As a society with easy access to online search engines, social media sites, online gaming and a vast network of information - all at arms reach for your child.

We are all well aware of the amazing uses of the internet, but we also must emphasize the dangers / risks posed with this access.

Some key points to consider:

  1. Screen time - how long is your child at a computer? If they are learning online and gaming or using their phone in the evening, that could be 6-12 hours of time on digital devices
  2. What is your child doing? - are you aware of your childs activities online? Are you confident that your child can only access age appropriate material?
  3. What's that app? - most apps and social media sites have measures in place to reduce the likelihood of exposure to inappropriate content and behaviors. But ask yourself, what could you find on that app?
  4. Your internet settings - you may not be tech savvy, but your ISP or Internet Service Provider, should be able to offer you guidance / support you with putting screen time, restrictions and filters, and other features to help you protect your child. Although, you need to remember that most children have access to mobile data and therefore, turning the router off is not always effective.
  5. Relationships - Are you able to have a conversation with your child about the internet? Would your child allow you to check their digital devices? Are they secretive or defensive about the topic? If so, why?
  6. Downloads - what is being downloaded in your household? It is illegal to download certain media, such as films. This also opens the door to malware and other damaging files.
  7. Conduct online - We cover E-Safety in Key Stage 3 and in PSHE, we often remind our students of the consequences of their conduct online. Poor conduct online may not necessarily have consequences now, but perhaps later on in life.
  8. Age ratings - What films, music or games can your child access? Is it appropriate?
  9. Health and wellbeing - using digital devices often requires a person to sit down, this can impact the health and wellbeing of an individual. It is important to take regular breaks and ensure exercise and a healthy diet is a part of the daily routine for your children.
  10. Mental Health - Children have access to some of the most advanced search engines, unfortunately this does present a problem when a child searches for an answer to something they may not fully understand. E.g. a child may ask Google about a health related question, their mental health or search other material online. It is important your child accesses safe and correct advice from a professional.


Be Safe Online

As a result of the current situation, young people are spending an increasing amount of time online. Engaging in learning online has been extremely beneficial, however as children gain confidence in using online resources, they will naturally explore other areas of the world wide web. Although this should be encouraged like most everyday activities it comes with its own risks.

Therefore, for young people to stay safe online, first and foremost it is important that they have conversations, about their online activities with adults who are part of their life. For these conversations to happen the adult doesn’t have to be an expert in technology but use this trusted relationship to talk about online activities, people they are talking to, inappropriate behaviour and language and any risks that they might be taking. It is useful to remind young people that what is unacceptable in real life is also unacceptable online. Also, that it is safest to talk to people online who they know and trust in real life and that people may present themselves differently on social media.

Secondly, where appropriate monitoring and filtering as well as parental controls should be implemented. These controls should be at a level appropriate to the age and maturity of the young person.

There is a wealth of resources available. However, as a starting point some of these can support and help parents/carers.



Advice and guidance for parents

The internet is such an integral part of children’s lives these days. It opens up so many educational and social opportunities, giving them access to, quite literally, a world of information and experiences.

Whether on a computer at school, a laptop at home, a games console or mobile phone, children and young people are increasingly accessing the internet whenever they can and wherever they are.

As you would protect your child in the real world, you will want to make sure that they are safe whatever they are doing. Like learning to cross the road, online safety skills are skills for life. If your child understands the risks and can make sensible and informed choices online, they can get the most from the internet and stay safe whilst doing so – particularly from those people who might seek them out to harm them.

So, how can you protect your child online?

In this section we will provide information and links to websites that will provide you with all you need to know about how to ensure your child is safe when going online.

If you have any concerns about your child’s safety online, please contact the school for further support.

Parental controls offered by your home internet provider

The 4 big internet providers in the UK – BT, Sky, TalkTalk and Virgin Media – provide their customers with free parental controls which can be activated at any time. They have come together to produce helpful video guides to help you to download and set-up the controls offered by your provider, details can be found here.

Cyberbullying – Getting offensive content taken down

If online content is offensive or inappropriate, and the person or people responsible are known, you need to ensure they understand why the material is unacceptable or offensive and request they remove it. Most social networks have reporting mechanisms in place to report content which breaches their terms, click here to see a list of contact details for Social networking sites. If the person responsible has not been identified, or does not respond to requests to take down the material, the parent / staff member should use the tools on the social networking site directly to make a report.

Some service providers will not accept complaints lodged by a third party. In cases of mobile phone abuse, where the person being bullied is receiving malicious calls and messages, the account holder will need to contact the provider directly. Before you contact a service provider it is important to be clear about where the content is; for example by taking a screen shot of the material that includes the web address. If you are requesting they take down material that is not illegal, be clear to point out how it breaks the site’s terms and conditions. Where the material is suspected of being illegal you should contact the police directly.

See below for advice on all aspects of digital security, safety and links to sites for more guidance.

  • Information for parents and carers - From Childnet International
  • Safety advice for some of the most popular types of apps and websites older children are using.Advice about smartphones, gaming devices, tablets and other internet-connected devices, see more here.Cyber Crime – NSPCC Play Like Share
  • This three-episode animated series and accompanying resource pack aims to help eight-to-ten year olds learn how to stay safe from sexual abuse, exploitation and other risks they might encounter online such as sharing content. Follow this link to find out more.
  • Internet Watch Foundation – The UK Hotline for reporting criminal online content: Child sexual abuse content hosted anywhere in the world; Criminally obscene adult content hosted in the UK; Non-photographic child sexual abuse images hosted in the UK. Reports are confidential and can be made anonymously.
  • The Terms and Conditions of Facebook state that a user must be 13 or over. If you are aware your child has an account discover what facebook is doing to keep children safe online.
  • Childnet have produced a privacy guide about ‘Graph Search’- Facebook’s newest feature to help people explore content on the site. The guide will help you check what other people can see about you.


Digital Parenting by Vodafone



Keeping children and young people safe online


There are many sites which offer information useful both at home and at school. Please have a look at the links below: