The reality is that however hard we try to control accessibility of the internet, we must help our children develop the skills and capacity to use the internet safely, without placing themselves, or others, at risk.
We encourage our children to be curious, but we also encourage conversations with adults. With a sensible approach to technology, where children are open, honest and transparent, the conversations themselves will help protect our children from harm. This, as well as building confidence, integrity, encouraging a sense of belonging and a sense of right and wrong, will also in turn support our children in their ever-changing world.
There are many websites that can support you in helping our children stay safe online, from finding out how to use privacy controls, information on cyberbullying, or researching whether the latest gaming craze is age appropriate. If you know of any other good sites for information, please let us know so that we are able to share.
Unbiased information, trusted advice, and innovative tools to help them harness the power of media and technology as a positive force in all kids’ lives.
Thinkuknow helps keep children and young people safe by providing education about sexual abuse and sexual exploitation. They provide practical information and educational resources for children, young people, their parents and carers and the professionals who work with them.
Tools and advice from the NSPCC on keeping your children safe online.
Practical tips on staying safe online and information about cyberbullying – what it is and how to deal with it.
Online Safety – Parent and Carer Consultation
As part of the renewed effort into developing TMS pupils into safe digital citizens, we launched a parental consultation in November 2023 to gather the views and feedback of parents in relation to their child’s use of digital technology at home, as well as their own understanding and confidence in how to keep their child(ren) safe online. The questionnaire was sent home to all parents, however we only received responses for 45 children (10.5% of the school population). In the returns, there was no significant split between parents from KS1 or KS2 providing feedback.
Results and Key Findings
The majority of parents (sometimes for multiple children) demonstrated that they have good confidence in keeping their children safe online, with 69.4% scoring themselves 7+. No parents scored themselves as having no understanding (1 and 2), with a small proportion of parents having a limited understanding. The widespread results, as well as the spread of the age of children, highlights the need for a whole school approach to online safety.
The question ‘How safe do you feel your children think they are online’ showed how naive children perhaps think they are online. The older the children were, the more likely they were to be a 4 or 5 in their confidence.
Key Themes from Parental Comments:
The feedback from parents was varied but a few key themes connected some of them. Some parents spoke of their concerns about online bullying and contact from strangers, with particular mention of people pretending to be friends whilst online and behaving differently in the real world. There is some allusion to children viewing inappropriate content through unfiltered websites/platforms and advertisements, but this is outweighed by the concern amongst parents about online interactions with other people. A consistent theme throughout lots of feedback is the concern amongst parents about the speed of change in technology.
There are two major controls that parents have put in place. The first is ‘parental controls’, a series of checks on most new technology to either limit or monitor another device’s activity. The second is restricting devices around the time they are used and where they can be used (or with an adult present). These themes highlight the lack of knowledge that parents have and the naivety children have when it comes to online safety and the need for a consistent whole school approach to equip children with the strategies to navigate the online world against the backdrop of ever changing technology.
Online safety blog GRAND THEFT AUTO