Principal - Anouska Gardner
Principal - Anouska Gardner


A guide to Online Safety

An image of a student sitting in front of a computer screen

A guide to Online Safety


The use of technology continues to be an important component of safeguarding young people. Technology, whilst providing many opportunities for learning also provides a platform that can facilitate harm. Keeping Children Safe in Education categorises online safety into three broad areas:

Content: being exposed to illegal, inappropriate or harmful material; for example pornography, fake news, racist or radical and extremist views;
Contact: being subjected to harmful online interaction with other users; for example commercial advertising as well as adults posing as children or young adults; and
Conduct: personal online behaviour that increases the likelihood of, or causes, harm; for example making, sending and receiving explicit images, or online bullying.

If you have concerns regarding the safety or wellbeing of a student online, please contact one of the designated staff below at the school on 01757 7106161 and ask to speak to a member of the Safeguarding or Pastoral Team.

What is Parent Info?

Parent Info was founded in 2005 and has a track record of providing information, support and advice to parents. In recent years, The Parent Zone’s work has focused on the impact of digital technologies on families.

Parent Info 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.

Please click on the links below for help and advice.

With more social networking sites appearing online such as Instagram, Snapchat & Facebook it has never been more important to stay safe online and know the risks. Find out more here;

Social networking sites allow you to create an online persona and interact with friends and other members of the public.

Whilst most social networking sites allow you to protect your profile to just your chosen friends, many people decide to share their profile with anyone and everyone. These very popular sites offer a fantastic opportunity to interact with others in the electronic age but, sadly, a few individuals also use these sites for bullying and intimidation.

What can you do?

Nothing is more important than knowing what your child is doing online and how they use chat, instant messaging, blogs, forums & social networking sites.

A great idea is to get them to show you how it all works and you shouldn’t be afraid to ask but don’t panic if you’re not quite sure, take a note of what programs and sites they use and do a bit of investigation later on.

Try setting up some rules which you are all agreed on, make sure that your child is happy with how to protect themselves when online and what they should do if they feel at risk.

What can you do to help?

You can help protect your children by following the simple steps below:

  • keep a watchful eye on Internet use including e-mail & chat
  • check the history folder of your Internet browser to check what sites have been accessed
  • use a child friendly search engine  e.g. ‘Ask Jeeves for Kids‘ etc
  • you could use IE Content Supervisor – only blocks participating sites
  • you could consider purchasing filter software – ‘netnanny’, ‘cyberbloc’ etc
  • you could consider using a different browser such as ‘Firefox’
  • protect your PC with a firewall / antivirus software – include spyware.

I want to block these sites!

If you are convinced that there is no alternative, you can install filtering software but be careful, there are often ways around these and your child may feel they have to hide what they are doing from you.

The school has extensive filtering solutions. Home solutions are generally not as advanced but that doesn’t mean they won’t work!

GetNetWise has a list of programs and information on how you can protect your children AND your computer. Top Ten Reviews has a side by side comparison of filtering software.

Proxy Avoidance Sites

A huge problem for all filtering companies and one that has not been overcome is proxy avoidance sites.

These sites which can be set up very easily allow someone to bypass any filtering that is in place. The website ‘gets’ the banned site and displays it without actually sending you to the site itself. Unfortunately there are dozens of these sites appearing every week and all the filtering providers can only ban them when they are found; there isn’t a way to simply block them all up front.

What to do next

Please remember to talk to your child about your concerns and support them in staying safe and how to use the Internet wisely!

Online Safety Guides

Click on the different links below to find out more about keeping safe online;