Parent Guidance for Internet Safety
Parents should be clearly aware of the school’s policy of access to social networking sites. Where a disclosure of bullying is made, schools now have the duty to investigate and protect, even where the bullying originates outside the school. Parents must also understand that they are responsible for access to technology outside of school, if issues arise parents must review their home security and access to technology.
This can be a complex area, and these examples might help:
- A child is receiving taunts on Instagram, iMessage or SnapChat and texts from an ex pupil who moved three months ago. This is not a school responsibility, though the school might contact the new school to broker a resolution.
- A child is receiving taunts from peers. It is all at weekends using text messages. The pupils are in the school. The school has a duty of care to investigate and work with the families, as they attend the school.
- A child is receiving taunts from peers. It is all at weekends using Instagram. The pupils are in the school. The school has a duty of care to investigate and work with the families, as they attend the school. However, they are also fully within their rights to warn all the parents (including the victim) that they are condoning the use of Instagram outside the terms and conditions of the site and that they are expected to ensure that use of the site stops. Any further referral to the school, the school could legitimately say that the victims and perpetrators had failed to follow the schools recommendation. They could then deal with residual bullying in the school, but refuse to deal with the social networking issues.
- Once disclosure is made, investigation will have to involve the families. This should be dealt with under the school’s adopted anti bullying policy.
- If parent / carers refuse to engage and bullying continues, it can be referred to the police as harassment.
- Parents may decide that the issue must be dealt with by the police and may contact the police prior to the school. We would ask that the parents inform the school as the police may want to interview pupils during the school day.
- This guidance can also apply to text and mobile phone cyber bullying.
Our children love to use the internet specially to play games and to communicate with their friends. The way they start using computers and the guidance they are given at this young age can set them on the right path to being safer in later life.
At our school we ensure that our children are taught the basic tips of Internet Safety in every year group.
We recently had an Internet Safety Day. It was run by Paul Hay who is an expert in Internet Safety. Paul worked with the teachers to lead an assembly and run class lessons.
For the younger years, we use a cartoon which was created by the Child Exploitation and Online Protection agency (CEOPs). You can see the cartoon on YouTube by clicking here.
It tells the children the 4 Top Tips they need to remember.
- Top Tip 1 : People you don’t know are strangers. They’re not always who they say they are.
- Top Tip 2 : Be nice to people on the computer like you would in the playground.
- Top Tip 3 : Keep your personal information private.
- Top Tip 4 : If you ever get that ‘uh oh’ feeling, you should tell a grown-up you trust. Click here to download and print your own poster http://www.pclstraining.com/app/download/2634043/Sids+Top+Tips+Poster.pdf
For the older year groups, we had a special lesson to help them understand social media and how to be careful using it.
They were shown a video to help understand. You can see that video on YouTube by clicking here
We also held sessions for parents. It is important for all parents to learn about how children use the internet so they can carry on the discussion with their own children at home.
Paul has provided links to useful sites to learn more about Internet Safety and watch other related videos. Here is the site www.pclstraining.com/links
Paul is also happy for parents to contact him with any questions you may have. firstname.lastname@example.org
"Digital Parenting" magazine An organisation called Parentzone have created a great magazine for parents to help them understand how young people use the internet and provide help. Click here to download your own copy