Gooseberry Planet strengthens management team to promote safe Internet use amongst children


Nick Maley recruited to drive strategic partnerships and sponsorship forward

Sexting is on the increase with a quarter of 13- to 18-year-olds that took part in a recent Child Line survey saying they had sent an image or video of themselves to someone on social media; and 60% say they had been asked for a sexual image or video of themselves.

Having searched for a suitable App to educate her children about online dangers like cyber-bulling, sexting, identity theft and grooming in late 2013 and found nothing; Hampshire mum Stella James set about developing Gooseberry Planet, the engaging App designed to help 4-16 year olds to learn how to stay safe online through digital gaming. Now to help raise awareness and promote the App, Stella has just appointed Nick Maley to the post of Vice President of Commercial Ops where his main focus will be developing strategic partnerships and sponsorship models with national & International partners.

Nick has almost 20 years’ experience within the commercial environment of sports, radio and out of home media and first worked with Stella over 10 years ago, turning around non-profitable radio stations. A former Managing Director of HEART Radio, Nick has also had senior roles at MAGIC 105.4 Radio in London and most recently was the European Head of Revenue for The Times of India. He had been assisting Gooseberry Planet in an advisory capacity but now joins the board and becomes a full time director of the company.

Commenting on his appointment Nick said: “I’m delighted to be working with Stella again, particularly in such an important, challenging and rewarding area where I can help make her vision a reality. I too am passionate about keeping children safe online having two young daughters, so I know the risks they face. Online safety is a real issue and a huge challenge that hasn’t been properly addressed until now. International brands need to step-up and play their part in delivering a safer online environment and I look forward to making that difference by raising awareness and helping achieve secure online activity for kids globally.”

Gooseberry Planet is now going down a storm with kids, parents and teachers alike. The engaging budget suite of Apps for PCs, tablets and smartphones, inform 4‑16 year olds about online dangers and teaches them to recognise the risks and so keep themselves safe. Available for download in four instructive and interactive tiers; it also includes a parent app about how best to develop discussions and guide their child about remaining safe online and a teachers app that helps track progress and identify individuals that may be more at risk. Additional versions are currently in development, which will expand the age span from five through to 18+ to ensure the total spectrum is catered for.

Stella James added: “Having Nick working full time for Gooseberry Planet means that we can engage with and gain support with key corporates who in turn will enable us to distribute these important messages much wider. Many parents and carers are still not in tune with the current dangers, how people are exploiting software or how to best protect family and friends. Our focus is to provide them with the knowledge they need to help educate their children about how to keep themselves safe online and be responsible ‘cyber’ parents.”


Making Sense of the New Online Safety Standards

OfStedOfsted has published the long awaited changes to the way it inspects all early years, education and skills settings, including schools from September 2015. This includes significant changes to how they consider and inspect Online Safety. Here are some of the highlights the changes and explains what the implications are.

Earlier this month, Ofsted published their ‘far-reaching’ changes to the way they will ‘inspect early years provision, schools and further education and skills from September 2015’. This represents the introduction of a brand new common inspection framework and significant change across all these remits, in which Online Safety is no exception.

The first point is that the term e-Safety has been replaced with ‘Online Safety’. This fundamental change reflects a widening range of issues associated with technology and a user’s access to content, contact with others and behavioural issues. The term Cyber bullying has also been replaced with ‘Online Bullying’.

Online Safety references are no longer simply statements that are inserted, but occupy significant areas of the new ‘Inspecting safeguarding in Early Years, education and skills settings’ guidance. Ofsted highlights that ‘online safety’ specifically is one of the broader aspects of care and education as “safeguarding is not just about protecting children, learners and vulnerable adults from deliberate harm, neglect and failure to act”. We suggest this represents that online safety has an increasing priority for inspectors and very clearly an element of safeguarding. We agree that this is exactly where it should be; for too long, schools (in particular) have considered e-safety to be an ICT issue.

Check out detailed changes around Online Safety in the ‘Inspecting safeguarding in early years, education and skills settings’ Guidance

» Page 6, Section 10 – Definition of Safeguarding

» Page 9, Section 13 – The signs of successful safeguarding arrangements

» Page 12, Section 18 – Inspectors will want to consider evidence that:

» Page 12, Section 18 – Inspectors will want to consider evidence that:

» Page 15, Section 34 – Arriving at Judgements about safeguarding arrangements

» Page 16, Section 40 – Inspecting or reporting on safeguarding concerns

Useful resources
If you are new to online safety, here are some suggestions of where to start:

Gooseberry School teaches online safety in a unique way, joining, teacher, student and parent together in one app. The child learns through game-based learning, the teacher has a complete tool kit with monitoring system and the parent can view their child’s performance.

There are a total of 3 apps which can be accessed via a desktop, tablet or iPad, Gooseberry Student for the child, Gooseberry Teacher and Gooseberry Parent. Take a look and register for you free download