We endeavour to keep parents informed and up-to-date about online safety and issues that arise with a variety of devices, through regular articles in our weekly newsletter, updating parents as the need arises. We also send out general information messages to parents via Parent Pay if a potential issue occurs or may have occurred.
Currently one of the most informative sites for schools and parents and carers is the National Online Safety website https://nationalonlinesafety.com . It has many helpful and varied posters on how to talk to your child about issues that may arise for you as parents / carers.
The NSPCC website has many areas for parents to use. One of the most helpful is the Share Aware site www.nspcc.org.uk/ShareAware. It encourages parents to start the discussion with their children on how to keep themselves safe online and becoming net aware.
This year we issued cards to Year 5 and 6 children to share with their parents on how to use ‘parental controls ‘on a variety of devices. Please ask your child about these cards, many parents have found them extremely useful.
Year 6 children are able to bring in their phones to school, which they must place in the safe place designated by the class teacher and sign it in and then sign it out at the end of the day. The phone must not be used until they have reached the KS2 parent waiting area. It must not be used within the school grounds at any time as the phone may then be confiscated for a period of time by a member of staff. In certain cases some Year 5 children have been able to bring in phones when a specific request has been made to the Headteacher.
WhatsApp is the largest global social messaging platform, with over 1.5 billion users per month. National Online Safety (NOS) have produced a guide for parents and carers covering everything you need to know about the platform to help safeguard children from potential online risks including the new age limit (16+), scam messages, connecting with strangers, location sharing and more.
A copy of this guide is available on their website: https://twitter.com/natonlinesafety/status/1039846184360312833.
FIFA online football game
With over 20 million players in the current season of FIFA, NOS have also created a free guide for parents and carers on the nation’s favourite online football game. Again, it covers what you need to know about the game to help safeguard their children from potential online risks including; online payments, in-game chat, addiction, fake accounts and more.
The link for this is: https://nationalonlinesafety.com/resources/platform-guides/fifaguide-for-parents/
Please be aware that some smartwatches designed for children have security flaws that make them vulnerable to hackers. Some of these are linked to the internet allowing incoming and outgoing calls and texts to be placed at any time during the day. They also have other facilities and APPS such as cameras and recording facilities. These items are very expensive and we strongly recommend children do not bring them to school, just in case they get lost or damaged, or issues arising from them. However, if you do allow your child to wear one, we have made the following recommendations in light of the new GDPR regulations:-
- Smartwatches must be given into the teacher at the beginning of the day in the same way that mobile phones are.
- They will be placed in a safe place and locked away during the day.
- They can be collected at the end of the day and only be used when in the parent waiting area / off the school site.
Safer Internet Day will be held in school on Tuesday 5th February 2019. Further information about Safer Internet use can be found on www.saferinternet.org.uk