The Education Safeguarding Team have received a number of enquiries following information circulating on social media with regards a ‘warning’ to parents relating to the use of the app ‘Roblox’. Whilst information has been shared with good intentions to raise awareness of online risks with parents, it is believed to contain inaccurate information.
As highlighted within our “Online Safety Alerts – Think before you scare” blog post, whilst schools and settings wishing to warn their community of online risks is well intended, this approach often has the opposite effect and can generate unnecessary fear, or increase children’s curiosity about sites and apps etc. that they had not previously heard about.
If there has not been a specific issue
If there has not been an incident that directly involves member of the school community, headteachers should be clear on what they hope to achieve by sharing specific information or naming apps with parents. We recommend headteachers access the following content when making these decisions, and/or consult with the Education Safeguarding Team:
In many cases, the best approach is for schools to focus on positive behaviours and online parenting rather than on specific websites themselves. Parents should be encouraged to actively engage with their children online and utilise privacy and security settings and parental controls. Children should be empowered to manage their online environment by learning how to block, report and tell an adult when things happen online.
We have a number of useful template letters which schools may find helpful to use and adapt to raise awareness regarding online safety:
If there has been a specific issue
If schools are made aware of a specific concern relating to the use of Roblox by pupils in their school, we recommend discussing the concerns directly with children and parents involved. If schools have safeguarding concerns relating to the children and families involved and/or the content or contact occurring within the site, they should follow their child protection procedures. Schools should also support children and parents to report concerns appropriately to the site and other services if required. The Education Safeguarding Team can provide support to Kent schools and settings when dealing with online safeguarding concerns.
If parents require safety information about Roblox specifically, the following links may be helpful:
If Kent schools and settings wish to discuss this concern further, or have any queries with regards to informing parents of other online safety concerns, please contact the Education Safeguarding Team.