Parents and carers have an important part to play in helping young people develop safe and responsible online behaviour. Schools and colleges are urged to work with them to raise awareness about the possibilities, risks and issues associated with technology.
Working with parents
Parents and carers can make sure that the e-safety that children are learning at school is backed up at home.
You can raise awareness amongst parents by:
- Sharing your AUP policy so that parents can adapt it for use at home.
- Holding awareness sessions and workshops for parents
- Holding regular presentations at parents’ evenings and other events where parents will be visiting the school
- Placing a permanent information display in reception
- Including e-safety issues in newsletters
- Having e-safety information on the school website or VLE
Make sure workshops and presentations are held at various times so that the most parents have the best chance of being able to attend. For example, for some mornings is better, whilst others can only attend after school.
What to include
When talking to parents about e-safety, it’s important to discuss both the positives and risks associated with technology and not to just focus on banning and blocking access.
You should include:
- The various ways children access technology, e.g. computers, mobile phones, games consoles and more
- What young people do online, emphasising that they create as well as consume content
- How to develop risk awareness amongst children
- Practical tips for home safety, such as using filters and favourites and creating a safe profile
- Childnet International: Parents’ Support – Empowering parents with ICT
- Think U Know: Parents’ section
Paul Coulthard, Subject Leader for ICT, Gateacre Community Comprehensive School
We believe very passionately in e-safety and raising e-awareness, not only amongst the students in the school, but also amongst the families. We have coffee mornings where we invite parents into the school to discuss e-safety issues. We offer training to parents so that they know how to deal with e-safety issues in the home environment.
Year 9 Pupil, Gateacre Community Comprehensive School
They send letters home to parents which gives them information about how parents should be and how they should act around you when you’re on the internet. The letters also help you be more aware of what’s on the internet.
Alison, Parent, Gateacre Community Comprehensive School
I always knew there were dangers, but I wasn’t aware of how easy it was for people to find out so much information on your child. I didn’t realise that, so that really opened my eyes.
I would certainly know now more how to manage the risks. When we went to the e-safety meetings, he spoke in simple terms. There wasn’t a lot of jargon and we got to grips with what he was saying more. It was easy and I will be checking what my child is doing online.