Online safety letter home to parents…

Communicating with parents about staying safe online is challenging but really important, so we thought you might like to see a letter that Greenvale Primary in Croydon (thanks for letting us share it!) sent home to parents about safe search engines, the challenges of YouTube, YouTube Kids and parental settings. This school had just decided to make YouTube available more widely than before – whether or not that applies to you, the rest may give you useful ideas.

Please use, adapt and send, and let us know if it helps. You can download the text as a Word file to edit and adapt alongside other useful such documents from safepolicies.lgfl.net as a word document if you want to adapt and use the text . Otherwise read on here just to see the text:

Online Safety at XXX

Dear Parent / Carer,

I write with regards to children’s access to media through the use of YouTube. 

At XXX, we have a number of internet filters in place which means that inappropriate websites are blocked so that children are unable to access these whilst at school.  These filters are also able to block sites as requested by the school.  In recent years, we have blocked YouTube for children as it can sometimes be difficult to monitor the content within videos.  After discussion with our Internet Service Provider, we have now decided to reinstate access to YouTube at XXX. 

We took this decision, as our view around applications such as YouTube is that children will more than likely be accessing these websites whilst at home and that by simply blocking websites which may show inappropriate content, we are unable to demonstrate how to be vigilant and act if and when we were to come across inappropriate content.  We would also like to make clear that we would be applying a ‘strict, restricted’ level of security on YouTube which will block out videos that are deemed inappropriate for primary aged children. 

At school, we will also speak with the children to make them aware that they are only to go on YouTube when asked to do so by a teacher for specific work reasons.  This way, we can ensure that their use is monitored and that children have a specific reason for viewing media.  This rule will apply throughout the school day, including for children who attend breakfast and after-school club.

As a school, we would like to encourage the use of ‘YouTube Kids’ (as opposed to the main YouTube version) which is more suitable for children.  Please note that this can only be accessed via an app and is not web-based.  There are also search engines which are far more user friendly and suitable for children of primary school age, such as ‘Swiggle’ which can help ensure that children do not accidently come across content which is inappropriate.  Through downloading ‘Google Family Link’, or ‘Apple Screen Time’ (both free apps) you are also able to block or allow different apps on your children’s devices.

Finally, in assembly today, we have shared a song from CEOP with the children and asked them to show you this at home over the weekend.  We hope that this will help open up some helpful dialogue between families about online safety.  Please click here to access a copy of this video. The video that we have watched is video 1, however you will see a number of other videos which will help initiate discussions around staying safe online. 

For information about how you are able to review or update parental controls for apps and devices, please click here. This website provides parents with simple to follow instructions for how to keep your children safe at home.  

The internet can be a wonderful place and we believe can be of great benefit to our pupils.  Our highest priority is ensuring that children remain safe whilst online and ensuring they know what action to take should they come across anything that is inappropriate or causes them distress.

Kind regards,

[ END ] Now over to you… If you have one that’s much more helpful in your opinion, why not share for the benefit of others? Get in touch

New Face-to-Face Safeguarding Training for LGfL Schools – Sept 2019

Welcome back to the new academic year! We’ve been busy all summer developing a new training programme to help you keep up with all the new legislation, ensure compliance and and implement effective practice around safeguarding.

As you are aware, ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’  has just been updated (September 2019) – so we have commissioned brand new translations of KCSIE Part 1, to reflect the latest changes and updates, to be available mid-September in 11 key community languages. You can download the current versions now at: kcsietranslate.lgfl.net

As well as providing expert training for safeguarding leads, schools must also ensure they keep ALL other staff up to date with developments – this includes the new guidance document Teaching online safety in school’ (DfE, June 2019), and the new curriculum guidance for Relationships education, relationships and sex education (RSE) and health education,mandatory from September 2020. Did you know that the new RSHE (RSE/PSHE) curriculum has 66 mentions of staying safe online?

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To help you prepare, sign yourself or a relevant staff member up to our new courses – all at no cost, and delivered by some of the country’s leading experts:

  • Official DSL training – full day course offered by experienced local authority trainer with many years’ experience
  • County Lines / Child Criminal Exploitation – delivered by a former Met Police Trident expert on gangs and knife crime
  • PSHE (RSE / RSHE) training on online safety – includes curriculum mapping time; ideal for multiple colleagues to attend as you prepare for the new subject
  • Online Safety Training Featuring CEOP Thinkuknow – ideal for all staff with insights from LGfL and the National Crime Agency’s CEOP Command
  • Prevent Duty for School Safeguarding – our new Prevent expert will help senior leaders and governors ensure your school is compliant with the Prevent duty
  • Digital Citizenship Training – Common Sense Media are developing their resources for the UK and will train you on how to use them
  • SafeConf – major annual safeguarding conference attracting 400+ DSLs each year – book now for March 2020

You can find out more and book for all our training now at safetraining.lgfl.net

And remember, if it’s hard to get out of school you can always join our 4pm TWILIGHT webinars – designed to cover new DfE guidance, livestreaming, bullying, youth violence, fake news, and engaging parents / governors with online safety. Sign up for our webinars now at digisafewebinar.lgfl.net