Online Safety Parental Briefings
The increased importance of being online to study and communicate with others due to the COVID pandemic has seen us all spend even more time connected to our digital devices. We need to make a conscious decision to monitor our screen time and to disconnect from time to time to give ourselves (and our eyes!) a break. Young people are often aware of online risks but they can still make poor choices. In this newsletter you will find some information about how you can help young people to stay safe.
Digital Romance was a research report by CEOP and Brook, which looked at how YP use technology in developing romantic relationships and surviving break-ups. Just over 2000 young people were surveyed.
Of the 14-17 year olds surveyed: -
26% had sent a nude image to someone they are interested in
48% had received one from someone else
As age increased, so did the frequency of the sending and receiving of nude images. Reasons given for sending such images included being sent for fun, or because the young person had felt pressured into doing so. There was also an increase in the number of young people who shared nude images of someone they know to someone else, i.e. nude images being shared beyond their control.
These figures are from 2017, and so are most likely much higher in 2021. We must recognise that this can happen to any young person irrespective of their age, background, intellect or personality
We always hope that when young people find themselves in a difficult position, that they feel able to tell a trusted adult. However, we recognise that some young people are not able to do so. Anyone can click on the triangle symbol on the homepage of our school website to report inappropriate behaviour online to the National Crime Agency. Please remind all young people about this facility. You can also make a report by clicking here.
Categories of Risk
Our approach to online safety is based on addressing the following categories of risk which have been identified by the DfE: -
Content — being exposed to illegal, inappropriate or harmful content, such as pornography, fake news, racism, self-harm, suicide, anti-Semitism, radicalisation and extremism.
Contact — being subject to online harmful interaction with other users, such as peer-to-peer pressure, commercial advertising, and adults posing as children or young adults with the intention to groom or exploit them for sexual, criminal, financial or other purposes.
Conduct — reducing personal online behaviour that increases the likelihood of, or causes, harm, such as making, sending and receiving explicit images (e.g. consensual and non-consensual sharing of nudes and semi-nudes and/or pornography), sharing other explicit images and online bullying.
Commerce — risks such as online gambling, inappropriate advertising, phishing and/or financial scam.
Our online safety education is based upon 6 values to ensure the safe, effective and young person-centred delivery of online safety education.
Safety first — the safety and wellbeing of each young person always comes first.
Approach from the perspective of the young person — let the young person start the conversation. Understand what the online world means to them and explore the positive opportunities it presents, as well as the risks.
Promote dialogue and understanding — young people are safest when they feel listened to and understood, and to know that they can ask trusted adults for help when they need it.
Empower and enable young people — young people have the right to be protected from harm, and to be supported to build knowledge, skills and confidence which will support them in identifying risk and accessing support when they need it.
Never frighten or scare-monger — alarmist education can be risky and ineffective. Avoid shocking or scaring young people.
Challenge victim blaming attitudes — we all have a responsibility to challenge victim-blaming whenever it arises. Young people need to know that abuse is never their fault.
As a National Online Safety accredited school, you can register for a free parent account where you will be able to access a plethora of resources that you can use to discuss online safety with young people. Visit https://nationalonlinesafety.com/enrol/upton-hall-school-fcj for more information.
You can also download the National Online Safety mobile phone app, available through both the App store and Google play. For more information, visit https://info.nationalonlinesafety.com/mobile-app.