E-safety for Pupils
"E-Safety encompasses not only Internet technologies but also electronic communications via mobile phones, games consoles and wireless technology. It highlights the need to educate children and young people about the benefits, risks and responsibilities of using information technology.
- E-Safety concerns safeguarding children and young people in the digital world.
- E-Safety emphasises learning to understand and use new technologies in a positive way.
- E-Safety is less about restriction and more about education about the risks as well as the benefits
so we can feel confident online.
- E-Safety is concerned with supporting children and young people to develop safer online behaviours both in and out of school.
The Internet is an unmanaged, open communications channel. The World Wide Web, email, blogs and social networks all transmit information using the Internet’s communication infrastructure internationally at low cost. Anyone can send messages, discuss ideas and publish material with little restriction. These features of the Internet make it an invaluable resource used by millions of people every day.
Some of the material on the Internet is published for an adult audience and can include violent and adult content. Information on weapons, crime and racism may also be unsuitable for children and young people to access. Pupils need to develop critical skills to evaluate online material and learn that publishing personal information could compromise their security and that of others. Schools have a duty of care to enable pupils to use on-line systems safely.
Schools can help protect themselves by making it clear to pupils, staff and visitors that the use of school equipment for inappropriate reasons is “unauthorised” and ensure an Acceptable Use Policy is in place.
The rapid development and accessibility of the Internet and new technologies such as personal publishing and social networking means that e-Safety is an ever growing and changing area of interest and concern. The school’s e-Safety policy must reflect this by keeping abreast of the vast changes taking place around us."
Are You Ready For Safer Internet Day?
What are you doing this year to mark the day?
Following recent enquiries from schools and settings regarding safety concerns about the 'Pokémon Go' app, the Education Safeguarding Adviser (Online Protection) and e-Safety Development Officer have collated a list of useful links for schools and settings to share with parents/carers. These links explore the Pokémon Go app in more depth and provide practical advice for parents/carers on how to keep children safe when playing.
Pokémon Go is a game where users can collect and trade creatures called Pokémon (Pocket Monsters). It uses 'augmented reality' (AR) to make it look like Pokémon have appeared in real life places by using the GPS and cameras on phones/devices. In the game players can collect Pokémon by walking around their local community to capture them as they appear. They can also visit 'PokeStops' to collect new items and visit 'gyms' to train their Pokémon and compete. PokeStops and Gyms are located in public places.
There are a range of risks for Pokémon Go players which have been featured in the global media which includes physical safety concerns (people walking into secluded, dangerous or busy areas), stranger danger (users may feel encouraged to speak to and meet strangers when collecting Pokémon), in-app purchasing (using real money to buy virtual goods), privacy risks (access to personal data), age restrictions (users under 13 require parental consent), data use implications (the game uses mobile data to access maps) and the impact on battery life (the game can quickly drain battery which could mean users are unable to use their device).
It is however important to be aware that the potential risks identified are not new risks to children (or indeed adults who may play the game) either online or in the "real" world so in most cases the response will be to ensure that players understand how to keep safe and for parents/carers to ensure that appropriate support and supervision is in place for children when using the app.
If parents/carers are engaged with their children’s internet use then the potential risks can be minimised and managed appropriately through regular discussions and appropriate supervision. Pokémon Go can provide a useful way for parents (and indeed schools) to explore important on and offline safety messages and reinforce safe behaviours. Some schools have reported using Pokémon Go as a great way to explore on and offline safety by discussing risks highlighted in the media and working with children to produce posters, leaflets and videos to help others keep safe.
As long as appropriate safety steps are taken, Pokémon Go could be viewed as an opportunity to engage in a fun family activity which encourages children and parents to go out together and be active and explore their communities in new and engaging ways.
The following links may be helpful for schools and settings to share with their parents to help families ensure that Pokémon Go is kept fun and safe.
If you are concerned about PokeStops and/or gyms located in unsafe places then they can be reported here