Schools in Bristol have been promoting online safety messages to mark this year’s Safer Internet Day.
The Bristol Safeguarding Children Board funded a conference last month which brought together around 150 delegates from local, regional and national education provision to enable them to identify online safety issues, ahead of the national awareness day yesterday (Tuesday, 6 February).
Presentations and workshops were held at the event at Bristol Grammar School, which looked at subjects such as online bullying, child sexual exploitation and grooming online, social media, and speaking to parents about technology.
The event focused on listening to the voice of the child and also offered a platform to children and young people, who shared their perspective on online safety with educators through a question and answer session and their own poetry. Some of these young people are set to visit schools to deliver their message about online safety and resilience.
Councillor Anna Keen, Cabinet Member for Education and Skills at Bristol City Council, said: “This conference was a fantastic event and it was great to see so many education providers sharing skills and experiences on keeping children safe online.
“Safer Internet Day is a great national initiative that gave us a good opportunity to get together to promote everything we are all doing to safeguard children. As technology continues to develop so do the issues faced by children and young people, so events like this are vital to ensure we are always on the front foot in protecting them.
“We are proactively collaborating with all our partner organisations and community groups to provide the support and training necessary to those professionals across the city who deal with these safeguarding issues on a daily basis.”
The Bristol Safeguarding Children Board (BSCB) is a multi-agency partnership responsible for improving safeguarding and child protection practice across the city.
Sally Lewis, Chair for the BSCB, said: “Online safety is a priority for the Bristol Safeguarding Children Board and children and young people have told us how significantly abuse online can affect their lives through our annual safeguarding survey. It is vital that professionals in Bristol keep up to date with quickly changing technology to ensure they can safeguard children as effectively as possible, so I was delighted that so many schools were represented at this conference.”
For more information about the event and signposting to resources regarding E-safety and online use, visit the BSCB’s website www.bristolsafeguarding.org.
For further information, lesson plans and how to get involved in Safer Internet day 2018, go to www.saferinternet.org.uk/safer-internet-day/2018.