Educating parents so that they are aware of the risks and know how to protect their children is vital. There is plenty of material available to assist with educating parents, however ensuring parents attend sessions can be difficult for a number of reasons: you will probably need to try several different strategies in order to maximise your reach.
Simple ideas for supporting parents and children
- Have an online safety round in class quizzes
- Hold assemblies/presentations that involve pupils
- Run a competition to produce a poster, leaflet, video or other media presentation and announce the results of it at a special ceremony
- Carry out a survey to find out what children are accessing and what their concerns are – ask how many of them are confident their parents could help them
- Get the older children to do part of the online safety presentation.
- Get children to do a piece of homework where they produce a family agreement – see Childnet for suggestions and a template here>
- Have a stall run by the children at an event that parents and carers will be attending. You can hand out leaflets or do a ball vote (where each person is given a token to vote with
- Rather than sending out an advert for an online safety session written by the organisation, get the children to design the advert and have a reply slip
- Send out the Safer Schools and Community Team parents online safety newsletter or use pieces of it in your own newsletter
- Order copies of the Digital Parenting magazine - issue 6 is expected to be available in September 2017. Online copies of issue 5 are available here>
- Do a quick online safety input at an event parents and carers are already attending: e.g. transition evening, concert, school trip meeting. Resources are available to help with this and are accessible below.
Helpful resources for supporting parents
The NSPCC web pages on online safety cover everything a parent needs to know:
- How to talk to their children about issues
- How to make agreements in the family to keep everyone safe
- How to manage time online.
There are also reviews of websites, games and apps in the NetAware section
Signpost parents to NSPCC webpages or for more specific questions to the 24 hour online safety helpline for parents on 0808 800 5002, that is run in association with O2; where parents and carers can speak to a specialist practitioner.
Parent Info is a free resource for schools and other organisations, providing expertise and advice to parents and carers on a range of subjects including digital issues and online safety.
Schools and other organisations can host Parent Info directly on their own website, offering parents and carers support with easy access to up-to-date articles, research and practical advice.
This guide from leading organisations outlines some suggestions to help parents limit the risk of their child having negative experiences online and understand what action can be taken if they do.
This website is set up in partnership with many of the technology companies to give parents and carers information.
Information is split into advice which includes sections for different age children, controls and expert articles.
There are a number of short videos, in particular:
Internet safety advice is directly applicable to the gaming environment. It is essential that children are aware of the potential issues and are given the skills and knowledge to help manage and reduce these risks, with the help of those around them.
A PDF fact sheet is available to download here> that covers how games are played, what the risks are, how to keep children safe, etc.
Further resources are available here>.