Snapchat’s new Snap Maps feature- what school’s need to know #esafety

Last week, Snapchat announced a new feature to their photo and video sharing app called ‘Snap Maps’,  which allows users to share and access ‘snaps’ by location.

“We’ve built a whole new way to explore the world! See what’s happening, find your friends, and get inspired to go on an adventure! It’s easy to get started — just pinch to zoom out and view the Map!” 

What is it?

With this new update, users will be able to see their friends and other users on a map view. By clicking on a friend’s “Actionmoji”, users can then view their ‘stories’ or begin a chat. With this in mind, it is important that users understand exactly who can see their location and access their ‘snaps’.

The first time you access ‘Snap Maps’, a tab will appear which gives you the option to choose who can see your location: My friends; select friends; only me (Ghost mode). Users can also change their preference at any time by accessing their location preferences in the settings options.

For more information about changing privacy and location settings on Snapchat, have a look at the latest blog post from UK Safer Internet Centre.

What should we be telling parents?

This feature is not new, many other apps and social networks, such as Instagram, also use location services and map search facilities. The best approach is likely to be to focus on positive behaviours, safe usage and parenting, rather than on specific apps.

As per our previous advice, unless there has been a specific incident relating to the app, then we would not necessarily recommend sending out blanket ‘warning notices’ or letters to parents. Instead, this may be a good opportunity to remind parents about the importance of discussing online safety and actively engaging with their children online.

You may find it useful to share these conversation starter ideas available from Childnet International or the NSPCC Share Aware resources.

If schools do decide to share Snapchat specific information with their parents and carers, then the following links provide general advice about the app, including their community guidelines, privacy settings and how to block content or other users:

What should we be telling children and young people?

When talking to children and young people about online safety, it is vital that we (as adults) acknowledge the attraction and exciting opportunities that new technology offers, as well as offering sensible advice and guidance.

It may not be necessary to name the app or service specifically, but you may want to use this opportunity to start talking to pupils about location services and how to keep themselves safe. Why not let the young people themselves lead the discussion on how they might use this new technology and what the potential risks may be; encourage them to explore ways in which they can minimise the risks and keep themselves and others safe. Empowering pupils to think critically about the online tools they use and their own behaviour is likely to be more effective than simply telling them not to use it!

You may also find Childnet International’s top tips about location services useful to share with pupils.

What should I do if I still have a concern?

If a school or setting has concerns regarding a specific online safety incident that is likely to impact the safety and wellbeing of their community, they should follow their usual child protection procedures.

If Kent schools/settings would like further advice regarding SnapChat or online safety then they can contact the Education Safeguarding Adviser (Online Protection) or the e-Safety Development Officer within the Education Safeguarding team.

Ashley Assiter, e-Safety Development Officer

Posted in 2017, apps, e-Safety, Online safety, Snapchat, Social Networking, UK Safer Internet Centre | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Online Safety Live Briefings are coming to Kent next week!

The Education Safeguarding Team are working with the UK Safer Internet Centre to support Online Safety Live briefing sessions. Online Safety Live is a programme of events delivered by the South West Grid for Learning. They are designed exclusively multi-agency for professionals working with children and young people and cover a broad range of online safety topics. The programme is funded so the briefings are available to delegates at no cost.

An Online Safety Live briefing event is taking place in Kent on the 22nd June 2017,  13:30 – 15:30 at Kent Police Training College. At the end of the event, all delegates will receive access to an online resource area containing links to all the materials mentioned, signposting to sources of help and support as well as a live copy of the presentation itself.

For more information or to book your place, please access the attached poster or visit


Posted in 2017, e-Safety, Education Leaders and Managers, Kent, Schools, SWGfL, UK Safer Internet Centre | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

“Be Internet Awesome”: New Google resource to help KS2 children make smart decisions online #esafety

Google has released a new educational tool designed to offer children and young people explore safely what the online world has to offer. Although initially developed within the USA for use with children in grades 3-5, the resource is likely to be useful for schools and settings to use with KS2 children and their parents and carers.

‘Interland’ invites children to ‘be internet awesome’ by learning how to conduct themselves in a ‘smart, positive and kind’ manner while online. ‘Be Internet Awesome’ focuses on five key lessons to help children navigate the online world with confidence:

  • Be Internet Smart: Share with care
  • Be Internet Alert: Don’t fall for fake
  • Be Internet Strong: Secure your secrets
  • Be Internet Kind: It’s cool to be kind
  • Be Internet Brave: When in doubt, talk it out

The program includes a range of specific curriculum resources for children, teachers and parents, so everyone has the tools they need to learn and participate in the conversation.

To help children learn these lessons in a way that’s fun and immersive, Google have created an interactive, online game called ‘Interland‘. It’s free and web-based so it’s easily accessible and is in a format popular with young people. In this imaginary world of four lands, children will combat hackers, phishers, ‘oversharers’ and bullies, practicing the skills they need to be good digital citizens.

‘Interland’ and it’s supporting resources have been developed in collaboration with Online Safety advisory groups including the Family Online Safety Institute, the Internet Keep Safe Coalition and ConnectSafely,’

There is also a ‘Be Internet Awesome’ pledge for children to share with their parents and carers. If parents and carers are continuing the online safety conversation at home then this can encourage the entire family to engage safely online. Google have also teamed up with a group of YouTube creators, including John Green, the What’s Inside? Family and MinutePhysics, to launch the #BeInternetAwesome Challenge, a video series that makes talking about online safety fun and accessible.

We would encourage schools and settings to explore these resources and they may be helpful as part of an embedded and progressive whole school curriculum.

Posted in e-Safety, Google+, Internet Safety, Online safety, Parents, Primary Resources, resource, Resources, Schools | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

New Resource: ‘Let’s Talk About It’ (LTAI) – Working Together to Prevent Terrorism

Let’s Talk About It  (LTAI) is an initiative designed to provide practical help and guidance to the public in order to stop people becoming terrorists or supporting terrorism.

Let’s Talk About It has been created to provide a greater understanding of the support that Prevent and Channel can offer and to help challenge division and negativity in communities through positive and effective attitude changes. By highlighting the issues and initiating discussions around the potential threats that can be faced within communities, we can create greater understanding and wider awareness.

The website covers FAQs and  explores common terminology. It considers the difference between Prevent and Channel. The website includes a range of videos which may be helpful to stimulate discussions with both adults and young people. There is also a helpful section which explores keeping safe and identifying issues on social media.

Designated Safeguarding Leads may find it helpful to share the website with their communities (for example linking to it from their websites) or may find the content useful to share with staff as part of child protection training and/or updates.



Posted in Extremism & radicalisation, Home Office, radicalisation and extremism, Schools, Social Media, Social Networking | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

New Body Image and Advertising Resources: Boys’ Biggest Conversation

Media Smart has joined forces with First News to create the Boys’ Biggest Conversation – a campaign to encourage young men across the UK to talk about body image and the effect it has on their mental wellbeing.


With the help of TV doctor and youth specialist, Dr Ranj, they have made a short film featuring boys from schools around the country. You can watch the film via this link or below.


Schools can use the video with students, as well as the  Media Smart’s free PSHE accredited educational resources to enable them to have discussions regarding body image and self esteem in the classroom.Teachers will need to register for a free account to download the content.  Content is also available for parents and carers to help them have discussions about these issues at home.


Although the resource focuses on the representation of men in the media, they are designed for use with students aged 11–14 years of all genders, and aim to broaden the discussion and build understanding of how this issue can affect everyone. 



Posted in Advertising, Body Image and Self-Esteem, e-Safety, Resources, Secondary Resources, Social Media, Social Networking | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Engaging Parents and Carers with Children’s Use of Apps – Template Letters for Schools and Settings

The Education Safeguarding Adviser (Online Protection) and e-Safety Development Officer within the Education Safeguarding team  regularly receive queries from schools and settings regarding new and popular apps, and enquiring if template letters are available to warn parents and carers about apps, games and websites that are considered to be ‘dangerous’.

As highlighted within our recent “Online Safety Alerts  – Think before you scare” blog post; whilst schools and settings wishing to warn their community is usually well intended, this approach often has the opposite effect. In many cases it can generate unnecessary fear with parents and carers, and can increase children’s curiosity about apps etc. that they had not previously heard about.

New apps, games and websites appear online on a daily basis and it would be unrealistic to ask professionals or indeed parents and carers to be aware of and understand all of them. The sites and services that children and young people like to use will change regularly. If schools and settings raise concerns every time a new app or service appears, then they may find themselves sending daily communications to parents and carers! It is essential to acknowledge that whilst the apps, games and websites that  children and young people use will change frequently, the messages and support that they need to keep themselves safe online will remain the same.

We would instead suggest that schools and settings considering raising awareness with parents and carers regularly about how they can be involved with their children’s online lives. The recent NSPCC #ShareAware campaign is one of many excellent tools that schools and settings could use to help parents and carers.

To support schools and settings, we have created two template letters that may help encourage parents and carers to consider safe and appropriate use of new apps and websites. Schools and settings may find these letters useful to share with parents, as both proactive and preventative measures, ans well as following a specific concern.

Some schools and settings have reported issues with engaging  parents and carers when sending out general online safety awareness letters. One approach could be for the school/settings to work with their learners to re-write the template letters, so they are specifically written for their own parents/carers. As learners are asking their parents/carers to help them with their online use,  settings may find that this will help increase engagement.  Another approach could be to adapt the content within the template letters and “drip feed” the information throughout the year via other communication tools, such as newsletters, emails or an official social media presence.

The Education Safeguarding Team do have a range of template letters that highlight particular apps. We are able to share these with Kent schools and settings following consultations regarding specific incidents. Kent schools and settings are encouraged to contact the Education Safeguarding Adviser (Online Protection) and e-Safety Development Officer if they wish to access this content.

Posted in Age limits, apps, Children and Young People, e-Safety, Early Years, Education Leaders and Managers, Independent Schools, Internet Safety, Kent, Letter, Online safety, Parents, Primary Resources, Schools, Secondary Resources, Social Media, Social Networking | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Helping Children Cope with Tragic Events – Links for Schools and Settings

Following the tragic event in Manchester on Monday the 22nd May 2017, many schools and settings may be wondering how to talk about such issues with children without causing further distress or fear.

There are a number of useful resources and guidance available to help professionals with these discussions:

Many thanks to Kent Educational Psychology Service for sharing some of these links with us.

Posted in Advice, Children and Young People, Independent Schools, Primary Resources, radicalisation and extremism, Schools | Tagged | Leave a comment

Zak and Lottie Training – Kent schools offer still available!

The Centre for Child Protection at the University of Kent are continuing to offer Zak and Lottie training at a discounted cost of £60 for Kent and Medway schools until the 31st July. This cost will then increase to £75 for Kent and Medway schools.

For further information (including dates and locations) please see the following leaflets:

Booking can be made online or via email into the centre:

Posted in Centre for Child Protection, Child Sexual Exploitation, Extremism & radicalisation, Lottie, University of Kent, Zak | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

NSPCC launch new tools to help parents ensure children are ‘#shareaware’

The NSPCC have updated their #ShareAware campaign with new resources to enable parents and carers to ‘untangle’ the online world and to help them to teach the children to be ‘Share Aware’.

The campaign focuses on the need to talk to children about  online safety, much like we do “real” world safety such as crossing the road, bullying and speaking to strangers. There is a selection of new resources available which schools and settings might wish to share with their community.


The NSPCC suggests parents and carers are an essential part of the T.E.A.M that helps keep children safe online:

T = Talk about staying safe online

E = Explore their online world together

A = Agree rules about what is ok and what’s not

M = Manage your family’s settings and controls

Top Tips to start conversations

NSPCC are suggesting that parents and carers having regular conversations about what their child is doing online is the best way to keep them safe. They have shared three top tips to help parents/carers start the conversation:

1. Explore sites and apps together and talk about any concerns.

2. Ask your child if they know how to stay safe online.

3. Talk about personal information and what to share online.

IceBreaker Emails

NSPCC have partnered with O2  and have created a series of weekly emails packed full of useful info, advice and activities to help bring parents and carers closer to their child’s online world.

Each week the NSPCC and O2 will email top tips to parents and carers to help them approach a particular topic with useful information to help them have regular conversations together about staying safe online.

Parents/carers can sign up for the 6 part email series here.

Family Agreement

Share Aware suggests that parents/carers should consider putting a family agreement in place as a great way to start talking about online safety. Family agreements can help child understand what behaviour is appropriate when they’re online and ensure that they’ll know who they can turn to if they are ever worried about anything they see or do.

NSPCC have created a helpful agreement template which schools and settings might want to share with their community.

Net Aware

NSPCC has also updated their excellent  Net Aware tool, which can be useful to help professionals as well as parents and carers find out more about the social networks, apps and games that children may be using.

Helpline and Guru support

The NSPCC and O2 are also providing parents and carers with a free service via a helpline or O2 Gurus in O2 stores. The helpline is available via 0808 8005002 for parents and carers to ask any questions about parental controls, concerns about a social network site or other online safety relating issues.

Parents and carers can also access free online safety advice from O2’s friendly Gurus (even if they are not an O2 customer) in-person at an O2 store. They can help set up parental controls, or teach parents how to make a phone safe for a child. Parents and carers can book a visit with a guru here.

Is your school community #ShareAware?

We would recommend that schools and settings share the #Shareaware campaign and resources via their communication channels (e.g. newsletters, websites, social media platforms etc.) with their parents/carers, as well as staff, to help ensure that online safety is seen as a “TEAM” approach.


Posted in e-Safety, Early Years, Net-Aware, NSPCC, Online safety, Parents, Primary Resources, Schools, Secondary Resources, ShareAware | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Childnet Youth Ambassadors wanted for Project DeSHAME

Childnet are looking for a national team of 10 young people aged 13-17 to become Childnet Youth Ambassadors as part of Project deSHAME. The project is dedicated to working towards online equality and removing online pressures and harassment.

Youth Ambassadors will be directly involved in planning, developing and launching a national campaign to raise awareness of these issues, and will be able to suggest solutions for teachers, parents and the police. Childnet want to work with young people to enable them to take the lead and advise adults on how to make the internet a better and more equal place.

Schools and settings working with young people aged 13-17 may wish to circulate this opportunity with their communities.

An information leaflet is available HERE which contains more information about the role and details about how to apply. The application process opens on 24th April 2017 and will close on 16th June 2017. Young people can apply using the application form.


Posted in 2017, Childnet, Children and Young People, DeShame, Online Sexual Harassment, Schools, Secondary Resources | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment