CEOP and Brook publish ‘Digital Romance’ report

CEOP and Brook have published new research which aims to explore and understand young people’s everyday use of technology within their relationships, and the ways in which the pleasures, harms and risks of interpersonal relationships may be influenced by technology.

Digital Romance was led by researchers Dr Ester McGeeney (Brook) and Dr Elly Hanson (NCA-CEOP), the research took place between January and May 2017 and used a mixed methods approach involving an online survey, in person focus groups and one-to-one interviews.

The project was motivated by the desire to evolve online safety education by providing an in-depth insight into young people’s views and experiences. Much of the focus of online safety work has been narrow – exploring the risks of online communication such as the unsafe sharing of personal details, the loss of control of material (especially images), and the facilitation of abusive and bullying behaviours. Research does not always recognise the positive role of digital technology in young people’s lives and the complicated ways in which young people experience and negotiate risk.

The report hopes that a deeper understanding of  the positives as well as risks will enable all agencies to deliver relevant, nuanced education that speaks to young people’s day to day experiences.

Key Findings

  • The study involved 2,135 young people aged 14-24
    • Interviews took place with 10 young people aged 14-25
    • 13 focus groups took place involving 69 young people aged 11-20

Young People’s Views and Experiences on ‘Digital Romance’


  • 84% have flirted at least once or twice online and 87% face to face.
  • 25% of young people report that they flirt online a lot and 23% report that they flirt face to face a lot.
  • Flirting is a nuanced practice with lots of different styles and levels
    • Often simply about fun, relaxation and connecting
    • Technology is ideally suited to the codes and ambiguity inherent to flirting
    • It may also afford more control – but also, for some, more pressure
    • In general face-to-face flirting was seen as more emotionally risky as well as beneficial

Nudes (or ‘Sexting’)

  • Children stated numerous reasons for sending ‘nudes’: fun, intimacy, confidence, lack of confidence, validation, pressure
    • 34% sent a nude/sexual image to someone they were interested in
    • 20% sent to their friends for fun
    • 28% felt pressurized to send one of themselves
    • 7% felt pressurized to send one of someone else
    • 26% received 1 of someone they knew sent by another
    • 9% sent one of someone they knew to someone else

Meeting partners online

  • 38% of survey participants had met someone online who they started seeing
    • (55% of trans young people)
  • 5% of survey participants reported that they had never met their partner face to face


  • 6% of survey participants have met someone in person who they first met online who wasn’t who they said they were.
    • 2.6% had experienced this ‘quite a few times’ to ‘a lot’
    • Significantly more boys and more gay young people were affected

Relationship pressures

  • High levels of unwanted ‘checking up on’ via tech (16% have asked their partner to stop)
    • Technology can be conducive to jealousy, as well as cheating and its discovery

Break ups

  • 84% had been broken up with via messaging services
  • 43% had been broken up with in person
  • 25% had been ‘ghosted’
  • 25% had been broken up with via phone call
  • 7% had been broken up with via a social media status change

Post break up

  • Breaking up is hard – and tech can freeze emotionally difficult moments in time
    • Technology also facilitates the playing out of preoccupation and ambivalence
      • 72% report staying friends with an ex on social media
      • 54% report removing them from all social media accounts
      • 54% report using social media to see what their ex is up to
      • More girls report both removing and checking up on ex

Online Safety Education: Young People’s views

  • Most participants had received education about online safety & relationships.
    • Young people reported they were aware of online risk and adopt a range of practices to manage it
  • Online safety education was favourably rated, however it was sometimes  viewed as too narrow or negative

Vulnerabilities & blind-spots – content not covered through online safety education

  • Desire for popularity and status (linked to insecurity)
  • Dealing with break-ups
  • Peer pressure
  • Gendered expectations
  • Perceptions of their being a ‘Hook-up’ culture

What support would young people like to help them enjoy positive relationships online/offline without harm?

  • 87% would like online self-help for young people with relationship difficulties
  • 78% would like support via SRE through online modules
  • 78% would like more tips and guides about using tech safely
  • 77% would like peer mentoring
  • 73% would like more programmes for parents about supporting their children to have good relationships

What they would like… from adults

  • Non-judgment and understanding about ‘digital romance’
  • Supportive relationships and positive ‘spaces’
  • Impart knowledge and experience about both positive and negative relationship
  • Address LGBT experiences

What they would like…from other young people

  • Be nice
  • Call out bad or hurtful behaviour
  • Support and sharing

What they would like…from teachers

  • Teach media literacy
  • Build confidence
  • More time and space throughout education on SRE
  • Promote positive relationship norms and challenge negatives
  • Facilitate peer-led learning
  • Support systems
  • Honesty and respect

What they would like…from parents

  • Close bonds
  • Less threats and punishment; build trust
  • Everyday conversations
  • Differing views on monitoring and restrictions – reflective of
    the complexities and nuance around this

Suggested implications

  • Specific attention to relationship skills and knowledge throughout a child’s education; not just a few  ‘ad hoc’ lessons
  • Make use of interactive technology to deliver some PSHE – e.g. online modules
  • Promote positive teacher-child; parent-child; and peer-peer relationships
  • Build holistic self-esteem and confidence in young people
  • Support young people in supporting others
  • Develop and promote a ‘cultural change’ by building positive school cultures

Suggested themes for schools to address within PSHE

  • Bystander empowerment
  • Media literacy
  • What good relationships look like; online and off
  • Promoting equality and respect – e.g. tackling harmful gender norms
  • Attention to ‘pockets of risk’ e.g. break-up period


Posted in 2017, Brook, CEOP, Positive Healthy Relationships, PSHE, Research, Schools, SRE | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Online Safety at Christmas: 2017 Template Letter and Useful Links for Parents

As Christmas time approaches, with 92% of 5- to 15-year-olds now online (Ofcom 2017), it’s likely that many children and young people will be looking forward to receiving technology based gifts under the tree this year.  This means the festive period is a great opportunity to highlight simple tips to help parents and carers make safer choices when buying new devices. It may also serve as a timely reminder to encourage parents to consider how they can help their children  to keep safer online during the festive period, and beyond.

To help support educational settings the e-Safety Development Officer has created a template letter for Designated Safeguarding Leads, headteachers or managers to adapt and share with their communities.

Additional links to share with parents/carers at Christmas include:

Educational settings may also find it helpful to adapt or share these parent/child contracts from FOSI which can be given to children alongside their new devices.

Settings may wish to use the letter and/or links in its entirely, or use the content within existing communication such as the school/setting newsletter or social media channels.

  • The 2016 edition of this post is available here.
  • Our colleagues at LGfL DigiSafe also have helpful advice and links for schools here.

We would like to wish all of our subscribers a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Ashley Assiter, e-Safety Development Officer and Rebecca Avery, Education Safeguarding Adviser (Online Protection)

Posted in 2017, e-Safety, Early Years, Independent Schools, Kent, Letter, Online Safety, Parents, Primary, Safeguarding, Schools, Secondary | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

BBClaunch new programme to enable young people to tell the difference between real and fake news

The BBC is launching a new programme supporting secondary school pupils to identify real news and filter out fake or false information.

From March 2018, up to 1,000 schools will be offered mentoring in class, online, or at events from BBC journalists. The initiative will be delivered by the BBC’s media literacy project School Report – a collaboration between BBC Academy and BBC News.

All schools will have free access to online materials including: classroom activities; video tutorials; and an interactive game developed by the Aardman studios where the player gets the chance to find out what it is like being a BBC journalist in the heart of a bustling newsroom.

A ‘Reality Check Roadshow’ will tour the country and local schools will be able to nominate their own ‘Reality Checker’ pupils to attend one of a dozen regional events. Some will be invited to present their own Reality Check reports on BBC School Report News Day in March 2018.

James Harding, Director of BBC News and Current Affairs, says: “Never has it been so important for young people to develop their critical thinking and to be news literate, and have the skills to filter out fakery from the truth, especially on their busy social media feeds. BBC News, as the most trusted news provider and home of Reality Check, is ideally placed to bring this project to schools and young people around the country.”

Find out more about the project here.

If you are a secondary school, sixth form, or youth group working with 11-18 year olds and would like to get involved and be kept informed of the project, you can register here.

Posted in BBC, Critical Thinking, Digital Rights & Responsbilities, e-Safety, Fake News, Online Safety, Reliability, Resources, Schools, Secondary | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Online Safety Alert – Social Media Concern: Information for Kent Schools

The following advice has been written by the Kent Education Safeguarding Team with approval from the Kent Police POLIT team. A version of this post has already been sent via email to Designated Safeguarding Leads registered with the Education Safeguarding Team area offices.

We have received a number of reports from schools relating to a video of child abuse  which is being shared through a variety of social media channels. This issue predominantly involves Secondary schools, however Primary schools or Early Years settings could be affected where children have older siblings.

Police are aware of the video and  safeguarding action has been taken to identify and protect the children involved. However upsetting, conflicting and inaccurate information is believed to be circulating, which is leading to panic and distress. Schools need to be vigilant to such concerns, but we would encourage you to take a proportional and informed response.

If this issue has not directly affected your school:

  • Designated Safeguarding Leads (DSLs) and/or Headteachers may choose to send general reminders to pupils and parents about online safety. Kent schools and settings can contact the Education Safeguarding Team for further advice.
  • Template letters and resources are available through the Education Safeguarding Team Blog;
  • Be aware that sharing specific information regarding the video may be distressing to adults and children; Headteachers should consider if it is appropriate and necessary to do so.

If a concern has been reported at your school:

  • Staff may be the first to be informed of the concern; ensure they are all aware of the need to report safeguarding concerns, including online safety issues, directly to a DSL so they can take appropriate safeguarding action.
  • If pupils have received the video they should be supported in reporting the concern directly to the police via CEOP and/or Kent police via 101.
    • Following this, pupils should be supported in deleting the content (if appropriate) and to block and report any accounts sharing the video to the social networking site or app involved.
    • The Think U Know and Safer Internet Centre website have information on privacy settings and reporting methods
  • If pupils are distressed by the content and/or are considered to be vulnerable, consideration should be given to speaking directly with their parents, ideally in discussion with the pupils involved. DSLs may also potentially need to refer to or inform other agencies; for example if any of the pupils who receive the video are at risk or are known to early help or social care.
  • Schools may wish to wait until they have received a response from Police/CEOP before speaking with the wider pupil group; however, if it is felt to be appropriate or required to do so, we’d suggest speaking with pupils sensitively on a small group basis, such as in tutor groups and not via a large assembly as this could lead to safeguarding issues.
    • The school may wish to mention there has been a concern reported locally whereby upsetting content is being circulated online. We would not advise sharing the name of possible apps involved, possible names of young people involved or specific details about the video with pupils, as this could be misleading and distressing, both for your own pupils and for the families of those involved. Additionally specific information could make pupils curious which could result in the content becoming more widely shared or accessed.
    • Pupils should be reminded of how to respond if they are sent any upsetting or concerning concern online, such as speaking to a trusted adult, reporting to CEOP and/or the website/app involved.
    • Pupils should not be blamed for receiving this content, assuming it has been sent to them without a request and they have not copied or forwarded it on. We would suggest being clear with pupils about the potential legal issues of forwarding, copying or sharing illegal content, however would advise doing so with caution as if children are afraid of being criminalised or punished, this it could prevent them from coming forward to share concerns now and/or in the future.
    • It’s likely this approach could lead to disclosures; this would need to be managed by the school, such as having at least two members of staff present.
  • Following this, schools may decide it is appropriate to share information with parents; if so, a template letter is available from the Education Safeguarding Team on request.
  • Schools can also report this concern directly to CEOP, the Internet Watch Foundation (depending on where content has been shared) and/or to Kent Police via 101.

Kent Schools should contact their Area Safeguarding Adviser directly or the Kent Online Safety Team if they have any queries, or wish to discuss this issue further.

Posted in 2017, Alert, Online Safety, Schools | Leave a comment

BBC launches ‘Own It’ website to help under-12s navigate online risks #esafety #onlinesafety

The BBC have launched a new website to help 9-12 year-olds navigate “the day-to-day pressures and dilemmas of life online”.

The site, Own It, features video clips and content by presenters and vloggers talking about issues including cyberbullying, privacy and online safety.  The site is called ‘Own it’, because it’s there to help children and young people take control and be the ‘boss’ of their online lives, and to assist them in developing “confidence and resilience” when dealing with online dangers.

The ‘Own It’ website is aimed at children and young people aged 9 to 12; an age group particularly affected by the day-to-day pressures and dilemmas of life online. The site offers young people practical guidance on what they say they want help with as well as  case studies, articles and discussion points.

The site covers:

  • The basics
  • Take control
  • It’s personal
  • Don’t panic
  • About us

The website is being delivered in partnership with a  range of organisations in the field of child internet safety as well as expert advisors in the field.

Schools may find it helpful to share the ‘Own It’ website directly with pupils such as via the school website or newsletters. Teachers may also find the content to be a useful stimulus for classroom discussions with KS2 and KS3 pupils, or for use within peer education work.

In a speech to the Children’s Global Media Summit in Manchester on the 6th December 2017, Lord Tony Hall, the director-general of the BBC said:

While children have the technological know-how to access websites and use social media, there is no  real evidence that their emotional development is any more advanced today than that of their grandparents. This gap makes young people vulnerable…

…Instead of thinking about how we might restrict children’s activities in the digital world, we need to focus on how we build a world that gives them freedom; that equips them with the skills they need to make the most of that freedom, and to express themselves in the digital world.

Posted in 2017, BBC, CBBC, Children and Young People, e-Safety, Independent Schools, Online Safety, Primary, Safeguarding, Schools, Secondary, Social Media, Social Networking, Teachers, Vlogging, Young People | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Project deSHAME: Young people’s experiences of online sexual harassment report published

Research published today by children’s charity Childnet as part of a Europe-wide project reveals that young people across the UK are being targeted by their peers with online sexual harassment, defined as unwanted sexual conduct, across a range of digital platforms.

The Project deSHAME survey of 1,559 UK teens found that in the last year almost a third of girls aged 13-17 years (31%) have received unwanted sexual messages online from their peers (compared to 11% of boys), while 1 in 10 UK youth have been targeted online by their peers with sexual threats such as rape threats. Over half of UK teens have witnessed their peers circulating nude or nearly nude images of someone they know.

Launching at the Children’s Global Media Summit in Manchester, the report comes amidst growing concerns of the prevalence of sexual harassment in schools and the upcoming publication of advice for schools from the Department for Education.

Will Gardner, CEO of Childnet, and coordinator of Project deSHAME said:

“Digital technology plays a central role in young people’s lives but it has opened the door for a range of new forms of sexual harassment, making societal discussions about these issues more pertinent than ever. It is evidently something that as a society we can no longer ignore.”

“Throughout the development of this report we have listened to the stories of young people who are navigating the complexities of relationships in a digital age and in some cases are facing the worst forms of peer-to-peer victimisation and online sexual harassment.”

“We believe that all young people have a right to be safe and free to express themselves in digital spaces. This report underlines how essential it is that we all work together to ensure that online sexual harassment is not an inevitable part of growing up.”

Key findings with UK teens

For most young people the internet plays an essential role in their friendships and relationships, providing positive opportunities for communication, connection and self-expression.

However, for many young people, online sexual harassment is embedded in their digital lives and to some extent expected. It emerges as part of the wider dynamic of their peer group and intimate relationships, and exists within a societal context where a pervasive culture of sexualisation, misogyny and homophobia is often left unchallenged.

In the report online sexual harassment has been categorised in four main types. These different behaviours are often experienced simultaneously and can overlap with offline experiences of sexual harassment.

Non-consensual sharing of intimate images and videos

  • Over half of UK respondents aged 13-17 years (51%) said they have witnessed people their age circulating nude or nearly nude images of someone they know, also referred to as ‘revenge porn’, while 6% have been the target of this behaviour.
  • Almost a quarter of UK teens (23%) have witnessed young people secretly taking sexual images of someone and sharing them online, also referred to as ‘creep shots’ or ‘upskirting’, while 8% admitted they had done this in the last year.

Exploitation, coercion and threats

  • 1 in 10 of UK respondents aged 13-17 years (10%) have received sexual threats online, including rape threats, from people their age in the last year, while 31% have witnessed this happening.
  • 12% of UK teens said their boyfriend or girlfriend had pressured them to share nude images in the last year, with girls being more likely to report this (14%) than boys (7%).

Sexualised bullying

  • 26% of UK respondents aged 13-17 years have had rumours about their sexual behaviour shared online in the last year, with almost two-thirds of respondents (65%) saying that girls are judged more harshly for this than boys.
  • Almost a third of UK teens (31%) had seen people their age creating fake profiles of someone to share sexual images, comments or messages in the last year, while almost half (47%) witnessed ‘doxing’ where other young people share personal details of someone who is seen as ‘easy’.

Unwanted sexualisation

  • 23% of UK respondents aged 13-17 years have received unwanted sexual messages and images in the last year, with girls being significantly more likely to experience this (31%) compared to boys (11%).
  • Over a quarter of UK teens (26%) reported that they had received sexual comments on a photo they posted of themselves in the last year, with girls being significantly more likely to experience this (33%) compared to boys (14%).

Empowering young people to speak up about online sexual harassment

The research revealed that young people face many barriers that can prevent them from speaking up about online sexual harassment.

Young people in the UK are more likely to turn to their friends if they experienced online sexual harassment (68%), compared to their parent or carer (39%), the police (18%) or a teacher (15%). While the majority of UK teens (81%) said they would block the person on social media, just 38% said they would report them.

Over half of UK teens (53%) said they would just ignore it, with young people reporting a range of barriers that would prevent them from speaking up.

  • 56% said they would be too embarrassed
  • 49% said they would be worried their parents/carers would stop them using the internet
  • 48% said they would be worried that they were to blame
  • 47% said they would be worried about what would happen next

To help young people overcome these barriers, Project deSHAME, coordinated by Childnet, will now begin to develop educational resources to equip schools to effectively prevent and respond to online sexual harassment among young people and empower them to speak up.

Defining online sexual harassment:

In the report, online sexual harassment is defined as unwanted sexual conduct on any digital platform and it is recognised as a form of sexual violence. Online sexual harassment encompasses a wide range of behaviours that use digital content (images, videos, posts, messages, pages) on a variety of different platforms (private or public). It can make a person feel threatened, exploited, coerced, humiliated, upset, sexualised or discriminated against.

This report specifically focuses on peer-to-peer online sexual harassment taking place between young people. Such harassment takes place in a gendered context, with girls being more likely to be targeted than boys – particularly for some forms of online sexual harassment – and these incidents often resulting in more negative outcomes for girls.

In the report online sexual harassment has been categorised in four main types. These different behaviours are often experienced simultaneously and can overlap with offline experiences of sexual harassment.

  • Non-consensual sharing of intimate images and videos: A person’s sexual images and videos being shared without their consent or taken without their consent.
  • Exploitation, coercion and threats: A person receiving sexual threats, being coerced to participate in sexual behaviour online, or blackmailed with sexual content.
  • Sexualised bullying: A person being targeted by, and systematically excluded from, a group or community with the use of sexual content that humiliates, upsets or discriminates against them.
  • Unwanted sexualisation: A person receiving unwelcome sexual requests, comments and content.
Posted in 2017, Childnet, DeShame, e-Safety, Online Safety, Online Sexual Harassment, Research | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Ofcom’s Children and Parents Media Use and Attitudes Report 2017 published

Ofcom have published their annual Children and Parents Media Use and Attitudes Report  for 2017. The report examines children’s media literacy and provides detailed evidence on media use, attitudes and understanding among children and young people aged 5-15, as well as about the media access and use of young children aged 3-4.

The report also includes findings relating to parents’ views about their children’s media use, and the ways that parents seek – or decide not – to monitor or limit use of different types of media.

The full report can be accessed here; a summary is provided below based on content provided by Ofcom here.

Schools and Early Years Settings may find the following content helpful when reviewing and developing  their online safeguarding curriculum and when speaking with staff and parents/carers.

Children’s Online Lives

More children are using the internet than ever before; 92% of 5- to 15-year-olds are online in 2017, up from 87% last year. More than half of preschoolers, 53% of 3-4s and 79% of 5-7s are online – a 12% rise on last year; much of this growth is driven by the increased use of tablets.

Social media platforms are popular with younger children, even though most platforms require users to be aged 13 or over.  More than a quarter (28%) of 10-year-olds have a social media profile, rising to around half of children aged 11 or 12 (46% and 51% respectively).

There is low awareness among parents of minimum age requirements. Six in ten parents of children who use Facebook (62%), and around eight in ten parents of children who use Instagram or Snapchat (79% and 85%) either didn’t know there was an age restriction, or gave the incorrect age. Many parents choose not to apply minimum age limits.

Aside from social media, one of the primary online destinations for children of all ages is YouTube, with eight in ten (81%) children aged 5 to 15 regularly using the site to watch short clips or programmes.

Among older children, YouTube is the most recognised content brand; 94% of 12-15s have heard of it compared to 89% for ITV, 87% for Netflix, and 82% for BBC One and Two.

Resources and links to share with parents/carers can be found on Kelsi.

Media lives by age: a snapshot

Negative Online Experiences

Half of children (49%) aged 12 to 15 who use the internet say they ‘never’ see hateful content online. But this year there is a higher proportion of children who have seen such content, from 34% in 2016 to 45% in 2017.

More than a third (37%) of children who saw this type of content took action. The most common response was to report it to the website in question (17%). Other steps included adding a counter-comment to say they thought it was wrong (13%), and blocking the person who shared or made the hateful comments (12%).

Resources to help children report online concerns can be found within the Kent Online Safety Policy Template and Guidance and Online Safety Classroom Resources page on Kelsi.

Accessing News Online

More than half (54%) of 12- to 15-year-olds use social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter to access online news, making social media the second most popular source of news after television (62%).

The news children read through social media is provided by third-party websites; while some of these may be reputable news organisations, others may not.

Many children are wise to this; 32% of 12- to 15-year-olds who say social media is one of their top news sources believe news accessed through these sites is always, or mostly, reported truthfully, compared to 59% who say this about TV and 59% about radio.

Nearly three-quarters (73%) of online tweens are aware of the concept of ‘fake news’, and four in ten (39%) say they have seen a fake news story online or on social media.

Filtering Fake News

The vast majority of 12-15s who follow news on social media are questioning the content they see. Almost nine in ten (86%) say they would make at least one practical attempt to check whether a social media news story is true or false.

The main approaches older children say they would take include:

  • Seeing if the news story appears elsewhere (48% of children who follow news on social media would do this).
  • Reading comments after the news report in a bid to verify its authenticity (39%)
  • Checking whether the organisation behind it is one they trust (26%)
  • Assessing the professional quality of the article (20%)

63% of 12- to 15-year-olds who are aware of fake news are prepared to do something about it:

  •  35% would tell their parents or another family member;
  • 18% would leave a comment saying they thought the news story was fake;
  • 14% would report the content to the social media website directly.

Some children still need help telling fact from fiction. Almost half (46%) of 12-15s who use social media for news say they find it difficult to tell whether a social media news story is true and 8% say they wouldn’t make any checks.

Resources to explore ‘fake news’ issues in the classroom can be found on the Online Safety Classroom Resources page on Kelsi.

Review of children’s content on television

The research shows that most 8- to 15-year-olds believe there are enough programmes on television for children their age, and that the content suitably reflects their lives. Some 8- to 15-year-olds disagree; one third (35%) of 8-11s who watch TV say that not enough programmes show children that look like them; while 41% of 12-15s say too few programmes show children living in their part of the country.

Building on this research, Ofcom has launched a Review of Children’s Content and will examine the range and quality of children’s programmes across TV broadcasters and content providers, and highlight any areas of concern.

Content dapted from 

Posted in 2017, Children and Young People, Ofcom, Research | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

New #esafety resource being developed for 4-7 year olds – Thinkuknow needs you!

Children are now using technology and exploring the online world from a younger age.  Thinkuknow are looking to develop a new resource to help build young children’s (aged 4-7) resilience online and give them the skills to explore all the digital world has to offer safely.

Thinkuknow are looking to develop a comprehensive picture of the online behaviour of 4-7 year olds and hope educators can help by completing a Professionals survey and by promoting the parent/carers survey to their community.

Professionals survey: Aimed at those working with children aged 4-7 years

Thinkuknow would like to hear from practitioners about what is most effective when educating children about online safety. Early Years and Primary school staff can complete the professionals survey here.

Parents/Carers survey: Aimed at parents/carers with children aged 4-7 years

Help Thinkuknow to gather as many parents/carers views as possible by sharing the survey with the parents you work with. Make sure they have their say about online safety and what works for their family. Complete the parents survey here.

Thinkuknow have suggested the following text to be shared with parents/carers via newsletters, emails, text services etc.

Our [school/organisation – please edit as appropriate] uses the Thinkuknow education programme to help your child learn about staying safe online. Please complete this survey to have your say about what you would like to see in their next resource for 4 to 7 year olds.

The surveys will be open until Friday 8th December 2017.


Posted in 2017, CEOP, e-Safety, Early Years, Online Safety, Parents, Primary, Survey, Think U Know | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Duke Of Cambridge Launches ‘Stop, Speak, Support’ Action Plan To Tackle Cyberbullying

On Thursday 15th November, the Duke of Cambridge launched a national, youth-led, code of conduct for the internet. The code called ‘Stop, Speak, Support’ aims to reach every 11-16 year old in Britain, to empower them to stop cyberbullying, by speaking out and seeking support. BBC coverage can be found here.

The Royal Taskforce

The Royal Foundation Taskforce on the Prevention of Cyberbullying was established by The Royal Foundation of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry. The taskforce  works with the technology industry to develop a series of commitments to help prevent the cyberbullying of children and young people, together with the guidance and expertise of charities, not-for-profit organisations and independent advisors.

The Taskforce launched in May 2016 to develop an industry-wide response to the online bullying of young people.

About the Stop, Speak, Support campaign

As part of The Royal Foundation’s Taskforce on the Prevention of Cyberbullying, a panel of young people have developed a campaign to encourage other young people to take three simple steps when you see bullying online.

The Stop, Speak, Support campaign has been created in response to 11-16 year olds saying that while they enjoy social media, games and online forums, that it is the only area of their lives that they feel does not have clear expectations or standards of behaviour they should all adhere to.

The Stop, Speak, Support steps were created in partnership with a panel of young people through a series of focus groups and workshops.

Stop, Speak, Support Code

Stop, Speak, Support aims to help young people spot cyberbullying and know what steps they can take to stop it happening and provide support to the person being bullied. The code encourages young people to:


  • Action 1: Take time out before getting involved, and don’t share or like negative
  • Action 2: Try and get an overview of what’s really going on.
  • Action 3: Check the community guidelines for the site you’re on.


  • Action 1: Ask an adult or friend that you can trust for advice.
  • Action 2: Use the report button for the social media it’s happening on.
  • Action 3: Speak to one of the charities set up to help with situations like this, such as Childline.


  • Action 1: Give the person being bullied a supportive message to let them know they’re not alone.
  • Action 2: Encourage the person being bullied to talk to someone they can trust.
  • Action 3: Give the person being bullied a positive distraction from the situation.

Advice is also available for parents.

BBC Newsround have covered the story here: Online safety: Prince William launches anti-cyberbullying plan


Posted in 2017, Cyberbullying, e-Safety, Peer on peer abuse, Resources, Schools, Secondary, The Royal Foundation Taskforce on the Prevention of Cyberbullying | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Thinkuknow launches new educational materials on live streaming #LiveSkills #esafety

Live streaming is increasingly becoming one of the most popular online activities for children and young people. Apps such as,, Periscope and YouNow are all soaring in popularity, which has seen other well established apps such as Facebook and Instagram adding live streaming functions. With this in mind it’s important that professionals are able to stay up to date with how children can stay safe when using these types of platforms.

Using the most up to date intelligence received into the CEOP Command, the education team at CEOP have released a set of new #LiveSkills resources  which concentrate on the specific risks children and young people face whilst live streaming. They focus on the nuanced features of this phenomenon such as the immediacy of ‘live contact’ and the large numbers of users communicating with a young person at any one time, and the affirmation gained via views and gifts.

Key issues covered:

  • The types of tactics offenders use on live streaming platforms
  • Skills to think critically about the people they meet online
  • Identifying and responding to pressure and manipulation online
  • Issues such as low confidence and self-esteem that can make children and young people particularly vulnerable ‘when live’
  • Understanding online sexual abuse and sources of support
  • Building resilience in children and young people

Who are the resources for?

Through a series of age appropriate activities, both primary and secondary aged children will be taught skills to help them think critically about the people they meet online and empower them to respond safely to pressure and manipulation from adult offenders.

There are also accompanying resources for parents and carers to educate them about their children’s internet use and factsheets for professionals that provide context and information about live streaming.

The resources include the following:

  • Exploring Self-esteem for 8-11 year olds: Three 20 minute activities  focused on understanding how to build confidence, recognise their positive character attributes and know who to trust online.
  • Exploring positive and negative attention for 8-11 year olds: Three 20 minute activities focused on identifying what negative attention online could be and what they can do online and offline to seek more positive affirmation.
  • Charlie’s story- live streaming case study for 13+ year olds: 1hour 30min session focusing on a case study of online sexual abuse of a young person via live streaming. The activities explore the concepts of coercion/pressure online, barriers to disclosing and where young people can seek support. This session can be delivered in separate parts.
  • 11-13 and 14+ years: Article focusing on identifying and responding safely to pressure online. This article can also be found on the Thinkuknow website.
  • Parents/carers: A 30 min presentation for parents/carers explaining live streaming, the risks for young people and tips to support their child to stay safe. This presentation can also be adapted to deliver to professionals. A new article exploring similar themes is also available to download and can be found on the Thinkuknow Parents and Carers website.
  • Professionals: All resources are designed to be delivered by professionals working directly with children and young people. A factsheet providing key information about live streaming is also included for your reference.
  • Supporting activities: The package of resources includes comprehensive guidance on delivering each session and includes; lesson plans, a presentation, printable resources, factsheets for professionals and parents and carers.

All resources include key information on reporting to CEOP and where to seek further advice and support. To gain access to these materials, please visit to download.


Posted in 2017, CEOP, e-Safety, Exploitation, Live Streaming, Parents, Primary, PSHE, Resources, Schools, Secondary, Social Media, YouTube | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment