Eighty-seven per cent of children aged five to 15 are now regularly going online, and one in five of 12 to 15-year-olds say they have seen something online in the past year that they found worrying or nasty.
Online safety is an ever-growing concern for parents and carers; a report by Ofcom in 2016 found 30 per cent of parents of five to 15-year-olds are concerned about online content. The ease with which children can access the internet has both benefits and drawbacks. School leaders are committed to keeping children safe so that they can learn well, and there are steps teaching professionals can take to educate children and young people of how to use the internet safely and effectively.
There are a number of organisations that offer advice, teaching materials and other resources to help promote online safety inside and outside of school. Below are a number of different online safety resources available to teaching professionals, including advice and guidance about online safety policies, curriculum plans and classroom resources. There are also various resources listed below that you may wish to signpost to parents/carers about how to ensure effective internet safety in the home environment too.
Guidance and resources for teaching professionals
- Curriculum planning
- UK Safer Internet Centre – advice on curriculum planning complete with links to relevant resources by the Department for Education. The resources include specific reference to online safety as part of both the computing curriculum and the PSHE/RSE curriculum
- Teaching and classroom resources
- UK Safer Internet Centre– classroom resources for pupils of all ages (including a resource bank with games, quizzes, etc.) along with practical toolkits and digital literacy materials
- South West Grid for Learning – digital literacy and citizenship resources split by class year containing example lesson plans and associated resources for each lesson
- Guidance on the development and evaluation of school online safety policies and procedures
- UK Safer Internet Centre– guidance for schools on assessing and implementing effective online safety policies and procedures
- Online training and resources for teachers and practitioners
- NSPCC – advice and support for teachers in the form of online training courses, free classroom resources and general safeguarding advice.
Guidance and resources for parents and carers
- Digital Awareness UK– online safety videos and resources for parents/carers on a range of online safety topics, including cyberbullying, relationships, security and privacy
- UK Safer Internet Centre– tips, advice, guidance and resources for parents and carers. The website includes information on understanding the issues, a guide to technology and how to have a conversation about online safety with your child
- Get Safe Online – general guidance about online safety and the safeguarding of children along with advice for parents/carers that's broken down into age appropriate sections.