Online Safety and Cyber bullying
Cyberbullying is bullying that uses ICT (particularly mobile phones and the internet) to deliberately upset someone. The school will teach children about cyberbullying as appropriate for their age. The school takes cyberbullying and internet safety very seriously. We aim to be proactive and preventative rather than have to react to cases of cyberbullying. However if cyberbullying does take place, staff will respond robustly. Harassment and malicious communication are illegal and the school will involve the police and phone/internet companies as required. Headteachers have the power to confiscate mobile phones and regulate the conduct of pupils when they are off site. Parents who have concerns regarding cyberbullying should inform the school as soon as possible.
Key Safety Advice – from the DFE and Childnet international
The whole school community has a part to play in ensuring cyber safety. Understanding children and young people’s online lives and activities can help adults respond to situations appropriately and effectively. Asking children and young people to show adults how technologies and services work is a useful strategy that can provide an important learning opportunity and context for discussing online safety.
For children and young people
- Always respect others – be careful what you say online and what images you send.
- Think before you send – whatever you send can be made public very quickly and could stay online forever.
- Treat your password like your toothbrush – keep it to yourself. Only give your mobile number or personal website address to trusted friends.
- Block the bully – learn how to block or report someone who is behaving badly.
- Don’t retaliate or reply!
- Save the evidence – learn how to keep records of offending messages, pictures or online conversations.
- Make sure you tell:
- an adult you trust, or call a helpline like ChildLine on 0800 1111 in confidence;
- the provider of the service; check the service provider’s website to see where to report incidents;
- your school – your teacher or the anti-bullying coordinator can help you.
Finally, don’t just stand there – if you see cyberbullying going on, support the victim and report the bullying. How would you feel if no one stood up for you?
For parents and carers
- Be aware, your child may as likely cyberbully as be a target of cyberbullying. Be alert to your child seeming upset after using the internet or their mobile phone. This might involve subtle comments or changes in relationships with friends. They might be unwilling to talk or be secretive about their online activities and mobile phone use.
- Talk with your children and understand the ways in which they are using the internet and their mobile phone. See the seven key messages for children (on the left) to get you started.
- Use the tools on the service and turn on in-built internet safety features.
- Remind your child not to retaliate.
- Keep the evidence of offending emails, text messages or online conversations.
- Report cyberbullying:
- Contact your child’s school if it involves another pupil, so that they can take appropriate action.
- Contact the service provider.
- If the cyberbullying is serious and a potential criminal offence has been committed, you should consider contacting the police
The UK Safer Internet Centre has produced some useful resources for parents which we would like to share with you in case they are helpful in opening up discussions with your child about topics such as showing respect for others and staying safe on line.
Top tips for under 11s can be found at:
Top tips for showing respect online can be found here.
Top tips for staying safe online compiled by the Safeguarding Board of Northern Ireland can be found here.
Child safety on TikTok
YouTube safety factsheet
More information can be found on the following websites
http://www.thinkuknow.co.uk/ is the education programme from NCA-CEOP, a UK organisation which protects children both online and offline for different age groups and parents.
www.net-aware.org.uk NSPCC Net Aware website - a useful guide to social networks and apps that your children may be accessing outside of school hours. The website offers concise information about a wide range of social media sites with comments from children and parents to help you make an informed decision about its suitability for your child.
Childnet has produced a Parent and Carer Toolkit which is a collection of three resources designed to help you talk to your child about their online life, manage boundaries around family internet use and point you in the direction of where to get further help and support.
Staying safe on social networks:
Safeguarding Children www.westsussexscb.org.uk This includes information about Operation Kite – an initiative to improve recognition and understanding of child sexual exploitation.
The South West Grid for Learning (SWGfL) has published resources about the digital wellbeing of children and young people. The guidance aims to assist professionals, parents and carers in supporting children’s wellbeing online. It looks at the impact of exposure to abuse or online harm on a child’s digital wellbeing and provides information on the role of digital technologies in relation to welfare. You can find the guidance here.