Sir Jonathan North publishes safeguarding snippets to alert parents of any relevant and information safety information.
Safeguarding Snippet - Mental Health Awareness week 13-19 May 2019
This week it is Mental Health Awareness Week and there have been lots of helpful programmes being shown on TV along with information from support agencies.
Students have been reminded through assemblies about the support available for them in school and to encourage our young people to talk about their concerns. We have support available through Progress Tutors, Progress Leaders, Learning Mentor Team, School Nurse, College Counsellor and the Well-being hub. All adults in school are available to listen to students and we encourage them to speak to family too. We have also reminded students about positive on-line support available through Childline, Barnado’s Thinkuknow and the H2b safety centre
I would like to draw your attention to the research findings below which indicate a negative impact on young people regarding their body image, which appears to being made worse by social media but also to encourage parents to have positive conversations about our own body image and eating habits.
Mental Health Awareness Week - Social Media Causes Body Image Concerns
Millions of teenagers worry about body image and identify social media as a key cause – new survey by the Mental Health Foundation
Safeguarding Snippet - How Apple can help you create better screen time habits 18 March 2019
Once upon a time, our challenge was to get children to stop watching the telly. Now not only do we struggle with the telly but also with the tablet, phone, gaming console… the list goes on.
Of course, the screen time struggle doesn’t only apply to television or gaming, the Social Media platforms have a huge part to play in our attachment to devices. Each buzz of our phone, red circle notification and message from a friend give us a chemical zap of dopamine; the feel good neurotransmitter and so, like a drug, we reach to our devices for a hit. No wonder we can feel addicted to our devices.
When Apple released iOS 12, they made a giant leap in supporting families with the release of their new Screen Time feature. Simply put, they say ‘Screen Time helps you and your family understand and make the most of time spent on devices’.
e know that devices are shared throughout households, so the umbrella-nature of this feature allows families to easily take control of their screen time habits without having to set them on each individual device.
Sounds great, where do I find it?
Make sure your devices are updated to iOS 12. (On your iPhone, iPad or iPod tap Settings > General > Software Update)
Once you’re up-to-date, head back to Settings and you will see a new menu item called ‘Screen Time’. Here you can set your limits and restrictions across all devices linked to your iCloud account, including family members.
Downtime allows you to schedule time away from the screen for all devices linked to your iCloud Account. Access to your phone is always allowed and you can specify other apps to be allowed such as Messages.
You can also set daily App Limits for the time you spend on apps. For example, if you allow a child to play games for an hour a day, you can set a time limit for 1 hour on games. This timer is reset at midnight and you can set a ‘Screen Time Passcode’ to bypass these restrictions on your own devices.
That’s not all!
Whilst children and young people are becoming more aware of ‘Stranger Danger’ online, they don’t always know how to react when they see something upsetting online. Within Screen Time, Apple have added ‘Content & Privacy Restrictions’, this gives you easy access over how children and young people use the device. Here you can take control over:
- Installing and Deleting Apps
- In App Purchases (no more nasty surprises!)
- Privacy Settings
- Content Restrictions
What content can I restrict?
These content restrictions allow you to apply child-appropriate restrictions to Siri, Game Centre, App Store content and even Web Content. You can go as far as only allowing access to certain websites, unless you enter your screen time passcode.
Information provided by Ineqe safeguarding Group
Below are a flavour of the snippets from previous years.
Safeguarding Snippet - 22 November 2019 - Parents Guide to Social Media
The NSPCC have created a useful page on their website with a guide to the most popular social network sites and information about them.
you can find out more here: https://www.net-aware.org.uk/
Safeguarding Snippet - 6 November 2017 - Sarahah
An app called Sarahah which is an Arabic word meaning ‘honesty’ or ‘candour’ is gaining in popularity but is also a significant cause for concern.
What is Sarahah?
Designed to let users send and receive ‘honest’ feedback, Sarahah is meant to help people discover their strengths and weaknesses. Once users have downloaded the app, they set up an account to start receiving messages. The messages appear in a feed where they can be favourited, blocked and deleted without the sender knowing. Users have no way of knowing who sent the message or how to reply to them.
Why are we concerned?
The Sarahah app has become popular amongst teens. It promotes anonymity – making teens feel like they can hide behind their anonymous screen names and bully others without repercussions. Users can use snapchat to send anonymous messages through Sarahah. Reviews by users report that Sarahah is predominantly used to bully other users. There is no filter for explicit content and there is no way to report inappropriate content or threats.
What can parents do?
We would advise parents to discuss the dangers of anonymous apps and have their child delete their Sarahah account (if they use Sarahah). Ensure your child knows what is appropriate to send in private and public messages, whether they are anonymous or not. If your child has a desire to use apps like Sarahah, please challenge them to give positive and constructive feedback offline instead.
A full visual guide covering all aspects of Sarahah can be found by clicking here.
Safeguarding Snippet - 26 October 2018 - Free Reddit Online Safety Guide
as part of their #WakeUp campaign Reddit have created a free updated Reddit guide for parents & carers for your school to share with its whole school community!
Reddit is commonly referred to as “the front page of the internet”, with millions of users continually creating/sharing videos, images, memes and much more on this forum-style site. This free guide for parents & carers covers what they need to know about the platform to help safeguard their children from potential online risks including; online payments, inappropriate and potentially harmful content, trolling, fake news and more.
Please help us spread the message by retweeting our Reddit guide for parents & carers here:
For more information regarding our NOS Certified School Community package, developed in line with the new 2018 DfE Statutory Guidance, 'Keeping Children Safe in Education', please complete the form here: https://nationalonlinesafety.com/online-safety-certified-schools-accreditation/
Many thanks for your continued support and for helping us to achieve a safer online world for children!
The National Online Safety Team
Safeguarding Snippet - 18 October 2019 - We're Listening
This week the assemblies have focussed on the thought of the week – Empathy and also listening and kindness. We have launched a new listening service to extend the support already available at the college. A large number of staff and two students per year group are wearing listening badges to show that I am here to listen. A red heart badge indicates that I will offer a listening ear and offer support for anything you may want to chat about. The rainbow badge indicates that I am comfortable to talk about everything including LGBTQ issues.
The student peer listeners will receive training on Wednesday 26 September and then they will be available for students to access support. The listening service is confidential unless anyone has a concern that the individual or someone close to them, is at risk under a safeguarding matter, in which case the information has to be shared with a Designated Safeguarding Lead.
Look out for the badges!
Safeguarding Snippet - Mental Health Awareness - 6 October 2017
Current research indicates that mental health concerns in young people are increasing, particularly in girls. Dr Bernadka Dubicka, the Chair of the Child and Adolescent Faculty at the Royal College of Psychiatrists was reported in The Guardian recently saying, “There is a growing crisis in children and young people’s mental health, and in particular a gathering crisis in mental distress and depression among girls and young women… Emotional problems in young girls have been significantly, and very worryingly, on the rise over the past few years."
There is now a growing concern that constructed online personas such as those posted on snapchat, are leading to an increase in mental health issues in young people, particularly girls.
Snapchat is fun; it rewards interaction with trophies and provides a vast library of filters that will turn you from messy to cute in a single swipe. Teens LOVE it. However the truth is, they use the app because their parents don't. There is a secretive nature to its disappearing content; there are no consequences when the proof disappears after ten seconds, or so they think.
Snapchat fuels these personas through their use of fun custom filters which can change the user’s face shape, add makeup and smooth skin, along with many other options. So, even if their hair needs washing and a big spot just appeared on the tip of their nose, they can send a fun selfie to their friends. However, by doing this exclusively, not only are they presenting an unrealistic representation of themselves to their friends, but they may not be embracing, and becoming comfortable with, their own appearance.
It is never too early to invest in positive conversations with your daughter, and it is always good to reassure them that no matter what happens, they can always come to you for help.
Mrs Mason, Student Support Manager
Safeguarding Snippet - Digital Anxiety - 22 September 2017
There has been a lot of information recently in the press regarding Digital Anxiety and how your child might be experiencing this. To support you as a parent BT have produced a guide to understanding the issues involved. Please click here to read the article or here for the advice to parents on social media.
If you feel your daughter is experiencing any form of anxiety please do not hesitate to contact the College so that we can help you to support her with this.
Safe Arrival at College - 1 September 2017
As we commence the new term I would like to promote the safe arrival of students at the college. We have had new speed hump restrictions constructed during the summer which are also in the layby at the front of the college. These are there for the safety of all and we request that everyone pays extra special attention to the pedestrians as they arrive and depart from the college. In order to ensure the safety of girls as they arrive we request that parents do not use the layby as a turning area or to enter the college drive way between 8 am and 8.30 am unless they have a disability or urgent need.
In addition I would like to confirm that the college site is open to students from 7.40 am and everyone must go directly to the dining hall where there are staff on duty until 8.10 am when students can enter the main college site.
Social Media Accounts Age Restrictions - 7 July 2017
A recent CBBC Newsround survey identified that more than three-quarters of children aged 10 to 12 in the UK have social media accounts, even though they are below the minimum age limit. Age restrictions are about keeping children safe until they are old enough to engage with an activity with complete awareness of what they’re letting themselves in for and I would encourage you to stand firm and not give in to pressure from your child to sign up for social media accounts before they are old enough to have them. There’s a reason why children must be aged 12 and over and at least 135cm tall before they are allowed to sit in the front passenger seat of a car - to keep them safe!
Do You Know Your Social Media Age Restrictions?
The majority of social media sites such as Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, Reddit, Tumblr, Google+, Pinterest have a minimum age requirement of 13. YouTube and Flickr are 18, although a child can sign up to YouTube account at just 13 with their parent’s permission. WhatsApp is unusual in so far as it has a minimum age requirement of 16.
‘Snap Map’ Update
Following on from last week’s safeguarding Snippet regarding Snapchat’s new option called ‘snap map’ (which allows other snapchat users to see where you are at all times) we would like to inform you how to disable this function: Open Snapchat app, pinch the screen, click on settings in the top right-hand corner and select ghost mode -AND - Open Snapchat on PHONE settings, click on location then select NEVER.
This will stop other people from being able to identify exact locations.
Healthy Together - 9 June 2017
The school nursing service has been re-launched with a new name – Healthy Together and they are providing a 0 - 19 Healthy Child Programme. As part of the new service there is a brand new health website for teens which we would encourage you and your daughter to access.
Students can continue to access the weekly drop-in clinic at the college and in addition weekly virtual skype clinics are being rolled out through a phased approach from September 2017. There will also be digital questionnaires for Year 7, 9 and 11 to complete which will be explained more in the Autumn term.
Young people can also text a public health nurse on Chat Health 07520 615386 to access confidential support. Parents and carers can also contact Chat Health from 9am – 5pm Monday to Friday on 07520 615381.
The nurse appointment system in College will continue to operate on a weekly basis and students who have self-referred or been referred by a parent or member of staff will receive an appointment slip via their register.
Talking about Terrorism: Tips for Parents - 26 May 2017
Following the aftermath of the devastating attack in Manchester on the evening of Monday 22 May, the NSPCC have released some guidance regarding how to discuss this dreadful situation with children and young people. Please click here for more information, support and guidance from the NSPCC.
If you are concerned about how a child is feeling, you can call the NSPCC helpline on 0808 800 5000 for advice 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
‘Sexting’ information for parents and carers - 19 May 2017
Last week at the Year 7 Parents’ evening we looked at sexting codes which are being used by young people on line to keep their parents clueless.
Sexting has been defined as “the creating, sharing, and forwarding of sexually suggestive nude, or nearly nude images” (Lenhart, 2009). In simple terms this means taking a sexually explicit photograph and texting (sharing) it via your mobile phone to others.
Parents and carers of very young children should not have to worry about this issue but as children grow up they will be influenced as much, if not more, by their friends as by their parents or carers. It is never too early to invest in positive conversations with your daughter and it is always good to reassure them that no matter what happens they can always come to you for help.
COLLEGE OPENING TIME - 31 March 2017
We take safeguarding very seriously at the college and we would like to remind parents that the college site is not open to students before 7.40 am as there are no staff on duty prior to this time to take responsibility for your daughter. At 7.40 am the middle gate between the De Montfort and the Latimer buildings will open and students will be supervised by a member of staff in the dining hall area until 8.15 am. The main college entrance opens at 8.05 am.
The rest of the college site is not open to students until 8.15 am unless invited to attend a specific session by staff.
We want to keep your daughter safe and protect her from traffic. Therefore we would like to remind parents that you should not be entering the driveway to drop off or collect students after 8 am.
If your daughter arrives by bicycle, she will need to enter by the middle gate and dismount her bicycle to wheel it around to the bike racks where she can lock it up until the end of the day.
We would like to thank parents and carers for their support with safeguarding all of our young people.
How Secure Is Your Password/PIN? - 24 March 2017
Can we guess your password or your phone/tablet PIN? If your password or PIN number is listed below, then we suggest that you change it immediately.
10 Most common passwords in Leicester:
10 Most common PIN Codes:
8. ‘Spouse/partner’s name’
9. ‘Date of birth’
10. ‘Pet’s name’
So, how do you create a strong password and still remember it?
Most modern systems require passwords to be at least eight characters long, with a combination of capital letters, lower case letters and numbers, or symbols. Quite commonly, people get around this problem by changing password for example to Password1, but this makes your password really easy to hack.
An eight character, all lower case, password could take a hacker 3 and a half minutes to guess, but by changing one character to uppercase, it would take them almost 15 hours!
So, create your own cryptic code that you will remember and you won’t have to write it down:
Make your password longer - aim for at least 8 characters (but less than 16)
Mix it up - use a mixture of numbers, symbols, capital letters and lower case letters
Avoid using names or numbers related to you or to your close ones eg Angelina1975 or 21July86
Now that you have your new password, don’t apply the same password to every site you use as it makes it so much easier for hackers to steal your identity. Create three or four passwords and reserve your most secure one for your on-line banking.