Who is responsible for Safeguarding our Children?

It has been a busy start to the year but as we all know Online Safeguarding is always at the forefront.  I have written several articles lately addressing key questions that we should all be thinking about. One of which is ‘Who is responsible for Safeguarding our children?’ Some may think it is parents, some may think our schools and some think just ticking a box is enough. The truth is, ensuring safety online is all of our responsibility. The big question is how seriously do we take Online Safety? 

In my work I have the honour of meeting inspirational people, who through their own experiences have lessons for us all.  I met with Lorin LeFave the other day; what an amazing woman. Her son Breck [link]was murdered by an online gamer.  She is pushing for better education about Online Safety in our society, starting with a push to make PSHE a compulsory subject in our school curriculum.  She aims to ensure that Online Safety to becomes a sustained and planned life skill, not just delivered through a day here and there.  We all need to ask ourselves, what are we doing to support, promote and model positive and safe online behaviours? Are we doing enough? and Could we do more?

Are you going to Bett next week? If you are, look out for Gooseberry Planet’s new game platform being launched by Acer. Their stand is B109.  Why not go and try our resources and have some fun at the same time, playing one of our gaming levels. Who says games are just for the children!  Let’s see who can get the highest score over the course of the event. If you go, please send a tweet out with your picture playing GP. @gooseberryplan.  You could win something!  We are also on our own stand which is number G251. I will be there for most of the week and would be happy to have a chat.

Internet Safety Day is around the corner on the 7th February. We are offering schools a free resource. It will include a lesson plan and a workbook covering 9 different areas of Online Safety. Topics include Online grooming, People online, Perfect passwords, In app purchases, to name but a few.  You can choose:  just email or phone and one of our Gooseberry Gurus can send the documents to you. 

I am really excited to announce that we have released our new safeguarding CPD. This is all online, with a fun, interactive element.  No more death by power point.  Don’t forget ALL your staff, including the support and site staff, need to have up-to-date Safeguarding training. Our programme can be accessed online, whenever you like; it can be done over a period of time and the learning can be personalised and prioritised, depending on your experience and role within a school. No more staff out for the day, no more individual costs and you can track who has completed the training.  Watch our video.

If you have any questions about what we do, please book on to one of our webinars or give me a call. 01865 366 468.  I am always happy to chat about Online Safety and our passion for supporting it.  

Lastly don’t forget our Parent Workshops. We are already fully booked until March. We have some very cool initiatives to get the parents to attend.

“Make a Noise about Bullying” An Anti-Bullying Week

The 2nd-27th November marks Actionwork’s anti-bullying month, and 16-20th November is national anti-bullying week. Actionwork have a theme of Cyberbullying and E-Safety this year where they aim to raise awareness of a problem that is expanding daily as we see cyberspace constantly expanding at a rapid pace. Anti-bullying weeks theme is ‘Make a noise about bullying’ to raise awareness of bullying and encourage children to talk out about their issues. This week is designed to get everyone involved in raising awareness for the fight against bullying, the national campaign aims to support parents/carers, teachers and young people who may be involved in or affected by bullying.

Actionwork’s anti-bullying efforts

The Key Aims of the week are..

  • To empower children to make a noise about bullying – whether this may be online, offline, happening to them or someone else.
  • To help parents and carers have conversations with their children about bullying – both as a way of preventing bullying, and to help children who are worried about bullying;
  • To encourage ‘talking schools’ where all children and young people are given a safe space to discuss bullying and other issues that affect their lives, and are supported to report all forms of bullying;
  • To equip teachers to respond effectively when children tell them they’re being bullied; and
  • To raise awareness of the impact of bullying on children’s lives if they don’t tell anyone it’s happening – or if they are not given appropriate support – with a focus on the impact on mental health.

There are many ways that you can get involved this anti-bullying month including downloading the anti-bullying week campaign pack, helping fundraising, sharing the logo on your website and/or social media and buying official posters, stickers and wristbands from the Anti-bullying Week website.

Here are some top tips for parents from the Anti-Bullying Week website.

  • If your child is being bullied don’t panic.  Explain to your child that the bullying is not their fault and together you will sort this out.
  • Bullying is never acceptable; and should always be taken seriously. It is never your child’s fault if they’ve been bullied.
  • Try and establish the facts.  It can be helpful to keep a diary of events. If the bullying is online, save or copy images and text.
  • Find out what your child wants to happen.  Help to identify steps you can take; and the skills they have to help sort out the situation. Make sure you always keep them informed about any actions you decide to take.
  • You may be tempted to tell your child to retaliate but this can have unpredictable results.   Your child might get into trouble or get even more hurt.  Rather – role play non-violent ways they can respond to children that are bullying them (e.g. ‘I don’t like it when you say that to me / do that to me. Stop.’); show them how to block or unfriend people if the bullying is online and help them identify other friends or adults that can support them.
  • Encourage your child to get involved in activities that build their confidence and esteem, and help them to form friendships outside of school (or wherever the bullying is taking place).