E-Safety and security is a fast moving and fundamental field. Our aim here at Newstead Wood School is to raise awareness and understanding of E-Safety issues amongst our students. All students and staff at Newstead Wood School have signed an Acceptable Usage Policy which governs their use of the school IT systems. Bullying is in contradiction of this agreement and could result in a student’s IT usage being restricted. To ensure parents/carers have the relevant information, we have provided various links for you to read through and discuss with your children.
Safer Internet Day
Safer Internet Day is celebrated globally each year. To help parents and carers, the UK Safer Internet Centre has created a concise education pack, accessible via this link.
A gaming site called Roblox which seems to be popular at the moment, has been brought to our attention. There are concerns about how Roblox can be used to communicate with other users, what content is available on Roblox and what ways children might accidentally run up costs while using Roblox.
There is useful information about Roblox and safety tips on UK Safer Internet Centre’s website that can be accessed via this link.
Please keep yourself safe when using Roblox and report any concerns you might have about yourself or others to your tutor.
Snapchat and Snap Maps
Please see the attached letter recently distributed to schools in Croydon by their Director of Education and Youth Engagement about safeguarding concerns regarding Snapchat, which may now be a wider issue and may also affect children in our schools. These concerns relate specifically to a number of forums where saved images of young people are being distributed. The letter can be found by clicking here.
Snapchat has recently launched a new feature called Snap Maps that lets users track each other's movements in real time. This raised safety concerns and fears of bullying and stalking. Snap Maps allows users to see the location of their contacts. This feature allows others to accurately pinpoint where users are.
Childnet International have posted on their website a thorough explanation of Snap Maps and how to ensure users stay safe.
Advice and Support Resources
Online Safety – Advice for Parents
Whilst Newstead Wood School has comprehensive safeguarding arrangements in place to ensure our students online safety, it is equally as important for parents to talk to their children about online safety and monitor their internet usage at home, using age-appropriate parental controls to restrict their access to unsavoury material. Parental controls can be activated on home broadband, search engines, YouTube, mobile phones and games consoles.
We understand that it may not always be easy to talk to your child about challenging issues such as sexting, cyber bullying, and pornography. However, if you are open and honest with them about the dangers they may encounter online, it may encourage them to confide in you in the future. If you are concerned that your child is being secretive or spending too much time online, it may be worth moving their computer into a communal family area so that you can keep an eye on them.
You should encourage your child to act responsibility online, and treat others as they would wish to be treated. You should also warn your child that they should never hide behind an anonymous user name to make unkind comments, or say something they would be reluctant to repeat during face-to-face interactions. Remind your child that the comments they make and the pictures and videos they post online may end up having a wider audience than they anticipated – and even if they delete them, there’s no guarantee that someone hasn’t already saved, downloaded or taken a screen shot of their post.
Children under the age of 13 should not be using social networking sites like Facebook, Instagram and Tumblr – this is stipulated in the sites’ terms and conditions – but it is very easy for them to set up an account by claiming to be older than they actually are. If your child does have a Facebook or other social media account, it is important to encourage them to use enhanced privacy settings, so that only their friends are able to search for them and see what they are posting. Warn your child that they must never accept friend requests from strangers or people they don’t know very well. You should also encourage your child to accept you, or a trusted friend/relative, as their “friend” or “follower,” as this will enable you to monitor – at least to some extent – their online posts, conversations, and the friends they are choosing to accept.
Parents should also be aware that content filters may not always work if a child is using public Wi-Fi, so it is important to ensure their access to unprotected Wi-Fi is limited.
If your child has been targeted online, the website Internet Matters offers detailed advice about who to report the incident to.
A Parents Guide to Teaching your Teen Online Safety
This blog contains plenty of helpful information such as:
- A practical guide for parents on how to keep teens safe online, including useful summaries of popular internet apps as well as the types of threats teens could be exposed to online.
- Safety tips for using apps such as Instagram, TikTok (which has gathered 1 billion users in only two years), YouTube, Snapchat, Twitter and Whatsapp. We also cover advice and safety tips for teens playing online multiplayer video games.
- Other online safety topics and advice such as sharing personal information, socialising online, cyberbullying, harmful content, influencers, body image and mental health for teens online.
- Links to additional internet safety resources for parents from well-respected sources such as the NSPCC and the UK government’s own guidelines.
Links to other websites that you may find useful are included below: