Five Steps to Keeping Your Child Safe Online
Step 1 - Talk To Your Child
If you are unsure just how all this technology works, get your child to show you.
Talk to them about what they do online, why they find it so exciting and what they use it for. This is a great time to explore online with your child.
Step 2 - Start By Being Safe
Talk to your child about the importance of being responsible and safe online.
Take a look at the history button and links on your web browser. Talk to your children about what they see and do.
Remember this is about parenting, not about knowing the ins and outs of various technologies.
Consider filtering the content availible on your child's internet enabled devices
Step 3 - Set The Ground Rules
Make sure your family has some clear ground rules when using the internet. Set boundaries and time limits and encourage good behaviour online – for example:
No sharing of personal information
No arranging to meet strangers.
Useful Links and documents -
Information for Parents on Internet Safety
Know It All for Parents
Parental advice on filtering
Education against Hate - extremist and radicalisation
Your Child's Health and Safety
Advice and help on Cyberbullying aimed at parents and students
Advice for parents from Ceops - the Child Explotation and Online Protection Centre
Parents' Guide to Snapchat
Here to download
Parents' Guide to E-safety recommended by the NSPCC
Here to download
Step 4 - Guard Private Information
Keep your family information private. Think before you share personal information online and explain why it’s important to be cautious. Remember that once something goes public, it can be very difficult to undo.
Step 5 - Report Abuse
You need to be ready to act if your child feels uncomfortable with anything they experience online. Let them know they can tell you, or another trusted adult, if they are having a problem.
Ensure they know:
- How to use the 'report abuse' button on the sites they visit
- How to block Unwanted Messages
- What to do if they discover a site that makes them feel uncomfortable
- You can report abuse via the Think You Know Website
Useful links to report Abuse
The report website click here
Our aim is to ensure that all pupils can safely access the internet and its many advantages but that they are aware of the dangers, including the use of social media/chat sites. There are e-safety notices and reminders in every classroom and the issues around safe use of the internet is covered in ICT classes. Please support us on this very important topic by visiting http://www.saferinternet.org.uk/advice-and-resources .
Cyber Safety Statement
View our Cyber Safety Statement here.
Safe Use of the Internet
At the academy, we are becoming increasingly concerned about the inappropriate use of social networking sites by our pupils. We know that this is a national phenomenon and every Head Teacher has expressed similar concerns. That does not mean that we have to accept the situation.
Our main concerns at this time are:
- Children communicating with people they don’t know or who pose as celebrities;
- Sending provocative pictures of themselves to friends (who they then fall out with) or to anonymous social network site ‘friends’;
- Saying things on line to or about someone which rapidly escalates into cruel and malicious comments and sometimes threats and bullying. Regrettably, on some occasions, brothers and sisters and even parents have got involved in this upward spiral of abuse.
Hardly a week goes by without staff being involved in trying to sort out in the academy the problems which arise from the above, often dealing with very distressed young people.
In the academy, we spend a lot of time trying to educate our pupils about the dangers of the internet but for many the message(s) does not seem to be getting through. Since May 2011, in order to safeguard our children and to free staff up from having to deal with the fallout from these incidents, we have proposed a different approach. This involves home and school working more closely together.
What Parents / Guardians Can Do
We think parents are the key to solving the problem as the school ICT systems do not allow access to social networking sites. The way forward must be to try to stop problems arising rather than deal with the problems when they do. At the risk of stating the obvious, we would ask parents to do some or all of the following:
- Block access for your children to social networking sites;
If that is not an option you may want to consider the following:
- Ensure that social network sites your child may use are secure i.e. access is not open to the world;
- Access to the computer is only in a supervised or ‘family area’ of the home;
- Check your child’s social network site and monitor what is happening on it;
- Have time limits for PCs and Game machines, perhaps ensuring they are turned off in the evening at an agreed time;
- Remember that many modern phones also enable access to social networking sites – if buying your child a phone, consider whether they really need all the bells and whistles or do they just need a phone?
What The School Will Do
We need to ensure that all pupils feel safe, secure and happy in the academy; in such an environment, young people are better able to focus on their learning. We also need to ensure that staff are not having to spend hours dealing with problems associated with social networking sites: they should be focused likewise on supporting children with their learning.
We will continue our efforts to make pupils aware of the risks associated with using the internet.
There is a blanket ban on the use of mobile phones and other electronic devices in school to reinforce this and to put a stop to texting, emailing, and the taking of pictures or videos etc during the school day;
Pupils can still bring a phone or other electronic device to the academy for use after the day has finished but we do not expect to see them at any time during the academy day (this includes headphones), otherwise they will be confiscated. On the first instance, we will return the item at the end of the academy day and notify parents this has happened. For any future confiscations, we will ask parents to come and collect the item.
Also, from now on any issue brought to school which has its origins in ‘cyberspace’ will be referred to a senior staff member. Details will be noted on a proforma and a decision will be made on which of the following courses of action to take:
- To refer back to parents;
- To refer to the appropriate member of staff to take action;
- To refer to Social Services if there are Children Protection concerns;
- To refer to The Police.
In all cases, a copy of the completed proforma will be sent to parents.
We hope we have your full support in dealing with what is a growing problem not just here but across the country. We believe that what is at stake is the well-being of our children and that has always been the academy's number one priority.
Pupil Guidelines for Email and Internet Use - Acceptable Use Policy
These guidelines outline the expectations and rules surrounding the use of email and the internet by pupils at Priory Belvoir Academy, a copy is available in your child's Diary and Planner and available to download below