporting features available on popular sites and services.

  • Encourage your children to ‘think before you post.’ Online actions can impact not only yourself but the lives of others. Content posted privately online can be publicly shared by others, and may remain online forever.

  • Understand the law. Some online behaviour may break the law, for example when downloading or sharing content with others. Be able to recommend legal services.

  • If your child is being bullied online, save all available evidence and know where to report the incident, for example to the school, service provider, or the police if the law has been broken.

  • Familiarise yourself with the age ratings for games and apps which can help to indicate the level and suitability of the content. Also see if online reviews are available from other parents as these may be helpful.

  • Encourage your children to protect their personal information, and create strong passwords for every account.

  • Set boundaries in the online world just as you would in the real world. Think about what they might see, what they share, who they talk to and how long they spend online. It is important to discuss boundaries at a young age to develop the tools and skills children need to enjoy their time online.

  • Keep all equipment that connects to the internet in a family space. For children of this age, it is important to keep internet use in family areas so you can see the sites your child is using and be there for them if they stumble across something they don’t want to see.

Know what connects to the internet and how. Nowadays even the TV connects to the internet. Make sure you’re aware of which devices that your child uses connect to the internet, such as their phone or games console. Also, find out how they are accessing the internet is it your connection, or a neighbour’s wifi? This will affect whether the safety setting you set are being applied.

Online grooming and the dangers of speaking to people online

Kayleigh’s Love Story is as a warning to young people, both girls and boys, about the dangers of speaking to people they don’t know online. The film highlights just how quick and easy it can be for children to be groomed online without them or those around them knowing it is happening. Its purpose is to protect children now and in the future and to stop another family losing a child in this way.



Further information for parents

For a wide range of advice and ideas on how to maintain safe behaviour online you can visit the UK Safer Internet Centre as well as the following links:

Further useful links on e-safety

  • Think U Know – a great site for young people.
  • CEOP – Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre – a must read!
  • Get Net Wise – get wise about staying safe.
  • Cyber Bullying – How to deal with online bullying.
  • Bullying Information – What’s the Best Thing to Do About Bullies?
  • Parent Info - expert information to help children and young people stay safe online.

Useful downloads

Advice for Parents on keeping children safe online:

Reporting concerns

In school the point of contact will be the Year Coordinator or Year Manager. Serious concerns relating to child protection should be reported to the school’s Designated Safeguarding Lead – Mr A Oliver, Mrs J Peterkin or Mr L Farmer.

Students can protect themselves online by reporting incidents to the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre by clicking on the CEOP button located on this website, or through the school’s Whisper system https://swgflwhisper.org.uk/report/HOL3


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