Babcock Online Safety Event – Book Now

We are very excited to be part of the Babcock Conference in September.

Monday 10th September 2018 | Babcock Conference Centre, Surrey | 09:00 – 16:00

Babcock Education and Gooseberry Planet are passionate about raising the profile of E-Safety in schools and about engaging and educating the whole school community. Parents and teachers have a combined responsibility to protect and prepare children for a life online. But are we doing enough? Do we feel comfortable talking about online dangers? CAN we talk about them or does lack of knowledge, coupled with the digital divide between us and the younger generation, make this difficult?

This one day conference combines the practical learning from Gooseberry planet, alongside keynote speakers who bring with them practical experience and genuine case studies. The importance of Prevent as a safeguarding duty for education, and how some young people are more vulnerable online than others will be discussed.

This valuable, informative day is not to be missed!

Book Now Online Safety Conference Book Now

Key reasons to attend

  • Empowering children with the knowledge to protect themselves and their personal information online
  • Feel more confident in your classroom knowing that you are speaking in your students language
  • Real hands on advice that you can take back to your school and implement straight away

Who should attend

All  Phases of Education

  • Headteachers
  • Deputy Headteachers
  • Teachers
  • School Business Managers


Stella James, Gooseberry Planet

Adrienne Katz, Director, Youthworks Consulting Ltd
Sean Arbuthnot, SMA Prevent Training
Steve Clarke, Director of Computing & Curriculum Consultant, Therfield School

Is persuasive design making you addicted to your phone?



Online addiction and persuasive technology have been all over the news again.  The BBC had a Panorama Programme last week – The Dark Side, which was fascinating.  It demonstrated how we are being deliberately exploited by persuasive design, to generate profit by keeping us online longer.  It  does make you think twice about picking up your devices.  Some experts are referring to the addiction as Digital Cocaine. I have even found images of children snorting cocaine on their iPhones.  Are we making a big fuss or is all this true and should we be trying to fight back?

I know last week I spoke about online addiction, but this sits very closely with persuasive technology.  Former employees of technology companies have admitted they are designing their wares to lure us in and keep us hooked.  They are playing on the very human element of addiction and are studying, through science, psychology and our own social media usage, how we engage, even down to the colour of the like button.  Every time we pick up our phones, get an alert or a notification, it gives us a rush..  What really fascinates me is that most of us just accept this.[  We are happy to let our children have devices 24 hours a day.  Social media platforms watch our every move, they know we need to be loved and the more we are loved the more we will use their platform.  The longer they keep us hooked, the more money the companies earn.   Take a few minutes and watch the BBC Documentary on iPlayer; it amazes me how they are getting away with it.  If your little corner shop sold alcohol or any addictive substance to a 15-year-old, it would be shut down in minutes, yet despite the growing recognition of the negative effects of overuse of social media, there is little reaction against these companies  attempting to exploit us.

High profile owners and employees of large tech companies have admitted that  their children are not allowed near social media or even allowed to have a smart phone. Should we not be following their well-informed lead.   Since watching ‘the Dark Side’I have again made changes.  I take my son’s phone away from him and make him go and make him find others ways to entertain himself.  You see so many items in the news feeds saying kids of the 80’s were playing in parks, but children of today sit on technology.  Whose fault is that?  Ours, we are allowing it to happen.  We all need to be bored. I was listening to  Fern Cotton’s, ‘Happy Place’ a few weeks ago and she was interviewing Kirsty Young.  Her mother’s advice to her was ‘just take time, sit at a wall and dribble’. Let’s embrace boredom, enjoy some quiet time and let our imaginations come alive. 

I know you must probably use it as an alarm, as I did, but why not use a good old-fashioned alarm clock intead. Leave all phones downstairs. We need a digital cleanse in the evening.  From the moment you switch off your iPhone or laptop, it takes 2.5 – 3 hours for your brain to reach the deep sleep/REM state. So, if you want to sleep at 22:00, your phone should be on aeroplane mode by 19:00. Teenagers are spending on average 18 hours a week online; I wonder if adults equal this.  I am pretty sure we do.  Most of you will be gasping at this point.  Okay, I am not perfect, and my phone is still on at 10pm, but I do leave it downstairs with both my boys’ phones and the internet goes off at 10pm too.

I know last week I set the challenge of #nophones, but this week, let’s try and digital cleanse before bedtime and get our children to do this too.

Keeping Children Safe in Education (2018)

Keeping Children Safe in Education (2018)

The Government has concluded its consultation on proposed changes to the statutory guidance for Keeping Children Safe in Education.  The new Statutory Guidance has been published for information only as the revised guidance will commence 3 September 2018 and until then schools and colleges must continue to have regard to the KCSIE 2016.  Full details can be found at:

Below we highlight some of the changes, with particular relevance to online safety:

The guidance sets out what schools and colleges in England must have regard to when carrying out their duties to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and young people under the age of 18.

Page 3 clarifies the difference between the words “must” and “should”.  “We use the term “must” when the person in question is legally required to do something and “should” when the advice set out should be followed unless there is good reason not to”.

Specific Safeguarding Issues

Para 50, p. 15 (Updated to reflect sexual violence and sexual harassment).

“All staff should be aware that safeguarding issues can manifest themselves via

peer on peer abuse. This is most likely to include, but may not be limited to:

  • bullying (including cyber bullying);
  • physical abuse such as hitting, kicking, shaking, biting, hair pulling, or otherwise causing physical harm;
  • sexual violence and sexual harassment;
  • sexting (also known as youth produced sexual imagery); and
  • initiation/hazing type violence and rituals.”


Opportunities to teach safeguarding p.21 – (Clarified to make clear that safeguarding includes online safety.)

“80. Governing bodies and proprietors should ensure that children are taught about safeguarding, including online safety.  Schools should consider this as part of providing a broad and balanced curriculum.”


Peer on Peer Abuse, para 90, p. 22-23 (Updated to reflect the importance of policies reflecting peer on peer abuse).

“90.  Governing bodies and proprietors should ensure that their child protection policy includes:

procedures to minimise the risk of peer on peer abuse;

  • how allegations of peer on peer abuse will be recorded, investigated and dealt with;
  • clear processes as to how victims, perpetrators and any other child affected by peer on peer abuse will be supported;
  • a clear statement that abuse is abuse and should never be tolerated or passed off as “banter”, “just having a laugh” or “part of growing up”;
  • recognition of the gendered nature of peer on peer abuse (i.e. that it is more likely that girls will be victims and boys perpetrators), but that all peer on peer abuse is unacceptable and will be taken seriously; and
  • the different forms peer on peer abuse can take, such as:
  • sexual violence and sexual harassment. Part 5 of this guidance sets out how schools and colleges should respond to reports of sexual violence and sexualharassment;
  • physical abuse such as hitting, kicking, shaking, biting, hair pulling, or otherwise causing physical harm;
  • sexting (also known as youth produced sexual imagery): the policy should include the school or college’s approach to it. The department provides searching screening and confiscation advice for schools. The UK Council for

Child Internet Safety (UKCCIS) Education Group has published advice for schools and colleges on responding to sexting incidents; and

  • initiation/hazing type violence and rituals.”

Part 5 Child on Child Sexual Violence and Sexual Harassment – See Paras 235-257 on pages 62-74 for new guidance on how schools should respond to reports of child on child sexual violence and sexual harassment.


Preventing radicalisation Annex A. p 82  (re-drafted to focus on what staff should be doing)

“There is no single way of identifying whether a child is likely to be susceptible to an extremist ideology. Background factors combined with specific influences such as family and friends may contribute to a child’s vulnerability. Similarly, radicalisation can occur through many different methods (such as social media) and settings (such as the internet).“


Peer on peer abuse Annex A. p 83 (Contains new information)

“Children can abuse other children. This is generally referred to as peer on peer abuse and can take many forms. This can include (but is not limited to) bullying (including cyberbullying); sexual violence and sexual harassment; physical abuse such as hitting, kicking, shaking, biting, hair pulling, or otherwise causing physical harm; sexting and initiating/hazing type violence and rituals.”


Sexual Harrassment Annex A, p. 85  (Contains new information)

“Whilst not intended to be an exhaustive list, sexual harassment can include: …

online sexual harassment. This may be standalone, or part of a wider pattern of sexual harassment and/or sexual violence.  It may include:

  • non-consensual sharing of sexual images and videos;
  • sexualised online bullying;
  • unwanted sexual comments and messages, including, on social media; and
  • sexual exploitation; coercion and threats”


Annex B:  Role of the Designated Safeguarding Lead  (Added information on online safety and SEND)


Training p.90 (The DSL should undertake training so that they):


“understand and support the school or college with regards to the requirements of the Prevent duty and are able to provide advice and support to staff on protecting children from the risk of radicalisation;

  • are able to understand the unique risks associated with online safety and be confident that they have the relevant knowledge and up to date capability required to keep children safe whilst they are online at school or college;
  • can recognise the additional risks that children with SEN and disabilities (SEND) face online, for example,

from online bullying, grooming and radicalisation and are confident they have the capability to support SEND children to stay safe online;”


Annex C: Online safety (Updated to provide more information and llinks to additional support).

“The use of technology has become a significant component of many safeguarding issues. Child sexual exploitation; radicalisation; sexual predation: technology often provides the platform that facilitates harm. An effective approach to online safety empowers a school or college to protect and educate the whole school or college community in their use of technology and establishes mechanisms to identify, intervene in and escalate any incident where appropriate.  The breadth of issues classified within online safety is considerable, but can be categorised into three areas of risk:

  • content: being exposed to illegal, inappropriate or harmful material; for example pornography, fake news,

racist or radical and extremist views;

  • contact: being subjected to harmful online interaction with other users; for example commercial advertising as well as adults posing as children or young adults; and
  • conduct: personal online behaviour that increases the likelihood of, or causes, harm; for example

making, sending and receiving explicit images, or online bullying.”


Filters and Monitoring – p. 93

“Whilst filtering and monitoring are an important part of the online safety picture for schools and colleges to consider, it is only one part. Governors and proprietors should consider a whole school approach to online safety. This will include a clear policy on the use of mobile technology in the school. Many children have unlimited and unrestricted access to the internet via 3G and 4G in particular and the school and college should carefully consider how this is managed on their premises. Whilst it is essential that governing bodies and proprietors ensure that appropriate filters and monitoring systems are in place, they should be careful that “over blocking” does not lead to unreasonable restrictions as to what children can be taught with

regard to online teaching and safeguarding.”


Reviewing online safety p.93

“Technology in this area evolves and changes rapidly. A free online safety self

-review tool for schools can be found via the 360 safe website. UKCCIS have recently published Online safety in schools and colleges: Questions for the governing board”


Staff training p. 93-94

“Governors and proprietors should ensure that, as part of the requirement for staff to undergo regularly updated safeguarding training (paragraph 76) and the requirement to ensure children are taught about safeguarding, including online (paragraph 80), that online safety training for staff is integrated, aligned and considered as part of the overarching safeguarding approach.”


The copyright in these extracts belongs to the Crown and Crown copyright information is reproduced with the permission of the Controller of HMSO and the Queen’s Printer for Scotland.














We are all addicted


There has been so much in the news lately about online or gaming addiction.  The World Health Organisation has listed “gaming disorder” as a mental health condition.     I have to say, these gaming companies, are doing an amazing job at using persuasive technology to keep us all hooked.  I know from my own experience, that I am addicted to my phone; I automatically take it everywhere I go. I have to work hard at just leaving it at home.  But my life will not end without it.

I was at an event a few weeks ago and I was chatting with a colleague about technology addiction.  We both went into our phones and changed the settings so that our scenes were black and white.  It felt completely

strange, almost boring and I didn’t feel engaged.  I lasted about an hour with my settings; my friend lasted longer, but we both reverted to the colour scene.  We have been trained to see a phone in colour and to be notified every time something happens.  I am sitting in a café now, watching the world go by, as I type this blog.  I would say 8 out of 10 people are on their phones; they could be listening to music, reading messages or on Social Media.  What we are failing to realise, or maybe choosing to ignore, is that technology companies are deliberating building tech to be addictive.  All of these companies are commercial enterprises and are earning money from our usage. They want us to spend more time online; the longer we stay connected, the more money we are worth.

Technology companies apparently use psychology, including using the anticipation of a reward to our actions to create habit forming behaviour.   The 3 dots which appear when someone else is typing are put there to keep you hooked.  You are waiting for that response. Our phones refresh automatically, yet, we pull down to refresh, because we anticipate pleasure from receiving a new message.  You do not need to, it is making us stay on our phones for longer.  When that Red 1 appears, our human instinct wants to get rid of it, resolve it and make it disappear.  Once it is cleared, we are happy again.  I think Facebook get the gold medal for keeping us hooked, with likes, loves, memories and much more.  That Red 1 has a lot to answer for.  We should look at our own habits and not be surprised when our children seem addicted to their screens.

An NHS Trust is launching a partly NHS-funded internet addiction clinic and it is great that they will provide for support for those small number of extreme cases where lives are severely impacted by gaming.  Most of our children are not addicted to that extent but many parentsare concerned about the amount of time they spend online, be it gaming, watching YouTube or on social media.  We know it impacts on their sleep, eyesight, social interaction, physical activity, reading or doing homework.  Yes, it might help their hand/eye coordination but so would hitting a ball outside!

I was with a friend at the weekend and whenever she takes Fortnite away from her son, he literally wrecks the house and starts smashing things up.  Yes, he has an addiction but at some point, my friend gave into his demands. He has learnt that if he kicks off enough the parent will give in and he wins.   Where has our backbone gone regarding managing our children’s internet or gaming usage.  We have become lazy.It is easier just to leave them on the screen, where they are quiet instead of having a battle or,  dare I say it, engaging positively with our children.

We also need to set a good example.  64% of children want their parents TO PUT DOWN THEIR DEVICES. I get we all have busy lives but,

come on, what happened to good old-fashioned parenting.  We really do have to try to curb our own addiction and lead by example.  I have switched off all my notifications on my social media: it stops me waiting for those “likes”.  As a result, I visit Facebook, Instagram less.  At night I put my phone on Do Not Disturb.  I do not receive emails, phone calls or texts from anyone that isn’t on my favourites list from 8pm – 7am.  We also, have to, at some point, stop blaming the companies for everything that is happening to us and our children; we have to start taking responsibility for ourselves.  After all business is business and although there are useful campaigns to change their behaviour, ultimately it is up to us to be aware of and help our children to resist their ploys.

Here’s a challenge for you.  This week go out without your phone, go for a walk, get your children to come with you and ALL leave the phones behind.

Let’s teach ourselves and our children that it is great to disconnect from the online world every now and then.  Life is short and there is a wonderful, physical world just outside the door.