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Learning and Growing Together
Tel: 020 8902 5454 | Headteacher: Mrs Nicky Yudin

Information and advice for parents and carers

The internet is an amazing resource which enables children and young people to connect, communicate and be creative in a number of different ways, on a range of devices. However, the internet is always changing, and being able to keep up to date with your children’s use of technology can be a challenge. You may sometimes feel that your children have better technical skills than you do, however children and young people still need advice and protection when it comes to managing their lives online.

Issues that your child may encounter on the internet will vary depending on their age and online activities.

If you have not activated parental controls at home yet, it is important to follow these steps now:

1) activating parental controls with your internet provider (e.g. BT or Sky)

2) activate parental controls with your mobile phone company (e.g. EE or O2)

3) activate your internet browser’s parental control (e.g. Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge/Explorer, Safari). If you use more than one internet browser, make sure parental control is activated on all of them.

4) in spite of the different protections mentioned above, it is advisable to let children access the internet when there is a responsible adult around and in a family room rather than in their bedroom.

It is important to bear in mind that the internet will never be 100% safe. For that reason, parents and carers should maintain an open dialogue with their children about the things they do on the internet, the services they’re using, the issues they might have, etc.  

Please remind children regularly about what they should do if they are uncomfortable or unhappy about something happening online. Children can always talk to a teacher at school, they can also discuss any issues with their parents/guardians. Parents/guardians and children can also report any concern directly to the CEOP (https://ceop.police.uk/safety-centre/) .

 

For a thorough approach to a safer internet at home, please take the time to understand and follow all the steps below:

  • Maintain an open dialogue with your child and encourage them to talk to you about their internet use: for example who they’re talking to, services they’re using, and any issues they may be experiencing.
  • Create a family agreement to establish your children’s boundaries, and your expectations, when on the internet.
  • Give your child strategies to deal with any online content that they are not comfortable with – such as turning off the screen, telling an adult they trust and using online reporting facilities (https://ceop.police.uk/safety-centre/).
  • Consider using filtering software to block unwanted content. In addition to filtering, remember that discussion with your child, and involvement in their internet use, are both effective ways to educate them about the internet.
  • Encourage your children to ‘think before you post.’ Online actions can impact not only yourself but the lives of others. Content posted privately online can be publicly shared by others, and may remain online forever.
  • Understand the law. Some online behaviour may break the law, for example when downloading or sharing content with others. Be able to recommend legal services.
  • Familiarise yourself with the privacy settings and reporting features available on popular sites and services.
  • If your child is being bullied online, save all available evidence and know where to report the incident, for example to the school, service provider, or the police if the law has been broken.
  • Familiarise yourself with the age ratings for games and apps which can help to indicate the level and suitability of the content. Also see if online reviews are available from other parents as these may be helpful.
  • Set up a family email address that your children can use when signing up to new games and websites online.
  • Encourage your children to use nicknames (where possible) instead of their full name online, to protect their personal information, and create strong passwords for every account.
  • Set up a PIN or password on devices to help protect personal information.
  • Sign up to the Childnet newsletter at childnet.com

E-safety policy and agreements

YouTube is very popular with children and enables them to watch and upload videos. Whilst YouTube can be a very good resource for education, many of its features raise important safeguarding issues that parents need to be aware of. 

Watching videos:

We strongly encourage parents to download and read the attached ThinkYouKnow’s YouTube Parents' Guide.

Here is an extract from the section about primary children:

YouTube and primary age children 

YouTube contains extensive material aimed at younger viewers and is very popular with them. If you have young children who use YouTube you can use restricted view mode, a privacy setting which helps to filter out inappropriate or offensive content that you would not want your child to see. The filtering uses the flagging system and age restrictions, though YouTube acknowledges that this cannot be 100% accurate. Restricted mode is enabled on an individual browser basis (e.g. Internet Explorer, Safari, Fire Fox), so if your child uses multiple browsers on their device you will need to enable this mode on each browser. Once enabled, restricted mode will remain on regardless of whether you are logged in or out, or if another person is logged into a different YouTube account. 

In 2015 YouTube launched the ‘YouTube Kids App’ in the UK, aimed at children aged 3-8. This is a separate app which can be downloaded free and is designed for child-friendly video viewing. Children do not subscribe to a channel but rather view individual videos.

Within the app, parents have greater control over what content their child can access. There are no social features such as comments and likes, and certain search terms are blocked.

Think You Know, 2016.

 

Uploading videos:

Setting up a family Google account

Whilst monitoring what your children see on YouTube is important, it is also essential to keep an eye on the content children upload onto YouTube. If your children upload videos without your knowledge, they may be revealing personal information - intentionally or not - to an unknown audience. 

Setting up a family Google account will let you control the videos your children watch and upload, as well as the information they share.

We believe YouTube is a great resource for education. Many children are excited about creating content for a YouTube channel and this provides fantastic opportunities for learning and a high incentive to work hard and share work that children are proud of. As the administrator of your family Google account, you could enable your child to create and upload videos in a safe way. You could view and discuss each video with your child and more importantly ensure the video is posted in private: this would allow you to choose who can view it.

Useful guides for social media

Please find below some guidelines for the use of social media. As a reminder, the minimum age to open an account on social media apps or websites is 13. 

Video game consoles

Video game consoles now have many online features, allowing players to chat and interact with each other. Please follow the guides below to ensure all the devices have parental controls set appropriately.