New technologies have become integral to the lives of children and young people in today’s society, both within schools and in their lives outside school.
The internet and other digital and information technologies are powerful tools, which open up new opportunities for everyone. Electronic communication helps teachers and students learn from each other. These technologies can stimulate discussion, promote creativity and increase awareness of context to promote effective learning. Children and young people should be entitled to safe internet access at all times.
The requirement to ensure that children and young people are able to use the internet and related communications technologies appropriately and safely is addressed as part of the wider duty of care to which all who work in schools are bound. Fairlands Middle School school e-safety policy should help to ensure safe and appropriate use.
The use of these exciting and innovative tools in school and at home has been shown to raise educational standards and promote student achievement. However, the use of these new technologies can put young people at risk both within and outside the school. Some of the dangers they may face include:
- Access to illegal, harmful or inappropriate images or other content
- Unauthorised access to / loss of / sharing of personal information
- The risk of being subject to grooming by those with whom they make contact on the internet.
- The sharing / distribution of personal images without an individual’s consent or knowledge
- Inappropriate communication / contact with others, including strangers
- Access to unsuitable video / internet games
- An inability to evaluate the quality, accuracy and relevance of information on the internet
- Plagiarism and copyright infringement
- Illegal downloading of music or video files
- The potential for excessive use which may impact on the social and emotional development and learning of the young person.
As with all other risks, it is impossible to eliminate those risks completely. It is therefore essential, through good educational provision to build the pupils resilience and awareness to the risks to which they may be exposed, so that they have the confidence and skills to face and deal with these risks.
In order to help you support your child we have provided a selection of links to websites that support e-safety and provide advice and guidance to support both adults and children. We have also provided a copy of the “Know it All leaflet” produced by Childnet International as well as the excellent “A Parents guide to Facebook”.
- Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP)
- Kidscape – Preventing Bullying, Protecting Children
- Childnet – Helping children use the internet safely
- Thinkuknow – CEOP’s thinkuknow
We have also worked collaboratively with the other Somerset Middle Schools and Somerset County Council to establish a Twitter and Facebook page where parents can anonymously ask for advice on any issues or concerns they may have or be facing. The links are: