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Northampton: 01604 633234
Milton Keynes: 01908 014320
Bedford: 01234 987072

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The Staff Room is the region's only specialist Primary supply teaching agency, covering Northamptonshire and South Leicestershire.

E-Safety

This week, I wanted to touch on e-safety.

There has been a lot of mention in recent weeks about the danger of popular social media sites, video sharing sites and free messaging apps. Now, I’m going to be completely honest… it really frightened me! As a parent of two young children, a little girl who started school last September and a little boy who is 1, I admittedly use technology to help me out occasionally. Let’s face it, its an easy option when it comes to changing a nappy and my son won’t stay still, but with a little persuasion from his favourite talking animal friends, he will happily let me carry out the “clean-up!”

However, since the news about some frightening images making it onto children’s video sharing sites and other viral “challenges” I have, quite literally banned the use of technology for my children in my house, minus the TV and their alarm clocks! A slight overreaction, I’m sure, but it makes me feel slightly better for the immediate future, whilst I look online for knowledge that will allow me to confidently monitor their use of technology and to help me talk to them about what they might see online. Sadly, in this ever-growing smart world, I can’t hide them from technology forever, so I can only hope that by supporting, educating and talking openly to my children about the internet, they can be a little more “streetwise” when it comes to online content.

Thankfully it has been announced that a lot of the frightening content being circulated online is largely a hoax, however, it has reminded us of the dangers of the internet and I know I certainly need to re-educate myself and my children.

I’ve found this brilliant website www.saferinternet.org.uk which has some great information for young people, parents and carers, teachers and school staff and healthcare professionals to name a few. There are loads of resources, quizzes and advice about how to be more aware and safer online. They also have a dedicated helpline for any enquiries or advice.

I’ve also come across this site, www.childnet.com, which has some great advice when it comes to setting up parental controls, perhaps if you are giving your child access to their first smart device.

It also gives advice on topics such as cyberbullying, online grooming, gaming, social networking, premium rate content, keeping under 5’s safe online and many more.

There are so many more great sites and so much information out there, but Childnet’s KidSMART have kindly provided a great infographic to help remind us of the essential information we need when browsing online which is to stay SMART:

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