How do we get parents involved in Internet safety?

Ideas and suggestions to help improve parental engagement in e-safety issues

When it comes to young people, we hear all too often that online safety is not just a matter for teachers to educate our pupils, but for parents to take responsibility and for the Internet providers to provide adequate protection at the source. While the latter is a cause that the government is positioned to handle, it still seems that schools are not only in charge of pupil education, but also getting parents up-to-speed too.

The challenge of engaging parents in matters of e-safety is perpetual. Here are E-safety Support we very often speak to schools who are struggling to get the message across to the parents – be that due to poor attendance at open evenings, or simply because it’s just easier for the parent to hand over the iPad to the child because they know how to use it better!

Empowering pupils

However, we also hear some great ideas from schools about how they are dealing with the issue – most recently from Matthew Moss High School in Rochdale. During a recent e-safety day, the school took the decision to empower the children in taking the Internet safety message home to their parents. The pupils completed the online parent training (available from E-safety Support) and then went on to developing posters and slides that they could share with their parents.



Dave Leonard, ICT Manager at Matthew Moss commented, "Having already distributed the ‘Get E-Smart’ pupil training to all students in KS3 we were looking for ways to reinforce the e-safety message to learners. One issue that we face, in common with many schools, is making parents and carers aware of the importance of e-safety. I discussed this with our Head of Family who was running the e-safety day and we decided to try to switch things around by asking learners to train their parents. We used the ‘E-safety Training for Parents’ course as the basis of our work with students and they produced resources and examples with which to facilitate discussions with their parents. The students enjoyed the sense of responsibility and it was a very effective way of ensuring that e-safety is considered at home as well as at school"

Other ideas for schools

Below are some other suggestions that could help engagement with parents at your school.

Parent assemblies - Have your pupils run an e-safety parents assembly – this could be quite powerful if the children themselves point out the risks that they need their parents to help protect them from. Prior to holding such an event, carry out an audit (one is available to E-safety Support Premium Plus members) to highlight key areas of concern, which can then be pinpointed within the session.

Homework books - If your pupils have homework books, perhaps a regular tip, news headline or similar could be included in that to keep the message getting out.

School events - Have an e-safety 'stall' at your next school fair. This could provide an opportunity for parents to have a chat about any concerns they may have or to simply be given more information in a less formal setting.

AUP - Have parents signed an acceptable use policy? Again, this is something you can download from E-safety Support and issue via email.

Pupil surveys - Carry out anonymous surveys of your pupils about time spent online, usage of social media, how they feel about cyberbullying etc and share these results with parents – they may be surprised by the findings.

Videos - If you are using videos from CEOP / NSPCC for example in the classroom, send the link to parents so they can watch it too

Dedicated web page - Make sure your website includes the name of the teacher responsible for e-safety. You could also include:

  1. The e-safety news feed available to all E-safety Support members
  2. A CEOP video - you could start with the one on the subject of grooming, but change it to other topical ones over time - CEOP have a bank of parent videos you could choose from
  3. A link to your school e-safety policy
  4. A link to live stats on web activity to demonstrate the enormity of it (eg http://www.internetlivestats.com/)
  5. Links to the external parent resources such as Internet Matters, Parent Zone, Family Lives and so on
  6. The 'Click CEOP' reporting button

If you have any suggestions that you would like to share with other teachers, please use the comment section below.

Images courtesy of the pupils at Matthew Moss High School

Written by Safeguarding Essentials on March 27, 2018 12:50

E-safety in 2016

A review of the e-safety related events of 2016


In the final E-safety Support article of the year, we thought it would be an ideal opportunity to look back at some of the highs and lows that have shaped the world of e-safety during 2016.

We also take a look forward to the opportunities in 2017.



Spring Term

    In the spring term, the European Union launched a forum bringing together Internet firms like Google, Facebook and Twitter as well as law enforcement agencies to combat online extremism.

    Police revealed that children as young as EIGHT are 'sexting' explicit images to each other.

    A survey of more than 4,700 teenagers revealed that almost half think cyberbullying is a bigger issue than drug abuse among young people

    Safer Internet Day 2016 took place with the theme Play your part for a better internet, which reached 2.8 million children!

Summer Term

    In the summer term, it was announced that pornographic websites will require users to verify their age in a bid to stop children viewing harmful material online. Companies that fail to put safeguards in place will face civil sanctions under a new legal framework.

    The ASCL released details of a report which reported that rising numbers of young people are suffering from mental health issues such as anxiety and stress. It suggested that today's children are facing an "extraordinary range" of pressures - including modern technology - and specialist care needs to be available.

    Action for Children reported that One in seven (15%) children has bullied others online, while nearly 60% of children responded that they bullied to fit in with a certain social group.

    Twitter suspended 125,000 'terrorism' accounts after global calls to counter extremism online.

Autumn Term

    At the beginning of the autumn term, the UK Council for Child Internet Safety (UKCCIS) released a guidance document for schools on dealing with ‘Youth Produced Sexual Imagery’ (YPSI) or more commonly known as ‘sexting’. This was followed by new guidance from the Police to prevent criminalising some young people involved in sexting.

    The annual Ofcom report, Children and parents: media use and attitudes report 2016, indicated that the Internet has overtaken television as the top media pastime for the UK’s children.

    The NSPCC recorded an 88% rise in children seeking help for online abuse. The number of children who contacted ChildLine increased by more than 2,000 over five-year period.

    A School for teenage codebreakers is to open in Bletchley Park. The sixth-form College of National Security will teach cyber skills to some of Britain’s most gifted youngsters to fight growing threat.

What have been your significant moments of 2016?
There has been much to consider regarding online safety during 2016. Schools have once again felt the pressure of added risks that young people face when using the Internet. We would love to hear your thoughts. What have been the most significant e-safety developments or risks that have affected you, your school or your pupils? What do you think will be the biggest online safety challenge of 2017? Please use the comments section below to let us know.

New from E-safety Support in 2017
Look out for our new assembly for Safer Internet Day which will be available in early January. We will also be releasing a new cyber bullying assembly in the new year as well as issuing a new governor online training course.

You may have already noticed that the E-safety Support website has been getting a new fresh look. Over the coming days, we will be rolling out the new designs to give our members a new user dashboard area too. We will also be adding additional member features which will be announced in January. Watch out for your member email bulletins for further information.

Written by Safeguarding Essentials on December 14, 2016 16:19


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