How to promote e-safety effectively
As schools, you are constantly teaching children how to be e-safe, just as you are teaching them to play safely outside, cook safely and behave safely around each other and in public. Is the hard work that you do regarding e-safety clear to parents, prospective parents and Ofsted? How can you raise the profile and get parents/carers supporting your e-safety teaching?
A dedicated e-safety area for parents/carers and pupils on your website is a great place to start. This page can be an ongoing link between the latest events held in school and a way of providing parents with quick to access resources to support their conversations at home. An up-to-date e-safety area is a valuable resource for parents/carers, pupils and teachers.
Here are some suggested items that could be included on your website to support parents and to help safeguard your pupils:
What is e-safety?
Not all parents really understand the importance of teaching e-safety from a young age. Most people who are parents today didn’t experience the internet when they were children so may be unaware of the threats that exist to children. A friendly, positive but to the point message about why you feel teaching e-safety is paramount can help parents to value its importance as well as demonstrate your commitment as a school to the safety of your community.
Include in this a copy of your e-safety policy and curriculum so parents know what topics to cover at appropriate ages and how to complement the messages from school.
Tips and resources
Pointing parents in the direction of quality assured resources that support the work you are doing is vital. There is so much resource available to look through that it can stop people from trying sometimes but, as a parent, knowing you are taking the right approach is reassuring.
It can be hard for parents to start conversations with their little ones. They seem so innocent and parents will want to protect them from evils they do not need to know about yet, so age appropriate video, posters, games and stories will really help them know where to start their conversations.
Tips on how to set parental controls on various devices is very helpful and builds the awareness that it isn’t just a PC that children need to be safe with.
We hope that this area is never needed but it is vital that parents and staff know how and where to seek more support about issues or websites that worry them. Include a ‘how to get help’ section which guides parents through what the school can and can’t do in the case of concern.
Consider including a The CEOP Report button on your website (To register to use this button please contact CEOP at https://www.ceop.police.uk/Contact-Us/Contact-form/) and/or information for Childline, so children who are worried can also seek help.
The best way to help parents understand that teaching e-safety from a young age is as vital as teaching your child to cross the road safely and not talk to strangers is through workshops and training sessions. There are many fantastic outside providers who can come into school and work with staff, parents and pupils to form a cohesive approach. When you do this, as we are sure you already are, make sure you inform parents via your website in your news and e-safety page. This will strengthen the profile of e-safety in your school and demonstrate your commitment to it.
Set up a comment box so parents can give testimonials to encourage other parents to attend the next session.
Keeping everyone up-to-date with news from any events related to e-safety is also vital to raising awareness of its importance. Advice and new resource are constantly becoming available so a regular news item focusing on e-safety, jam packed with tips and support is a quick way to keep parents and pupils alert, involved and putting e-safety at the forefront of their minds. Take a look at Latchmere Schools news to see this idea in action.
If you would like more support with using your school website to support your e-safety agenda or with making sure your website is Ofsted ready contact Lisa Savage on 020 7404 3400 or firstname.lastname@example.org