A guide to monitoring: blog post by UK Safer Internet Centre

The Education Safeguarding Team have received a number of queries from concerned headteachers and governors who are anxious to ensure that their school has “appropriate filtering and monitoring’ in place in line with Keeping Children Safe in Education 2016.

The UK Safer Internet Centre have recently published a helpful blog post that explains what filtering and monitoring is, explores the different options available, and considers how schools can ensure that they are meeting Ofsted requirements and best protecting children.

We would advise all school leaders to access this content to help them to understand the current expectations, and to enable them to evidence that they are meeting the statutory requirements.

Posted in e-Safety, Education Leaders and Managers, Filtering and Monitoring, Independent Schools, Keeping Children Safe in Education 2016, Schools, UK Safer Internet Centre | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

UK Safer Internet Centre publish new online safety guides for professionals working with children

The UK Safer Internet Centre have launched a set of new tailored online safety guides for key professionals working with children, including social workers, healthcare professionals, residential care settings and governors/trustees.

These guides add to their existing guides for teachers and for foster carers and adoptive parents.

It is essential that all professionals working with children are empowered to support and safeguard children and their families in their use of digital technology, as well as knowing how to protect their own professional reputation.

The new guides provide tailored advice for professionals working with children, with a range of topics covered, including:

  • Roles and responsibilities in relation to online safeguarding, including effective policy and practice
  • Understanding the latest technologies and trends
  • Managing online safeguarding incidents
  • Supporting children, young people, parents, carers
  • Professional reputation

Find out more in the UK Safer Internet Centres Advice Centre.

Kent professionals are also encouraged to access Online Safety guidance from Kent Safeguarding Children Board and should find out who their agency lead is for Online Safety is.

Governors and Trustees for Kent educational settings can also seek specific support and training via the Education Safeguarding Team.

Posted in 2017, e-Safety, Education Leaders and Managers, Governors, Healthcare professionals, Internet Safety, Online safety, Professionals, Residential care settings, Social Workers, UK Safer Internet Centre | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Staying Safe Online over the Summer: Template #esafety Letter for Parents/Carers

As the Summer holidays approach, many children may be looking forward to having more free time to spend chatting with friends and playing games online. Schools may find this to be an ideal time to highlight some simple online safety tips to help parents/carers balance their children’s time online with offline fun too!

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

The letter is based around four top tips:

  • Talking to your children
  • Be share aware
  • Manage screen time
  • Making it enriching

Whilst the template letter is predominantly aimed at Primary schools, other educational settings may still find the letter useful to amend and adapt for their own communities. Schools may wish to use the letter in its entirely or may choose to share specific extracts within their regular end of term communications such as emails, newsletter  etc.

If schools/settings use social media as a communication tool, then they wish to get involved with or encourage parents/carers to participate in the Internet Matters #Screensafe Campaign. Internet Matters have produced this short video for parents/carers:

Other additional links that schools may find helpful to share with parents/carers include:

If schools and settings have any queries relating to online safety, then please contact the Education Safeguarding Team.

Ashley Assiter, e-Safety Development Officer


Additional content may be added to this post so please check back regularly.

Posted in 2017, e-Safety, Kent, Letter, Resources, Schools | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Secondary Schools and Colleges: Help shape research into sexting among young people

Sexting is the act of young people sending sexually explicit imagery, primarily between mobile devices, amongst peers.  Much of the attention to date from the media and policy makers regarding sexting, has focussed on the extent of incidents and trying to quantify the various aspects of sexting.

SWGfL, as part of its work as a partner in the UK Safer Internet Centre, and Plymouth University are undertaking a research project to gain a better understanding of sexting among young people in the UK. As such, they are conducting two surveys; one for schools, and one for 11 to 18 year olds and are asking for schools to take part and have their say.

These short, anonymous research surveys aim to better understand:

  • The influences and pressures that drive behaviour, the impact of these practices, and the support being asked for by young people.
  • The frequency and capability that schools and colleges have to respond effectively to incidents.

To help inform schools and colleges and improve their understanding and ability to manage sexting incidents, specific responses will be reflected back to those that take part. Schools may wish to take part in either or both surveys.  Any data collected in the surveys will be used solely for the research project. Data is held entirely anonymously and there is no way to identify individuals. The data will not be accessed by anyone other than the research team at the Plymouth University.

Schools survey 

  • Questions are focused on the frequency of issues, together with the reporting opportunities offered by the school and the capability and confidence of staff to recognise, respond and resolve issues.
  • Take the Schools survey here

11-18 year olds survey

  • Questions focus on young people’s exposure to and experience of sexting. Some young people might find some of these questions uncomfortable. The survey is voluntary and completely anonymous; participants should not share any personal details.
  • Access  the 11-18s survey to share with young people here


Professor Andy Phippen is Professor of Social Responsibility in IT at Plymouth University, currently exploring issues in the use of technology in relationshipsSWGfL/UK Safer Internet Centre and Plymouth University have published a number of reports to better understand the ways young people use mobile and Internet technologies to share personal images among friends. These include:

For futher information place access the UK Safer Internet Centre blog.

Posted in 2017, Schools, Secondary Resources, Sexting, SWGfL, UK Safer Internet Centre, Young People | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Updated Department for Education ‘Preventing and Tacking Bullying’ Guidance

The Department for Education have published new updates to their guidance for schools on preventing and tackling bullying.

The main ‘Preventing and tackling bullying’ guidance document is aimed at school leaders, staff and governing bodies and applies to all schools. It may also be useful for early years providers as well as further education and community settings.

The updated guidance has merged the ‘Supporting children and young people who are bullied: advice for schools’ publication within the ‘Preventing and tackling bullying’ document. The updated version of ‘Preventing and tackling bullying’  now includes additional information about how schools can support children and young people who are bullied, inlcuding cyberbullying.

There is also separate additional guidance available regarding cyberbullying which covers:

  • how schools can prevent and respond to cyberbullying aimed at headteachers and staff
  • how parents and carers can prevent and respond to cyberbullying aimed at children and young people

Schools and settings may find it helpful to share the “advice for parents and carers on cyberbullying” guidance with their communities.

Posted in 2017, Anti-Bullying, Cyberbullying, DfE, Education Leaders and Managers, Governors, Schools | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

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.

BBC Newsround has also published a useful video with information for children and young people.

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 www.onlinesafetylive.com


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