Online Safety Letter

Upcoming Events

Dear Parent/Carer                                                                                      

12 December 2017

Online safety is an important part of keeping children safe at Homewood School.

Following advice from Kent Police and the Kent Safeguarding Board we would advise you to check your son/daughters online activity as a video containing indecent images of two young children has been circulated via Instagram and Snapchat. This is currently being investigated by the Police. Their advice is to bulk delete.

PLEASE NOTE – the possession of indecent images (photographs or videos) of a minor with a view to sharing is a criminal offence. If a video or image is received it should be reported to CEOP or Kent Police via 101.

With this in mind and as Christmas draws near, many children will be looking forward to receiving new electronic devices or games and we feel this is an appropriate time to highlight some simple online safety tips to help you make safer choices and support your children online.

Take an active interest in your child’s online life and engage in the digital world with them.

  • Let your children teach you about their online world and how they use technology; playing new games and exploring websites together can often open opportunities to discuss safe behaviour online.
  • Make sure your children know that you are safe and approachable; remind them that they can tell you if something happens online that makes them feel scared, worried or uncomfortable, without being told off or punished.
  • It is vital you fully understand the capabilities and make informed decision about new games, apps and devices before giving them to children as a gift  ie do your research. Does the game have an online component which allows them to connect to others online? Always check age rating and descriptors on games & Apps. Are they appropriate for them? (Facebook 13yrs, Snapchat 13yrs, Instagram 13yrs, Whats App 16yrs)

Children can accidently or deliberately be exposed to illegal, unwanted or unpleasant content online but there are some simple steps you can take at home to minimise this risk.

  • Make sure you install anti-virus software, filters and parental controls on your child’s device before giving it to them (the person who pays the bill whether it is a contract phone or pay as you go is responsible for the actions on the phone).

The majority of the time the internet is a positive learning tool and a vital part of a young persons education and social development.

For further support and advice please see the links below or contact myself Miss V English the Designated Safeguarding Lead at Homewood School and I will endeavour to signpost you to the relevant support or advice.

Useful links

https://www.childrenscommissioner.gov.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/Childrens-Commissioners-Simplified-Social-Media-Terms-and-Conditions.pdf

www.net-aware.org.uk – NSPCC guide to the most popular apps and websites available online.

www.nspcc.org.uk/shareaware - NSPCC advice for parents to teach children about online sharing.

www.parentport.org.uk – report inappropriate content online

www.getsafeonline.org  – free up to date security and technical advice

https://safetonet.com – a newly developed App for parents which senses changes in childrens online activity and alerts parents further information is available via the following link http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/uk-england-berkshire-41492533/app-shows-suspect-phone-use-to-parents

 

Yours sincerely,

Miss V English

Designated Safeguarding Lead