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Safeguarding In The Digital World

Dear Parent/Carer

Many children have access to technology and devices and enjoy playing a range of new games on them. There are some amazing apps, games and social media opportunities that our children are benefiting from.  However, the local safeguarding team and school staff have concerns about some games and activities.

We are aware of several children playing, or watching adults play games which are inappropriate for their age.  These games are described as having violence and sexual content, examples of these games are Call of Duty and Grand Theft Auto.  Not only are these games inappropriate, along with other social networking sites such as Facebook and WhatsApp, it leaves pupils vulnerable to grooming for sexual exploitation and extreme violence.  There is also evidence to suggest this can increase both sexualized and overly aggressive behaviour.

Games that are played online and involve interacting with other people carry the same risks as when using other social media sites such as Facebook.  Remember, people are not always who they appear to be and the internet provides the opportunity of anonymity.

If we are made aware that a pupil has access to games or media sites that are deemed unsuitable for age, we may need to act on this to safeguard the child. This may involve some/all of the following:

  • All safeguarding concerns are logged and kept on file
  • Refer to children’s services for further advice and/or intervention
  • Contact the police if we are concerned about the safeguarding of the child

There are a number of online support packages that can help parents:

https://www.nspcc.org.uk/preventing-abuse/keeping-children-safe/online-safety/
https://www.childline.org.uk/info-advice/bullying-abuse-safety/online-mobile-safety/online-gaming/
https://ceop.police.uk/

Together, we will continue to work hard to help children understand how to keep themselves safe whilst also making the most of the exciting opportunities that are available via the internet and gaming.

If you would like to talk to anyone about your child’s online or digital safety, then please contact the school.

Yours sincerely

Mr T Clarkson

Assistant Head Teacher and Safeguarding Lead

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