E Safety

Young people are increasingly accessing the internet whenever they can and wherever they are. It offers many educational and social experiences for young people and gives them access to a world of information and opportunities.

Digital Safety at Richard Hale

In an era where young individuals increasingly engage with the online world, Richard Hale School acknowledges the importance of fostering digital safety skills among students. The internet provides numerous educational and social opportunities, but it also exposes young minds to potential risks. Similar to safeguarding practices in the physical realm, ensuring online safety is paramount.

Our school is committed to empowering students with the necessary skills and knowledge to navigate the online landscape securely. The tailored online safety curriculum spans from Year 7 to 13, aligning with the DfE guidelines on ‘Teaching online safety in schools’ (2019). Building upon foundational training received in primary school, students benefit from this curriculum through various channels:

  • Integration into the Life Skills and Computer Science curriculum
  • Commemoration of UK Safer Internet Day with dedicated assemblies and activities every February
  • Ongoing support from Form Tutors during Tutor Time
  • Engagement in Extended Learning Days
  • Participation in thought-provoking assemblies
  • Immersive Tutor Time Activities

To reinforce a secure online environment, all students commit to an Acceptable User Policy for school IT services. The school’s networks and WiFi undergo meticulous filtering and monitoring, ensuring a protective digital space.

At Home

To safeguard your child online, there are various measures you can take. Primarily, it is crucial to comprehend the risks associated with internet use. We have curated a selection of helpful resources and websites below to assist you in this regard.

We encourage parents to:

  • Engage in active discussions with their children about e-safety
  • Implement filtering measures at home
  • Enforce sensible time limits on device usage at home. You might find the OurPact app useful for managing this.

CEOP assists any child or young person under the age of 18 who is being pressured, forced, or deceived into participating in any form of sexual activity. This could occur either online, in ‘the real world,’ or both. The CEOP Safety Centre provides clear information and advice on what can be reported, the reporting process, and the subsequent actions. You can visit the CEOP Safety Centre and directly report to CEOP by clicking on the link below.

Guidance for Parents: Keeping your child safe online

Monitoring your child’s internet activities can be a challenging responsibility, but it’s crucial to recognise that, when used appropriately, the internet can provide valuable learning experiences.

We’ll consistently update this page with support for parents concerning e-safety. If parents or carers have queries about specific aspects of e-safety or particular programs/games/sites, please inform us, and we’ll incorporate additional information on this page.

The following recommendations are designed with these considerations:

  • Transform online time into a family engagement.
  • Verify filtering for mobile data and broadband – don’t solely rely on it.
  • Acquaint yourself with the services your children use.
  • Position the computer in a communal area, ensuring all devices are removed from the child’s bedroom at night.
  • Explore the online environment yourself to understand the potential advantages and risks associated with internet access.
  • Familiarise yourself with your child’s ‘online acquaintances’ just as you would with their other friends.
  • Foster an environment where your child feels free to discuss any concerns, even if they’ve made poor choices.
  • If you have reservations about your child’s online activities, engage in a conversation with them about it.
  • Establish a set of family internet guidelines, with an example available in the ‘Family rules’ document (see link).
  • Ensure your children are acquainted with and adhere to your ‘Family Internet Rules,’ posted near the computer as a reminder.
  • Regularly monitor your children’s adherence to these rules.
  • If you come across inappropriate content online, report it immediately to relevant authorities.

Information from National Online Safety

The following websites and resources provide useful guidance and advice to support parents and also raise awareness of potential threats.

Thinkuknow – This is the education programme from NCA-CEOP, a UK organisation which protects children both online and offline. They have a number of resources offering advice about staying safe for children of all ages.

UK Safer Internet Centre – This page shows parents how to set up filtering at home for BT, Sky, TalkTalk and Virgin Media. This helps to prevent age-inappropriate content being accessed at home. They also have a range of parent guides to technology.

Internet Matters – This website provides expert support and practical tips to help children benefit from connected technology and the internet safely and smartly.

Childnet International – This website, from a non-profit organisation, provides a parent/carer toolkit and video lessons amongst other key resources. You may wish to look at their suggested hot topics to discuss with your child, as well as their family agreement.

Vodafone Guide to Digital Parenting – In this video, online safety experts at Digital Awareness UK share tips and advice about how to help children use technology safely using parental controls and safety settings.

Google Safety Centre – This website will help you manage parental controls to set what is right for your family to view online.

National Online Safety – This contains lots of downloadable guides on a range of apps and tools, helping to advise parents of any possible dangers. The guides also explain what parental controls can be put in place to help reduce risks when using the applications. We have recently subscribed to this website as a school and will highlight and share key resources and guides with you.