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 as many 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 Code:

High privacy by default, which would giving 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 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

Online Safety in schools. How much do you know? Teachers only

Online Safety in schools. How much do you know?
Teachers only

As a teacher we know how hard it is to keep up to date with all the latest trends online.  This webinar will give you a quick overview life online.

Gooseberry Planet is 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?

The session will explore and discuss the current threats and vulnerabilities that exist online for everyone. Stella will introduce Gooseberry Planet – an award winning educational software platform – and demonstrate how gaming technology can effectively help children learn about internet safety. The session will highlight the importance of involving parents in the child’s learning journey and show how Gooseberry Planet can equip teachers with a complete toolkit to effectively and confidently address the subject of E-Safety

If you register and cannot make any of the times we have set, a video of the event will be sent to you.

Date and Time

Tue, Apr 24, 2018 4:00 PM – 5:00 PM BST

Wed, May 30, 2018 4:00 PM – 5:00 PM BST

Wed, Jul 11, 2018 9:00 AM – 10:00 PM BST

Thu, Jul 12, 2018 4:00 PM – 5:00 PM BST

Wed, Sep 12, 2018 4:00 AM – 5:00 PM BST

Mon, Nov 26, 2018 4:00 PM – 5:00 PM GMT

Fri, Feb 1, 2019 8:00 AM – 9:00 AM GMT

Tue, Apr 2, 2019 4:00 AM – 5:00 AM BST

Mon, May 20, 2019 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM BST

Tue, Jun 18, 2019 9:00 AM – 10:00 AM BST

Webinar language



Participants can use their telephone or computer mic & speakers (VoIP).

United Kingdom: +44 330 221 9922
Audio PIN: Shown after joining the webinar

Organizer – unmuted
Access Code: 942-043-128

Access Code: 255-273-891

Attendee – muted
Access Code: 660-071-629

Registration URL:

Webinar ID: 639-056-395


Spain – Online Safety Workshop for Teachers & Parents 27th September 2018


Gooseberry News – trendy tec

Online Safety Teacher Workshop
27th September 2018

Aloha College, Marbella

I am delighted to announce that we are coming to Spain in September to hold an E-Safety workshop for schools. I would like to say a huge thank you to Aloha College for hosting the event in Marbella. This is open to Heads, IT Leads and Safeguarding leads. I will be covering online addiction, persuasive design, using social media safely and preparing children for online life. Please follow this link and book your ticket today.

We also know how hard it is to engage with Parents about their child’s internet usage. We will be holding a FREE Parent Workshop. Please feel free to share this link below with your parents to RSVP or even better put up the attached poster around your school or share via email.

Look forward to meeting you on Thursday September 27th at 5pm.

Education or regulations?

Educating rather than blocking  

Our latest Gooseberry Alert is now on the platform.  This one is all about Changing Perceptions.

The Department for Education recently updated its statutory guidance Keeping Children Safe In Education which will apply to all schools from 3rd September 2018.–2

The DfE appears to be shifting its emphasis from relying on blocking and filtering, to advocating a more holistic approach including teaching online safety for the whole school community.  It is also encouraging that the government is recognising that online safety impacts many safeguarding issues including child sexual exploitation, radicalisation and sexual predation.

In the September 2016 statutory guidance, blocking and filtering were made mandatory, but thankfully the DfE has realised that children have 3G or 4G on the phones, so no matter how much schools filter and block, the risks to children’s safety from their online activities do not disappear.  Schools might well be protecting themselves in case they are sued, but what is really important is that they protect children.

 “Governors and proprietors should consider a whole school approach to online safety. 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”

“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.”

I think the question we need to ask ourselves is, “What is an effective approach?”  Do we expect children

to learn this subject in one-off lessons or in an assembly?  Since when did we learn how to swim in one lesson?  There is no programme or process for schools to follow.  What needs to go wrong before schools start to take notice, and realise that it is not enough to just tick a box after giving a PowerPoint presentation?

Online grooming is one of the biggest fears of any parent.  Children are being groomed via games, such as Fortnite, Roblox and Minecraft.  We need to teach them what to be aware of, how someone might groom them and how a potential offender might behave towards them.  Until we start using the right language we will not have an impact.

We talk to children about their online and offline lives but we need to realise that they see little distinction; being online is a huge and natural part of their lives.  Being a mother of two boys aged 11 and 16, I know that if I shut down their access to the internet, I shut down access to their friends and social circles.  Just as we teach children about road safety, we need to help them to develop the skills to be aware of dangers online.  We cross the road with them when they are younger but at some stage they have to cross the road by themselves.  Blocking will never allow them to be aware of the risks and signs of danger.  Furthermore, I believe online safety should be taught at a very early age.  With recently published statistics showing that 71% of 5/6 years olds have an internet enabled device in their bedrooms and that 4 in 10 children under the age of 13 have been approached by someone they do not know, we need to start children’s online education much earlier.  New figures out from O2, reveal that 98% of children being groomed are under the age of 13 years old.

Many parents are unable to keep up with what their children are doing and where potential dangers lie in the rapidly changing technology world which their children can readily access.  Over 50% of teachers feel uncomfortable teaching the subject and yet 65% of parents want schools to teach their children about online safety.   Until the DfE recognises online safety as a necessary life skill which needs to be taught in the same way as any other subject on the curriculum, the problem will grow.

Copy and paste this link and share with all of your parents.

This is free of charge and anyone in your school can register.  Just click here.  Are you interested in holding an event for your school group or trust?

Please email and we can arrange an event for you.