Supporting parents and carers
Online safety can be daunting for parents and carers, as they may have concerns about their understanding of the topic and their knowledge of latest developments. Schools should remind parents that e-safety is more about their parenting and communication skills than technology.
Parents should understand that it isn’t enough to protect children from online harms by simply banning sites or installing firewalls and filters.
Encourage parents and carers to maintain an open and ongoing discussion about online safety at home/as a family/with their children.
(Assiter, Avery and The Education People, 2018b).
Our research with parents showed that they want to learn more about online safety and would welcome information from their child’s school.
We involve parents and carers by:
- sharing resources, news activities and events via social media, newsletters, handouts and email
- circulating new and updated e-safety policies and procedures
- organising and inviting parents to online safety sessions, potentially using external visitors
- showing parents the learning resources you use in the classroom.
The UK Safer Internet Centre has guidance for parents and carers on online safety over the summer holidays (UK Safer Internet Centre, 2018).
NSPCC and O2
Please look at Keeping kids safe online resources that we sourced from NSPCC to bring together child protection and tech expertise.
Our series of online safety briefings can be printed out, downloaded or sent via email:
- Sexting (PDF) summarises the key information from our sexting webpage
- How to keep your child safe online (PDF) sets out four steps parents can take to keep their children safe online: Talk, Explore, Agree, Manage.
Parents vs Kids is a family-oriented quiz designed to be used by parents, carers and their children to test their online knowledge and learn about staying safe online. It can be used on mobile, desktop, tablet or Amazon Echo.
Net Aware describes and reviews all the latest and most popular social networking sites, apps and games used by children and young people. It also gives the views of parents and children.
Net Aware is a great resource to share with parents and carers who want to know about:
- age suitability
- privacy settings
- appropriate content
- safety and security settings
Role of the School:
Being online is an integral part of children and young people’s lives. Social media, online games, websites and apps can be accessed through mobile phones, computers, laptops and tablets – all of which form a part of children and young people’s online world.
The internet and online technology provides new opportunities for young people’s learning and growth, but it can also expose them to new types of risks.
E-safety should form a fundamental part of schools’ and colleges’ safeguarding and child protection measures.
Government guidance across the UK highlights the importance of safeguarding children and young people from harmful and inappropriate online material. (Department for Education, 2020; Department of Education (Northern Ireland), 2017; Scottish Government, 2017; Welsh Government, 2015).
A whole school approach to online safety helps ensure staff, governors, volunteers and parents teach children about online safety.