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Feb 2018

What's New


Summer 2018

Online Safety Newsletters


News & Events







What's New

Digital Romance Assembly Tour -The impact of technology on romantic relationships

Supporting our students around this important focus is a vital part of our curriculum provision for

  • online safety
  • relationships and sex education
  • safeguarding

This 25-30 minute assembly, targeted at year 9 and above, focuses on how young people’s relationships are integral to their online behaviour. It will be delivered through a presentation with embedded DVD/sound.

Digital Romance Assembly Tour - Final Bookings

Social Media Workshop delivered bt Pop UK

This month has seen the Children's Commissioner publish the 'Life in likes' report into the impact of social media on children before they reach their teenage years, and makes a series of recommendations for the future. It looks at positive and negative impacts of social media on young people and ways in which they can be helped to understand the issue affecting all 8-12 year olds.

The report finds that children are particularly conscious about how they use social media at the time they move from primary to secondary school when identity and peer approval become more important to them but that it can impact them long before this. The report comes up with a number of ways in which schools, parents and other organisations can build young people's digital literacy and resilience.

We have now developed a one day workshop that helps children understand the issue using some specially written songs. More information on our 'Will you 'like' me' day:

  • "Will you like me?" - a one-day project helping children be aware of the positives and negatives of social media. The day involves the KS2, Year 7 or specific year groups learning a set of 3 songs, specially written for this subject. We will record the children, produce a downloadable EP and end the day with an assembly for parents to hear the children perform the songs. Schools will also be left with resources for teachers to use in the future. Cost £375

For more information:

This event is offered through an external provider and therefore Hertfordshire County Council/Herts for Learning recommend that schools make independent checks regarding the quality of the service provided. Inclusion on this page does not constitute any form of recommendation by the Council or Herts for Learning Ltd.

Roblox online game warning

We have been made aware of a supposed warning from Kent Police about the dangers of the Roblox game. These warnings were not actually issued by Kent police but we are taking this opportunity to remind parents that Roblox, just as any other gaming website that allows players to interact, has its potential risks. At a recent CEOP event it was shared that there had been minor issues with inappropriate characters on the Roblox gaming site but that these had been resolved very quickly. Roblox is age rated for 8-18 year olds and there is a reporting facility should it be needed.

Our advice is not to stop children accessing age appropriate online games but to:

  • Ensure they know how to report an incident when on any game
  • Keep their information private at all times
  • Talk with a trusted adult immediately if they have any concerns
  • Check safety and privacy settings are limited to people they know in the real world

For more information please visit the childnet guidance for parents on Roblox at:

Urgent update: Keeping Children Safe in Education, May 2016

There have been some key eSafety guidance changes within this document. The most likely to affect many schools is that the overall responsibility for eSafety now lies with the Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) or deputy DSL. This role can no longer be delegated to another member of staff, such as Computing/ICT Lead, unless that person has completed appropriate DSL training. Reallocation of this responsibility may be a temporary solution to this problem until training can be completed if this affects your school.

Amongst other important changes, eSafety is no longer an optional school policy. There must now be direct references to online safety either within the Child Protection/Safeguarding policy or as a separate document. This includes acceptable use agreements for staff and pupils.

The Hertfordshire eSafety policy template can be found within the eSafety pages on The Grid, should you wish to adopt it either in full or in part.

Below is a link to an excellent analysis of the changes by Kent County Council. It highlights suggested actions in addition to key changes based on this new document. From there, the original document can also be found.

Safety message from Herts Police – May 2016

A recent incident involving Hertfordshire school girls who filmed and broadcast a seemingly harmless video of themselves from their home address using an app on their mobile phone has highlighted some of the dangers of geo-tagged data. It is believed that unknown viewers of the video not only contacted the girls but also identified the house from where the broadcast was made and potentially followed them.

Police offer the following advice:

  1. Think before you broadcast. Remember that your broadcast could be recorded by someone and then potentially shared and uploaded anywhere online – think carefully about what you are sharing.
  2. Consider your privacy. It’s worth considering who you would like to share your broadcast with; you may wish to make your broadcast limited or private. We recommend that you don’t share your location.
  3. Understand the risks involved. Geotagged broadcasts could potentially give someone intent on scaring or targeting you the opportunity to know your exact whereabouts, eg. which house you are in.
  4. Know how to disable your phone or camera's geotagging feature. Every smartphone has the geotagging feature automatically set to operate, so you need to put in the effort to prevent it from doing this. It's recommended that you disable the geotagging ability and enable it only when you make a conscious decision to use it; it's far better to opt in than to try to remember to opt out.
  5. Remember it is never too late to tell someone. If anything worries you, it’s vital to tell a trusted adult or you can chat confidentially to ChildLine online or on 0800 1111. Remember you can report to the police via the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre:

Sumdog Data Protection

Sumdog is an educational gaming platform which is becoming popular with schools.

Although the concept may be considered appropriate, there have been concerns raised by parents to schools using the service recently. The service currently requires schools to upload details of users (pupils) to their database. The complaints have been made on the grounds that the names of users are shared publicly. Adults can reportedly sign up to the service too, so ultimately there could be adults in another country playing against the children in your schools. The advice is not to necessarily stop using this service but as with all online services please do check the privacy policy and gain parental permission for children before signing them up to it.

The extract below, taken from the Sumdog Privacy Policy suggests that the Safe Harbor Agreement statement released by HfL should be considered too.

‘Information we collect on student users will only be stored and processed in the United States of America or the European Union. Depending on your location, we may need to transfer it to these places’.

Educate Against Hate

This new Government website gives parents, teachers and school leaders practical advice on protecting children from extremism and radicalisation.

Counter-extremism guidance for schools and childcare providers


Government briefing note for schools - released July 2015

How social media is used to encourage travel to Syria and Iraq.


eSafety Ofsted Update: A presentation by David Brown HMI, National Lead for Computing, given at the London Grid for Learning 2015 conference

Useful information from David Brown can be found throughout this presentation, but in particular slides 19-30 are focused on eSafety.

2015 Primary school safeguarding themed inspection: Inspector’s eSafety questions to school Governor

Despite more recent references to eSafety by Ofsted in ‘Inspecting Safeguarding’ from September 2014, it is clear that inspectors are still using the ‘Inspecting eSafety’ document released in April 2014...See more at:


Model Policy for ICT Acceptable Use (Incorporating eSafety and Data Security)

Herts for Learning have updated the model eSafety Acceptable Use Policy, incorporating eSafety and Data Security, which schools can choose to adopt. This policy has been developed from national guidance and best practice.


Government publishes guidance to support teachers against cyberbullying

New teacher-backed advice outlining how school staff can guard themselves against cyberbullying has been announced by Education Secretary Nicky Morgan. Announced as part of Anti-Bullying Week, the advice will help keep teachers safe from online abuse. It encourages heads to get tough on bullying and support their staff facing abuse, as well as outlining a number of steps teachers can take to protect themselves online:

Student-Centered eSafety: Promoting Online Safety with Creative Apps

Chris Carter, Herts for Learning e-Developments Adviser, has just had a book published by Apple as part of his involvement in the Apple Distinguished Educator programme.  The book is available online via i-Pads at Guidance is a social networking website that enables users to ask and answer questions. There have been several national stories about how the negative use of has resulted in tragic events with young people. Herts for Learning has created a guidance document and video to respond to the risks associated with using this site.