Being online is an integral part of children and young people’s lives. Social media, online games, websites and apps can be accessed through mobile phones, computers, laptops and tablets – all of which form a part of children and young people’s online world.
The internet and online technology provides new opportunities for young people’s learning and growth, but it can also expose them to new types of risks. Government guidance across the UK highlights the importance of safeguarding children and young people from harmful and inappropriate online material. Please see Annex C of Keeping Children Safe in Education.
E-safety should form a fundamental part of schools’ and colleges’ safeguarding and child protection measures. But it is also integral that online safety is emphasised at home to reinforce the importance of it.
Please make sure to safeguard your children by using ‘parental controls’ from your internet provider and on the device they are using. We recommend supervising them whenever they are using the internet and regularly checking the search ‘History’.
Inclusive Digital Safety
Internet matters have a new initiative called ‘Inclusive Digital Safety’ which you can view here. It has a focus on offering advice for parents, carers and professionals on keeping children with vulnerabilities safe online. This includes Looked After Children, children with SEND and children who identify as LGBTQ+.
It has a specific section on Children in Care which has really useful guides about staying safe online specifically aimed for Parents/Carers of Looked After Children. There is also an Index of Online Harms section how to respond to certain behaviours/warning signs in an appropriate manner. There is also a similar section on supporting children with SEND to stay safe online.
Facebook’s Get Digital Programme
Facebook have just launched their Get Digital programme designed to provide research informed lessons, tips and resources to help young people to develop the competencies to navigate their increasingly complex and connected world. They have a section for parents and carers to start a conversation about digital citizenship and well-being: the information, behaviours and skills that young people need to safely navigate the Internet and use its resources to positively influence the world around them.
Project evolve provide the right opportunity for discussion; prompted by appropriate questions accompanied by honest and useful information to shape thinking and challenge misconceptions around online safety. The vibrant new content has been written by a team of experts here the UK Safer Internet Centre.
Online Safety Calendar 2020/2021
The UK Safer Internet Centre has published a useful calendar prompting schools to consider different online safety themes throughout the school year.
You can view the calendar here.
Useful resources and further guidance
- Virtual School Safeguarding Policy
- North Yorkshire Safeguarding Children Partnership's Online Safety Guidance
- Resources on how to keep children safe online (Childnet)
- Teach younger children how to keep safe with the cartoon characters of the SMART Crew (Childnet)
- For Older Children to learn how to stay safe online (Childline)
- Useful guides specifically about keeping Looked After Children safe online (Inclusive Digital Safety)
- There is also a section on responding to behaviours/warning signs in an appropriate manner (Inclusive Digital Safety)
- Get Digital programme (Facebook)
- Project Evolve (UK Safer Internet Centre)