Gooseberry Planet would like your help

Gooseberry Planet would like your help

Gooseberry Planet would like your help

Please respond to the Age-Appropriate Design Code Consultation

In December, a little known, but hugely important piece of legislation was passed. A data protection code specifically for children and young people, the Age Appropriate Design Code, will change their experience of the digital world in a profound way. To make it robust we need your help.

Few people think about the importance of children’s data, but it is a big business. Data includes information from a child’s name, birthdate, address and friends. It can also infer their sexuality, race, personal preferences, shopping and entertainment habits. Hundreds of small details increasingly affect not only how they are seen by education institutions, commercial companies and future employers, but also guide the experiences they have online.

The Age-Appropriate Design Code will seek to minimise the amount of data, the kinds of data and the spread of their data that can be collected; and will support a child’s right to retract, to correct or to challenge data held about themselves. In doing so, it will reverse the overwhelming nature of data collection that also demands a child’s constant attention to, and interaction with, their devices.

The Information Commissioner is consulting with a wide range of people including parents, teachers, psychologists and academics on the Code. We are asking Gooseberry Planet supporters to submit to the Information Commissioner’s call for evidence. This may be something you have done before, but if you have not submitted before be brave and do so now! Remember, you don’t have to answer every question.

We support the Age-Appropriate Design Code because it addresses the needs of children and young people to grow up in an environment that respects their privacy.

We like the fact that it uses the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child – that means a child is anyone under the age of 18.

We recognise that children are different at different ages, and we support the idea that online services should consider children of different ages differently.

We want the following things to be mandatory in the Code:

High privacy by default, which would give children and young people greater control over who can access their personal information.

Routine failure by online services to uphold their own terms and conditions must be considered a breach of the Code and subject to enforcement, such as fines, commitment to changing their services for the benefit of children.

Geolocation must be off by default, so that children are not tracked or commercially exploited.

Data is only taken during active use of services and apps, to reverse the current trend of online services capturing every piece of a child’s data.

Child data impact assessments for all existing and new services to understand and minimise data privacy risks for children.

A universal reporting system which would allow all children confidently to contact online services when they experience problems or need assistance.

A commitment from the Government to enforce the Code. This will ensure robust and effective implementation of children’s rights online.

If you have any questions or need assistance in filling in the submission form, or if you have any thoughts or ideas, you can contact

You can find more information about the Age-Appropriate Design Code and children’s privacy in the Information Commission’s blog.

Thank you for your support

Stella James
Head Gooseberry

Babcock Online Safety Event – Book Now

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

Monday 3rd December 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 sexual harassment; 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.