Are you Ready for Safer Internet Day?


It is that time of year again! Safer Internet Day is coming up on February 7th, so it seemed a good time to review some of the resources available for online safety. The theme for this year is

Be the change: unite for a better internet’.

I feel that this is very reflective of wider concerns, particularly in a world where the new US president demonstrates publicly that he thinks trolling online and tweeting without thinking is just fine! This role modelling or lack of it and similar behaviour it makes allowable, mean it even more important that we are supporting children to develop the skills to keep themselves and others safe online. Continue reading

Thoughts on ‘Growing Up Digital’

On January 4th, Anne Longfield, The Children’s Commissioner issued a report ‘Growing up Digital‘  looking at the impact of the internet and its use on children. She reminds us,

‘The internet is an extraordinary force for good but it is not designed with children in mind. Yet, one third of internet users are under the age of 18’ (page 3)

The amount of time children are spending online is growing rapidly with 3-4 year olds spending over 8 hours a week online, while 12-15 year olds are spending over 20 hours a week. Continue reading

Looking for a magic wand: Labelling children.

In my SEND work, I often have to discuss with parents the possibility that a diagnosis might help support their child and signpost them to professionals to manage this. Many are grateful to have the opportunity to discuss their concerns about their children. Some are in denial and refuse to consider that there might be anything ‘wrong’ with their child. But increasingly, I am meeting a third group of parents who come in and demand that their child is diagnoised and labelled. Continue reading

What Louis Theroux can teach us about mandatory reporting.

On July 21st, the government launched its consultation to seek views on the possible introduction of mandatory reporting of child abuse and neglect or of a duty to act in relation to it. This consultation closes at noon on 13th October. This weekend saw the airing of Louis Theroux’s second documentary about Jimmy Saville, where he publicly berates himself for his ‘failure to recognise him for what he was’. I feel that when we consider the issues of mandatory reporting, we need to consider the experiences of Theroux and others like him. Continue reading

Key Points for Schools from Children Missing Education: issued September 2016

Children Missing Education

This is an update on guidance issued January 2015 and will be reviewed by September 2019.

It applies to all schools, including academies and independent schools.

Though this document is aimed at Local Authorities, it contains much that is useful for schools. Particularly the key information on the use of CTF files (para 40-44) and guidance on the 15 grounds for deleting a pupil from the school admission register (page 20: Annex A), so it is essential reading for all in charge of school admission registers. Further important information for schools about attendance and Children Missing Education can be found in Annex A of Keeping Children Safe in Education, September 2016. This is substantially different from the version issued in May 2016, so make sure you are working from the latest version. Continue reading