"Many of us feel overwhelmed by the rapidly-changing digital world we live in and worry about how children are spending their time online.

But the fact is, the clock can’t be turned back. For children, there is no difference between online and offline life. To them, it’s just life. There’s no doubt that the internet and social media give children amazing opportunities to learn, to develop new skills, to make connections and friendships and to interact with others. We should not be afraid to embrace it.

At the same time, it’s the job of parents, teachers, policy-makers and, crucially, the big social media companies to make sure that children are making informed choices, are protected and are not left to wander around the digital world on their own. You wouldn’t drop a 12-year-old in the middle of a big city and expect them to fend for themselves. The same should be true online." (Anne Longfield - Children's Commissioner 2017)

E-safety is a term which means not only the internet but other ways in which young people communicate using electronic media, e.g. mobile phones. It means ensuring that children and young people are protected from harm and supported to achieve the maximum benefit from new and developing technologies without risk to themselves or others.

The purpose of this page is to provide links to sites that will be most likely to help you learn about the diverse and changing world of internet and social media, rather than reproduce content from elsewhere. 

1. The rise of portable devices

Tablet ownership among children is increasing and along with mobile phones, they are now the most popular devices for going online, knocking laptops back into third place. The increases in smartphone ownership are particularly evident for 8-11s (32%)in 2016 and this is rising. Click here to see a very useful article on How to Protect your children on their Smartphone.

2. Puzzled by parental controls?

Childnet - Whether you’re puzzled by parental controls or would like to know more about gaming, this site can help. We all know that it can sometimes be challenging to keep up to speed with what children and young people are doing online. Luckily on this site you’ll find a whole host of useful ways to keep your child safe. Their Parents and Carers resource sheet - updated in April 2019 contains great information and links on a wide range of topics.

3. Learning with your Children

Early every September - we start discussing in class about how we can stay safe on line and the dangers we may face on the internet. This is done using a number of sources. However - if you would like to know and learn more about the main resource used - visit CEOP's ThinkYouKnow.

(CEOP is Child Exploitation and Online Protection, a command of the National Crime Agency) 

4. ParentInfo

Parent Info is a collaboration between Parent Zone and CEOP and provides high quality information to parents and carers about their children's wellbeing and resilience. In line with CEOP’s Thinkuknow programme, some of the content covers internet safety, but it all starts from the assumption that young people make little distinction between their online and offline lives and the issues for parents are often the same. The aim is to help parents help their children be discriminating, web-literate and resilient.

5. BBC LifeBabble

Lifebabble guide to digital safety From cyber-bullying to over-sharing, mobiles to social media - do you know how to keep yourself safe online? Get tips on tackling trolls, protecting your personal info and lots more!

6. You Tube

You Tube provide advice that children U13 should not be watching You Tube. We would recommend that parents watch YouTube content together with their children. Alternatively you can use "YouTube Kids" - which is a video app - available on Android and iOS as well as a number of Smart TVs. The app provides a version of the service oriented towards children, with selections of content, parental control features, and filtering of videos not deemed to be appropriate to the target audience.

7. Digital Parenting

(Digital Parenting is a resource by the Vodafone Foundation UK charity 1089625 and digital family experts, Parent Zone.)

In the past we have linked to Vodafone Digital Parenting guides produced in partnership with Parent Zone. They have produced some really good information for Parents - see Version 7 . We will be distributing free to each family on Safer Internet Day 2019 (5th February 2019)

They launched a Digital Parenting website for parents, teachers and carers in Autumn 2018

8. Links from Parents Briefing 12/2/2019

Parents and Carers resource sheet - Childnet -04-19

Social Media

"New research suggests children are using social media before parents have spoken to them about how to use it responsibly, with 48% being exposed to it by age seven.

To help parents have these important conversations with their children at a younger age, Vodafone UK and Andersen Press have teamed up with award-winning author Jeanne Willis and illustrator Tony Ross to produce a co-branded digital edition of #Goldilocks. The book is a modern twist on the classic fairy tale and offers a fun and accessible way for parents to discuss responsible social media use with their younger children.

The book sees #Goldilocks getting into trouble with the three bears over her pursuit of likes on social media. It aims to help educate children about the potential consequences of being unkind, getting carried away with selfies or oversharing images in a light-hearted way." (Source Vodafone Digital Parenting - Autumn 2018)https://www.vodafone.co.uk/mobile/digital-parenting/goldilocks

For further information go to https://www.vodafone.co.uk/mobile/digital-parenting/goldilocks