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Mobiles & Online safety

Mobile Phones

We recognise that mobile phones, including smart phones, are an important part of everyday life for our pupils, parents and staff, as well as the wider school community. Pupils are, therefore, permitted to bring phones to school as long as they keep to these key principles:

  • Phones must be switched off and out of sight during all lessons and pastoral sessions (such as assemblies) unless clearly agreed by a member of staff for a specific educational purpose
  • Phone functions must not be used inappropriately (e.g. taking pictures/video without permission)
  • Social media and messaging should be not be used to upset or harm others in any way

Inappropriate use of mobile phones will be dealt with through the school’s behaviour policy.

NB: The school accepts no responsibility for mobile phones that are lost, damaged or stolen on school premises or transport, during school visits or trips, or while pupils are travelling to and from school.

Online safety

Staying safe online is a crucial part of the school’s PSHE and tutorial programme and we regularly highlight ongoing risks and advice through assemblies and visiting speakers.

App Safety

A guide to different apps and games and how to ensure your child is using them safely.

Oyoty 

Oyoty is an app that will run on your child's device and act as a personal e-safety assistant to help keep them safe online. 

What is Oyoty?

Oyoty is an intelligent robot spotting risky behavior of your children on social networks. It detects issues that could potentially impact their reputation and safety. Once Oyoty spots such issues, it promptly alerts the child on their smartphone, explaining the nature of the risk, and guiding them to fix the issue. Alternatively, the child may question why a content has been spotted, by marking it for discussion with the parent.

Every week, the parent gets a report, showing the progress made by the child in addressing issues and learning how to be safe. In addition to spotting risks, Oyoty provides preventive advice in the form of videos (and, later, quizzes) that are educational yet fun to watch.

For further information and to download the app visit www.oyoty.com

Fortnite: Battle Royale

A rapidly increasing number of children are playing the game ‘Fortnite’, making its Battle Royale mode “the most played online game in the world.” As with all online gaming, there are a number of risks that need to be considered in order to ensure children and young people are effectively protected. National Online Safety provides regularly updated resources for the whole school community according to the latest trends and have therefore created a guide to educate school staff and parents about Fortnite: Battle Royale. The guide explains what the game is all about and some online safety issues to consider, with the aim to protect children whilst playing the game.
Click here to read the guide>>

Snapchat and Location Sharing

Snapchat has recently added location sharing to the app.  This gives pinpoint locations of users when switched on, with obvious implications for safety.   We strongly recommend that parents and students take the time to look at how their location is shared in Snapchat and other apps (eg Facebook).

Please see this blogpost for more details about controlling who can see your location settings in snapchat.

http://www.childnet.com/blog/introducing-snap-maps-the-new-location-sharing-feature-in-snapchat?utm_content=buffere2c35&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer

We are aware that there are groups of people using social media groups to encourage dangerous behaviour in children (sometimes described as ‘Blue Whale’).

Live Streaming

Sayat.me is app designed to allow users to invite anonymous comments, while it does not allow two way contact, it is open to direct bullying, but only has a PG rating.

Live streaming platforms such as Live.me,  Live.ly, Periscope, Facebook Live and Musical.ly are particularly open to abuse as there is no easy way to control or remove anything that has been streamed.

See https://www.childnet.com/young-people/secondary/livestreaming for more information.

Hotel Hideaway

Hotel Hideaway is advertised as a game full of opportunities to meet new people and make new friends. However, this is a free 3D virtual world app where users can create their own avatar and hotel room and chat with others worldwide in public or private chat rooms. Users should be 17+ but the use of cartoon avatars makes this appealing to younger audiences. The chat function puts young children at risk of being exposed to mature language and grooming behaviour.

Please be mindful of this new online game and help safeguard your child if you believe they may be accessing it.

Parent Guide for Child Internet Safety

https://www.vpnmentor.com/blog/the-ultimate-parent-guide-for-child-internet/

Age Ratings

All Apps that allow social interaction have the potential for abuse.   There is a minimum age requirement in the sign-up agreements, and it is important that parents are aware of this, as it indicates the level of protections offered. Typically, if the minimum age is 18, there are no protections offered by the service to prevent inappropriate communication, and no parental controls.  Apps with a minimum age of 13 generally have some way of reporting and or blocking inappropriate content along with some parental controls.

Platform

Minimum age to sign up

Live.Me

No PEGI rating yet, recommended for 17+ only

Live.Ly

12

Sayat me

13

Facebook

13

Instagram

13

Pinterest

13

Snapchat

13

WhatsApp

16

YouTube

18 (13 – 17 with parental permission)

Musical.ly

18

Loovoo

18

SimiSimi

18

All Apps have a PEGI rating.  This is equivalent to the age rating of a film, set at 12, 16 and 18.  It is illegal to sell rated items to children below the age rating in the UK.

See https://www.net-aware.org.uk/networks/?order=-popularity for more information about apps that are most commonly used by teenagers.

Click here for more information about apps that are most commonly used by teenagers.

Parents and pupils can access useful advice and information by following links to the following websites:

https://www.thinkuknow.co.uk/

This contains advice and guidance from CEOP (Child Exploitation and Online Protection Command)

https://www.net-aware.org.uk/

An NSPCC resource for parents about the latest risks around online safety and gaming