"Pupils feel safe and are very positive about their school. They are polite and respectful towards others. Conduct in lessons and around the school is impeccable. The school's arrangements for safeguarding pupils meet statutory requirements" - Ofsted, June 2014
Aston Fields Middle School's Safeguarding and Child Protection Policy is available for parents/carers to read on request from the school office or by clicking on the following link:
Parents/carers should be aware that the school has a legal duty to assist Social Care with Child Protection enquiries and sometimes we may need to share information and work in partnership with other agencies about a child's welfare. We will ensure that our concerns about our pupils are discussed with parents/carers first, unless we have reason to believe that such a move would be contrary to the child's welfare.
The school has also adopted the following nationally recommended safeguarding statement as part of its recruitment procedures:
Aston Fields Middle School is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people and expects all staff and volunteers to share this commitment.
It is important that we work together to safeguard our pupils. If a parent/carer has any concerns about the safety of children at our school, this should be reported to the Designated Senior Leader for Safeguarding, Mrs R Cofield or Deputy Designated Senior Leader, Mrs C Teer, even if already reported to the Police or Children's Services.
E-safety: Help your child to stay safe online
"The school's work to keep students safe and secure is outstanding. Students receive regular teaching about how to use the internet safely." - Ofsted, June 2014
To report an online incident please click the CEOP button
E-Safety - Selfies and Sexting
Cyberbullying and online harassment
Cyberbullying and online harassment can be extremely distressing. They can be even be classed as criminal offences in some cases. However, there are plenty of organisations you can turn to for help, including charities, social media service providers, and the police.
Here’s an overview of what online bullying is, how you can avoid it, and where you go for advice: -
What is cyberbullying and online harassment?
Making comments or posts online that are deliberately abusive, offensive, threatening, or inflammatory. Liking and sharing this kind of abuse can also count as bullying and harassment.
Online bullies and harassers use all sorts of platforms, including social media (like Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, and Instagram), forums, gaming sites, comments sections, mobile phone chat groups and more.
There’s a very detailed definition of cyberbullying at: bullying.co.uk/cyberbullying/what-is-cyberbullying/
New app called 'Sarahah'
This app allows the user to post anonymously and can be linked to other social media apps such as instagram and snapchat. It was developed as a tool for feedback in the business world and its name means 'honesty' in arabic.
Unfortunately, it has caused a great deal of anxiety and upset globally amongst young people and their parents/carers, as it has become a platform for cyber-bullying.
For further information the link below is to an online news item on the dangers of Sarahah.
If your child does have Sarahah on their phone, we would recommend that this free app is deleted.
How you can stay safer
Think before you post: when posting or commenting online, consider what you say and what effect it may have. Never post comments that are abusive, threatening or are likely to cause offence to others.
Keep personal information personal: do not say anything or publish pictures that might later cause you or someone else embarrassment. Be aware of what friends post about you, or how they reply to your posts – particularly about your personal details and activities.
Make the most of privacy settings: keep your profiles closed, allowing access only to your chosen friends and family.
Social media help sections can show you how to block users, change your privacy and contact settings, and report abusive content:
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/help/ Twitter - https://support.twitter.com/ Instagram - https://help.instagram.com/ LinkedIn - https://www.linkedin.com/help/linkedin Google+ - https://support.google.com/plus#topic=6320382 YouTube - https://www.youtube.com/yt/policyandsafety/en-GB/reporting.html Pintrest - https://help.pinterest.com/en Tumblr - https://www.tumblr.com/abuse Snapchat - https://support.snapchat.com/en-GB
Report cyberbullying to internet service providers: lots of content online is offensive or upsetting. It’s not always a criminal offence, but it often violates the terms and conditions established by social media sites and internet service providers. Service providers are often keen to take action against users who abuse their terms of service.
If you believe that you are the victim of online bullying, keep a record of the content (for example, take a screenshot). You can use this to help your report to the service provider and, if necessary, the police.
E-Safety: Parent Info Alert!
Following on from our successful E-Safety evening for parents, we have posted the PowerPoint used during the evening (see bottom of this page) to help parents/carers talk through the safe use of the internet today, with their children. Given the ease of access to the internet from mobile and gaming devices, it is even more important the children are educated about the risks and responsibilities they must have when using it, so that we can all help protect them from harm.
NSPCC Share Aware
The NSPCC have launched a series of videos and information links to help parents and carers talk over safe use of the internet. They may appear to be for younger children, but the content message remains important for all our pupils, and may be a 'fun' way of discussing the topics raised. The 2 video clips are available on youtube, but we have added links here, to help you discuss being 'Share Aware' with your child.
The Share Aware campaign is aimed at parents and carers of children aged 8 to 12 – the typical age at which they start doing more online, become more independent and use a greater range of devices.
The campaign aims to encourage parents and carers to understand online safety and to have conversations with their children about keeping safe.
Having conversations from a young age can help build trust and openness and get preventative messages across. However, many parents feel confused by the internet and out of their depth in understanding what their children are doing online and what the risks might be.
The Share Aware campaign aims to give parents the tools to feel confident to have these conversations, directing parents to a range of new resources, including Net Aware, a simple NSPCC guide to the social networks, sites and apps children use – as rated by parents and young people themselves.
There is also a downloadable guide and a hard copy booklet for parents, containing top tips for keeping your child safe online, as well conversation starters to help parents have conversations with their children.
The NSPCC hopes the campaign will help parents talk to their children about staying safe online, as well as encouraging providers to take action to make their sites safer for children.
The Share Aware campaign also includes two animations – I Saw Your Willy and Lucy and the Boy - that will be shown on prime time television and on digital spaces. These engaging films have a serious message deriving from the stories of two children who share too much about themselves on-line.
All colleagues are urged to support the campaign and help these important messages reach as many parents and carers of 8 - 12 year olds as possible.
Safer Internet Day
Safer Internet Day 2018 was celebrated globally on Tuesday 6th February with the slogan ‘Create, Connect and Share Respect: a better internet starts with you.’
Coordinated in the UK by the UK Safer Internet Centre the celebration sees hundreds of organisations get involved to help promote the safe, responsible and positive use of digital technology for children and young people.
The UK Safer Internet Centre – a partnership of three leading charities; Childnet, the South West Grid for Learning and the Internet Watch Foundation – provide resources for children, schools and families, and tools for getting involved at www.saferinternet.org.uk.
Globally, Safer Internet Day is celebrated in over a hundred countries, coordinated by the joint Insafe/INHOPE network, with the support of the European Commission, and national Safer Internet Centres across Europe.
The day offers the opportunity to highlight positive uses of technology and to explore the role we all play in helping to create a better and safer online community. It calls upon young people, parents, carers, teachers, social workers, law enforcement, companies, policymakers, and wider, to join together in helping to create a better internet. Get involved to play your part!
UK Safer Internet Centre
The UK Safer Internet Centre is a partnership of three leading charities – Childnet International, South West Grid for Learning (SWGfL) and the Internet Watch Foundation - with a shared mission to make the internet a better place for children and young people.
The partnership was appointed by the European Commission as the Safer Internet Centre for the UK in January 2011 and is one of the 31 Safer Internet Centres of the Insafe network.
The UK Safer Internet Centre delivers a wide range of activity to promote the safe and responsible use of technology by children and young people:
coordinates Safer Internet Day in the UK, reaching millions every year founded and operates an online safety helpline for professionals working with children in the UK, including teachers and police officers operates the UK’s hotline for reporting online child sexual abuse imagery develops new advice and educational resources for children, parents and carers and teachers to meet emerging trends in the fast-changing online environment delivers education sessions for children, parents, carers, teachers and the wider children’s workforce, including free events across the UK trains children and young people to be peer educators and champions for the safe and positive use of technology shapes policy at school, industry and government level, both in the UK and internationally, and facilitates youth panels to give young people a voice on these issues.
For more information visit www.saferinternet.org.uk and the websites of the partners: Childnet, the Internet Watch Foundation and SWGfL.
Find out more about how to have a safe and positive time online.
Staff and pupils will be focusing on how to use the internet responsibly and safely in their lessons, but parents have the most important part in teaching our children to be responsible digital citizens – talking about internet safety and how to stay safe. Keeping the communication channels open and showing an interest in how your children are using the internet is a brilliant start.
To find out more, you can access social media advice and the powerpoint, shown to parents attending the‘E-Safety’ evening in November - ’CEOP Parent Awareness Evening’, in the library at the bottom of the page.
The use of modern technology is an important part of a child’s learning experience in the 21st Century and our pupils are encouraged to use computers as a tool for their learning in a variety of ways across the curriculum.
However, E-Safety is a growing concern with today's online society and we have offered workshops on E-Safety for parents in previous years. E-Safety is also part of the curriculum in PSHE and ICT and assemblies are held to help pupils understand how to stay safe online.
Safer Internet Day: Think B4 U post!
Safer Internet Day is organised by Insafe each year in February to promote safer and more responsible use of online technology and mobile phones, especially amongst children and young people across the world.
On Safer Internet Day 2015 , INSAFE launched the campaign "Think B4 U post". In 2016 the theme was "Discover the Digital World Together...Safely!", centred around the theme of the generations working together to be safe - which was continued into 2017. This is exactly what we try and promote here at Aston Fields Middle School!
New technologies have turned all of us, and mostly young people, into publishers of information, pictures, videos: photos and videos can be taken at any time with a mobile phone, they can be sent to a list of contacts and uploaded on a blog or a social networking profile in a minute. Photos, once online, remain online and can be seen by anybody, even years after they have been posted.
The possibility of tagging people in pictures, offered by most social networking services, makes it very easy to search for a person's photos online . We can also manage our online identity in a way which may turn us into "celebrities".
What's the problem?
New technologies give tremendous opportunities for creativity. Children and teenagers, who are major users of social networking sites and other new online services, use them to express their identity. But, at the same time, children and young people are in the process of developing their personality and may be particularly vulnerable to gossip and bullying.
Young people do not always realize that the personal information they post remains online and it can be accessed by anyone (including their parents, teachers, future employers, predators…). Many employers now check their job candidates online. Personal information contained in social networking profiles can be used by unscrupulous individuals for purposes which may include grooming.
Innocent pictures can easily be displayed in a completely different context, leading to embarrassment, or even bullying. Because of the digital nature of the photos, they can be cut, pasted, altered or distorted.
What can we do?
Children and teenagers need to be empowered to manage their online identity, including publishing of pictures and videos, in a responsible way. This is why INSAFE decided to launch the campaign "Think B4 U post ! " on Safer Internet Day. Children and teenagers should be made aware that they can control their online identity, by using the privacy settings offered by social networing services, selecting friends online that they can trust, publishing their own photos after thinking carefully about the potential consequences, and pictures of their friends with their permission. For more information, please look at the school's Acceptable Use Policy attached below and don't forget to check out the 'ThinkUKnow' website.
Info images courtesy of childnet.org
- A Parents' Guide to Instagram
- Do you know who is talking to your child leaflet
- CEOP Parent Awareness Session
- E Safety Powerpoint Presentation - Risks children face online
- Facebook Checklist
- Social media advice for teachers and parents
- E-Safety Leaflet
- WSCB CSE Fact Sheet
- Safeguarding and Child Protection Policy