Keeping our children safe is the number one priority for parents and for the school. Find out about Online Safety and Prevent (Tackling Extremism) below:

Online Safety

When it comes to the internet, for many of us things can be a bit mysterious and sometimes our children seem to know far more about it than we do.  However, just as with other potential dangers, like crossing the road, we must take steps to be in a position that we can supervise, guide and protect our children. Children think they know everything and think that the stories they hear won’t happen to them. Sadly, the children who have got into danger by using the internet probably thought the same.  By following the Key Advice below and maybe familiarising ourselves with some of the content from the websites below, we can take huge steps in protecting our children.

The school provides valuable e-safety information online and Vodaphone’s Digital Parenting magazine.

Some Key Advice for Parents:

  • Create a culture of sharing at home so it becomes just part of home life that parents are interested in what their children are doing on the computer/internet.
  • Keep the computer in a family room.
  • If children wouldn’t normally do it in the real world then it’s not acceptable in the virtual world either.
  • Put time restrictions on children’s computer/internet use.
  • Install the Safety Dolphin to home computers.
  • Set preferences to Google Strict Search for Google Images.
  • Children should only use their school email account and not sign themselves up to other less moderated and filtered email accounts.
  • Any webcams should only be attached to a computer in a family room.
  • A friend online is not the same as a friend in real life.
  • Take an interest in your children’s online friends, just as you would do with their friends in real life.
  • Internet Safety is about behaviour and not ICT, just as Road Safety is about behaviour around roads and not about the traffic which drives on them.
  • Don’t go home and unplug the internet! Remember the internet is a brilliant resource but it does reflect the best and worst of human nature. We cannot eliminate every risk to children but we can minimise the risks to an extent that children remain as safe as possible – again very similar to road safety.

E-safety Guides

Children are growing up in a world with a bigger range of online activities than ever before and it is sometimes very hard for both children and adults to know how to stay safe.

Parents/Online Safety Information

Most parents will want to reduce the risks to their children, and remembering to set parental controls can reduce the risks to children, and reduce the risk to parents when children accidentally spend online money!   The internet matters website explains this quite well. Online safety is not just about protecting children from some of the dangers of the internet – it is also about helping them manage their use of technology and most of the parental controls allow adults to set a maximum time for the use of a device or app.

Internet Matters is a site paid for by many British companies.  It has a lot of good advice on adding parental controls as well as on most aspects of online safety. Parental controls will only help keep children safe.  The best safety feature that a child has is their parent or carer.  Take the time to talk to your child about the apps and games they are using and don’t be afraid to say no sometimes!

The range of online apps changes on a regular basis and the NSPCC have a site called Net Aware.   This provides unbiased up-to-date information on current apps and sites along with advice to parents about dealing with issues.

The NSPCC have teamed up with O2 to provide advice to parents and have a free helpline on 0808 800 5002.  They will also give support in any O2 shop – you do not have to be an O2 customer.

ThinkUKnow is the website aimed at children and their parents from the National Crime Agency.  It has lots of useful suggestions and advice on how to report issues.  It also has lots of games and activities including Jessie and Friends for the younger children and Band Runner for the older ones.

For the youngest children being tricked into sharing pictures can be an issue.  LGfL have produced a lovely free video which has some great advice and a very catchy song!

Many children will at times suffer from online bullying.  It is really important that they have someone they can talk to and know that it is not acceptable.  Most apps and sites will have systems inn place that allow bullying to be reported.  Your child’s school may be able to help.

Children can call Childline on 0800 1111  for advice on anything that is worrying them.

Finally since 2015 is has been a criminal offence for an adult to send a message with sexual content to a child (This is Section  67  of  the  Serious  Crime  Act  2015).   If you are concerned that this might have happened please contact The Police without further using the device.  This will help ensure that evidence can be preserved.  The Police can be contacted by phone or from the ThinkUKnow website.

Prevent – Tackling Extremism

As part of Victoria Lane Academy’s ongoing safeguarding and child protection duties we are fully behind the government’s Prevent Strategy.

From 1 July 2015 all schools are subject to a duty under section 26 of the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015, in the exercise of their functions, to have “due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism”. This duty is known as the Prevent Duty for Schools.

At Victoria Lane, we build pupils’ resilience to radicalisation by promoting fundamental British values and enabling our pupils to challenge extremist views.

The statutory guidance refers to the importance of Prevent awareness training to equip staff to identify children at risk of being drawn into terrorism and to challenge extremist ideas. Senior Leader training is scheduled for the beginning of December and whole staff training staff will complete their training before the end of December 2015.

School pamphlet on the Prevent Strategy  VLA Prevent strategy

Government website –  Prevent Duty for Schools.

Government’s official document –  Prevent Strategy

Prevent Tragedies website

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