As a school we take internet safety very seriously. Our students use the internet and it is our responsibility to ensure they use it in a safe way. As a trust, we employ a range of measures to support this. We have filtering systems that ensure that illegal or explicit content cannot be accessed and we employ another piece of software, Smoothwall, which reports any concerns about a young person’s activity whilst using a computer directly to our safeguarding team. All of our staff are trained annually in online safety to ensure that they have a solid understanding of the potential risks for anyone using the internet, online games or social media. We teach specific lessons on internet safety, but you will find below some brief guidelines on keeping your child safe on the internet at home.
How to help keep your child safe online:
- Explore the internet together. Ask your child to show you their favourite websites and apps and what they do on them. Show you are interested by listening to them and encouraging them to teach you about the apps and websites they use.
- Chat little and often about online safety so it becomes a normal part of the conversation. Ask if anything ever worries them while they’re online. Make sure they know that if they ever feel worried, they can get help by talking to you or another trusted adult.
- Help your child identify trusted adults who can help them if they are worried. This includes you and other adults at home, as well as staff from school.
- Supervise their online activity. For younger children, keep devices they use in communal areas of the house such as in the living room or kitchen where an adult can keep an eye on them.
- Talk about how their online actions can affect others. If your child is engaging with others online, remind them to consider how someone else might feel before they post or share something. If they want to share a photo or video of somebody else, they should always ask permission first.
- Use ‘SafeSearch’. Most web search engines will have a ‘SafeSearch’ function, which will allow you to limit the content your child can access whilst online. Look out for the ‘Settings’ button on your web browser homepage, which is often shaped like a small cog.
- Parental controls. Use the parental controls available on your home broadband and all internet enabled devices in your home. You can find out more about how to use parental controls by visiting your broadband provider’s website.
- Stay anonymous. Teach your child not to reveal their name, address, phone numbers or their school to people they meet online. They should never agree to meet face-to-face someone they have met online without a parent present.
Compiled with the help of Thinkuknow, the national online safety education programme from CEOP (Child Exploitation and Online Protection Command), the online child protection command of the National Crime Agency.
CEOP is a really useful resource for families and professionals in relation to online safety. It provides information on how to keep young people of different ages and abilities safe whilst navigating the internet as well as being a point of contact if you have suffered abuse online or have concerns regarding someone’s behaviour online. Our head of Safeguarding is a trained CEOP Ambassador.
The school’s safeguarding team can provide further advice and resources regarding online safety, courtesy of our online safety training provider “National Online Safety”.