Important Guidance and Information for Safe Internet Use
All the popular social media platforms (WhatsApp, Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook, Music.ly etc.) have an age restriction of 13 years. Primary aged pupils should not have a social media profile.
There are good reasons for this age restriction including:
- being exposed to inappropriate content
- lack of maturity to use the site safely
- the risk of being contacted by sexual predators
- creating an online profile which will be hard to remove in the future
- placing added pressure on the child to deal with situations beyond their years
The Communication Act 2003 makes it an offence to send anything on the internet that is offensive, indecent, threatening or false and the reason for sending it is to cause the other person annoyance, inconvenience or needless anxiety. The age of criminal responsibility in England is 10 years old. Children aged ten or older are seen as being responsible and old enough in the eyes of the law, to know right from wrong, and to be held accountable for their actions.
Children can accidently or deliberately be exposed to unwanted or unpleasant content or comments online and there are steps you can take at home to minimise this risk. Below are some simple rules you can follow at home, to protect your child while on their device.
Discuss as a family how the internet will be used in your house. Consider what should be kept private online (personal information, photos etc.) and decide rules for making and meeting online friends. Make sure you know what your child is doing online.
Install antivirus software, secure your internet connection and use parental control functions on your home broadband for computers, mobile phones and games consoles to block unsuitable content.
Remember that parental control tools are not always 100% effective and sometimes unsuitable content can get past them, so don’t rely on them alone to protect your child.
Locate your computer in a supervised family area. Always supervise the use of webcams and applications which allow voice or video chat. Consider your child’s use of other devices that allow internet access such as mobile phones and games consoles.
Hand Held Devices
Remember that children are accessing the internet via their phones, tablets, I Pods, Kindles, X boxes, Nintendo’s, PlayStation etc. Without parental controls on these devices, children can access whatever they want on the internet. Visit www.childnet.com to show how to set parental controls on a variety of hand held devices and gaming machines.
Talk to your child and ask them to show or even teach you how they use the internet, learn which websites or tools they like to use and why. Learning together can often open opportunities to discuss safe behaviour with your child.
Always ensure your child knows how to block or report people online who send nasty or inappropriate messages or content. Encourage your child not to retaliate or reply.
Make sure your child knows to tell an adult they trust if they see something online that makes them feel scared, worried or uncomfortable.
Our responsibility as a school is to ensure that e-safety measures are in place. We have robust filtering systems in place which apply to our IT equipment. These are monitored both internally and externally and are in place to help safeguard pupils from potential dangers or unsuitable material. E-Safety is taught to all pupils to explain and demonstrate how to stay safe and behave appropriately online. We also have strict rules around children’s mobile phones on site.
As part of our commitment to e-safety, we also have close links with Stephen Welding, the E-Safety Lead for the local authority, and Stephen is frequently in school working with children, staff or parents.
Please read carefully the following documents:
Anti Bullying Booklet
Additional information can be found on the websites below:
www.thinkuknow.co.uk – Visit the “Parent/Carer” Section and use the “Click CEOP” button to seek advice and report online abuse
www.childnet.com – Visit the ‘Know It All’ Section for an interactive guide about online safety
www.getsafeonline.org – Free up-to-date Security advice
http://clickcleverclicksafe.direct.gov.uk – Click Clever Click Safe Campaign
www.cybermentors.org.uk – Online support for children
www.childline.org.uk – Online support for children