Today (Tuesday 5th February) marks Safer Internet Day across the nation and Corby Borough Council along with partner organisations are supporting the campaign which promotes the safe and positive use of digital technology to children and young people.
While the internet is a positive and exciting place, there is little data to identify the levels of potential online bullying and abuse currently being experienced by children and young people. According to children’s charity, the NSPCC, this is due to 3 main reasons – young people are not sure who to tell, they aren’t able to recognise if they’re being abused or bullied, or they’re too ashamed to speak to someone.
Starting today, Corby Borough Council will be working alongside national digital consultancy Parentzone and countywide youth organisation, Service Six to deliver school class and assembly sessions across the whole of February. The purpose of these sessions are to ensure children become confident online users and know what to do if faced with a potentially unsafe or worrying situation. The sessions will include delivery of an interactive assembly called Be Internet Legends, delivered by Parentzone in partnership with Google, and class workshop activities under the TARGET online project delivered by Service Six. Four local schools are participating, with approximately 1,000 children benefitting from the programme
Lead member for Housing and Neighbourhood Services, Cllr Bob Eyles said:
‘This is the first time the borough council has supported this campaign. Children and young people are being brought up in a primarily digital world, which is a normal form of communication and interaction for them. Linking with initiatives like Safer Internet Day is vitally important to ensure young people use the internet responsibly, respect others online and keep themselves safe while they’re online.’
A Spokesperson for Parent Zone, said:
‘The Be Internet Legends programme helps to empower Primary school children to navigate the online world safely. It’s a multi-faceted programme consisting of PSHE accredited lessons plans and teaching resources which supports UK schools with providing children with the knowledge they need to stay safer online.’
Hayley Brown, TARGET Project Manager said:
‘It is vital that we all learn how to effectively safeguarding our children and young people from the dangers that are now presented to them online. Social networking platforms, online gaming, live streaming and VR have now provided an ‘open window’ to dangers such as grooming and exploitation. We need to provide our children and young people with the abilities to possess critical thinking and build upon their digital resilience, whilst still enjoying the online world.’
Notes to Editor:
Additional statistics from NSPCC website:
- Almost 1 in 4 of 8-11 year olds have a social media profile
- 1 in 8 young people have been bullied on social media
- 1 in 4 children have experienced something upsetting on a social media site.