At Southend High School for Girls we aim to provide a safe and secure environment where the use of new technologies in enhancing learning is valued. In an ever evolving world of technology, the internet provides new opportunities but also new challenges. We have a duty to protect and educate our students and staff in their use of ICT, and e-safety is a fundamental aspect of school life across our curriculum.
I am sure you will be aware of how much your children rely on modern communication technology such as the Internet, smartphones and social networking as part of their daily lives. We believe it is essential for e-Safety guidance to be given to our students on a regular and meaningful basis. Students are taught how to behave responsibly and safely whilst online in Computing and PSHCEE lessons, with cross-curricular references in a range of other subjects. In addition, dedicated Pastoral time is set aside throughout the year for whole-school e-safety initiatives such as e-safety based assemblies, form time activities and student workshops. Students are educated about the online risks that they may encounter outside school.
The specific risks facing children and young people online can vary according to individual usage, but the Home Office Task Force on Child Protection has identified the following as potential threats:
- Bullying by peers and people they consider 'friends'
- Exposure to inappropriate or harmful content
- Involvement in illegal or inappropriate content
- Posting personal information that can identify and locate a child/young person offline
- Sexual grooming, luring, exploitation and abuse through contact with strangers
- Exposure to information and interaction with others who encourage self-harm
- Exposure to racist or hate material
- Glorifying activities such as drug use or excessive drinking
- Physical harm to young people in making video content, such as enacting and imitating stunts and risk taking activities
- Leaving and running away from home as a result of contact made online
At SHSG we have appropriate strategies in place to encourage the responsible use of ICT, and follow agreed policies to minimise e-Safety risks:
- We run e-safety evenings for parents and carers and provide updates to parents on new technologies and advancements. We ensure support should they have any concerns about their child’s welfare.
- Students are taught about respecting other people’s information, safe use of images and other important areas through appropriate activities. Students are aware of the impact of Cyberbullying and know how to seek help if they are affected by any form of online bullying. Students are also aware of where to seek advice or help if they experience problems when using the internet and related technologies; i.e. parent/ carer, teacher/ trusted staff member, or an organisation such as ChildLine or the ‘CEOP report abuse’ button
- All staff receive training on e-Safety and information on the school’s Acceptable User Policy as part of their induction
- All staff have been made aware of their individual responsibilities relating to the safeguarding of children within the context of e-Safety and know what to do in the event of misuse of technology by any member of the school community.
- The ICT Acceptable User Policy is introduced to students at the start of each academic year
- e-Safety posters are prominently displayed around school.
- We participate in Safer Internet Day every February.
You can find further information about e-Safety here:
Social Media Guidance
Keeping Children Safe Online - A Guide for Parents
Parent Fact Sheet
To report concerns about a child's safety online click on the CEOP button