Keeping our children safe and taking our responsibilities for child protection seriously is at the heart of who we are as a school community.
In both schools, all or any concerns are reported to the relevant staff and are dealt with in accordance with our legal obligations under ' Keeping Children Safe In Education', school policies and protocols. Mrs Cooper is the designated safeguarding lead, with Mrs Bleau, Miss Klos, Mrs Shirley and Miss McLaren all deputy designated leaders for Safeguarding. Any child protection concerns can and should be raised with them and parents can speak, email or share any concerns they might hold, at ANY time, with appointments or call back requests made via the school office number.
There are so many exciting ways that our children can use digital technologies and we welcome and encourage these both at home and at school. It is very important to us that we work in partnership with you to teach them our children to use age appropriate technologies safely and responsibly.
Our schools are particularly concerned with teaching our children about the appropriate use of social media apps. Our experience tells us that this is where our children are currently vulnerable to online bullying, contact with undesirable people and influences in their lives, and exposure to materials and images that might be upsetting or disturbing for them, particularly when they are sexual or violent in nature.
We have taken the line in 2023/2024 that NO smart phone devices should be on the school premises.
In not being unequivocal regarding our approaches to this in the past (e.g allowing children who were walking home to deposit such phones in a box at school), a climate was created where parents felt under pressure to purchase a smart phone for their child because:
a. It was seen as a responsible and expected item to purchase in order to keep your child 'safe' when in transit between home and school.
b. Children could rightfully moan ' but so & so has one' and parents were put under pressure from a fear of their children 'missing out'.
c. The purchase of a phone could be seen as an implicit message from school as an accepted pathway to secondary school preparation and helping children to be 'independent'.
A simple phone that isn't a smart phone and does not enable access to social media apps and websites is a better option if you feel your child needs to be contactable on a walk home from school.
We have to be aware of the dangers we have put in the path of our children. Consider that as soon as we allow them the independence to be alone in walking to and from school, that is also when we give them their first smartphone with it's unfettered access to social media apps, all without our supervision, direction or indeed our presence. However much we may trust our own child, we have to be aware of the pressures upon them and the fact this will be the first time they have been presented with such options, this level of independence, this type of remote/online peer pressure and these type of freedoms.
The link below shows you how you can set parental controls on a range of different devices at home (including on games consoles, mobile phones and online platforms like Youtube): https://www.internetmatters.org/parental-controls/interactive-guide/
For advice, help or to make a report about any issue pertaining to use of online gaming or social media, where you believe your child or others are at risk, please talk to the school or visit https://ceop.police.uk/