Online Safety General Information
ICT in the 21st Century is seen as an essential resource to support learning and teaching, as well as playing an important role in the everyday lives of children, young people and adults. Consequently, schools need to build in the use of these technologies in order to arm our young people with the skills to access life-long learning and employment.
Information and Communications Technology covers a wide range of resources including; web-based and mobile learning. It is also important to recognise the constant and fast paced evolution of ICT within our society as a whole. Currently the internet technologies children and young people are using both inside and outside of the classroom include:
- E-mail, Instant Messaging and chat rooms
- Social Media, including Facebook and Twitter
- Mobile/ Smart phones with text, video and/ or web functionality
- Making /receiving phone calls via their mobile phones
- Other mobile devices with web functionality
- Gaming, especially online
- Learning Platforms and Virtual Learning Environments
- Blogs and Wikis
- Video Broadcasting
- Music Downloading
BYA is committed to Online Safety and ensuring the protection of our students online. However, in order for this to happen successfully we ask that parents/careers take the following responsibilities;
- Help and support the school in promoting Online Safety
- Discuss Online Safety concerns with their children, show an interest in how they are using technology, and encourage them to behave safely and responsibly when using technology
- Consult with the school if they have any concerns about their child’s use of technology
- To agree to and sign the home-school agreement containing a statement regarding their personal use of social networks in relation to the school
- Parents and carers will support the school approach to online safety and not deliberately post comments or upload any images, sounds or text that could upset or offend any member of the school community or bring the school into disrepute
Dealing with Online Safety Incidents
All Online Safety incidents are recorded in the School Behaviour Management System.
In situations where a member of staff is made aware of a serious Online Safety incident, concerning pupils or staff, they will inform the Online Safety Lead, child protection officer, their line manager or principal who will then respond in the most appropriate manner.
Instances of cyberbullying will be taken very seriously by the school and dealt with using the schools anti-bullying procedures. School recognizes that staff as well as pupils may be victims and will take appropriate action in either situation, including instigating restorative practices to support the victim. Incidents which create a risk to the security of the school network, or create an information security risk, will be referred to the school’s Online Safety Lead and technical support and appropriate advice sought and action taken to minimize the risk and prevent further instances occurring, including reviewing any policies, procedures or guidance. If the action breaches school policy then appropriate sanctions will be applied. The school will decide if parents need to be informed if there is a risk that pupil data has been lost.
Be involved in your child’s online life.
For many of today’s young people there is no line between the online and offline worlds. Young people use the internet to socialise and grow and, just as you guide and support them offline, you should be there for them online too. Talk to them about what they’re doing, if they know you understand they are more likely to approach you if they need support.
Watch Thinkuknow films to learn more.
The Thinkuknow programme has films and advice for children from five all the way to 16. Your child may have seen these at school, but they can also be a good tool for you to find out more about what young people do online and some of the potential risks.
Keep up-to-date with your child’s development online. Be inquisitive and interested in the new gadgets and sites that your child is using. It’s important that as your child learns more, so do you.
Set boundaries in the online world just as you would in the real world.
Think about what they might see, what they share, who they talk to and how long they spend online. It is important to continue to discuss boundaries so that they evolve as your child’s use of technology does.
Know what connects to the internet and how.
Nowadays even the TV connects to the internet. Your child will use all sorts of devices and gadgets; make sure you’re aware of which ones can connect to the internet, such as their phone or games console. Also, find out how they are accessing the internet – is it your connection or a neighbour’s Wifi? This will affect whether your safety settings are being applied.
Consider the use of parental controls on devices that link to the internet, such as the TV, laptops, computers, games consoles and mobile phones.
Parental controls are not just about locking and blocking, they are a tool to help you set appropriate boundaries as your child grows and develops. They are not the answer to your child’s online safety, but they are a good start and are not as difficult to install as you might think. Service providers are working hard to make them simple, effective and user friendly. Find your service provider and learn how to set your controls.
Emphasise that not everyone is who they say they are.
Make sure your child knows never to meet up with someone they only know online. People might not always be who they say they are. Make sure your child understands that they should never meet up with anyone they only know online without taking a trusted adult with them.
Know what to do if something goes wrong.
Just as in the offline world, you want to help your child when they need it. Therefore, it is important to know when and how to report any problem.