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News and Events
Online Safety Newsletters
Recent media reports have suggested the social media trend, the ‘Momo’ challenge encourages participants to commit acts of self-harm. It is supposedly a form of cyberbullying prevalent on platforms such as WhatsApp and YouTube, where children get anonymous threatening messages. Over the past few months, the game has been in the news frequently due to its alleged links to three cases of teenagers committing suicide in South America and Asia, such allegations have not been confirmed by the authorities. The charity Samaritans said it was ‘not aware of any verified evidence in this country or beyond’ linking the momo meme to self-harm.
It is important, however, that parents and carers take the opportunity to talk with their children about internet safety and have open conversations about what their children are accessing.
It is recommended that parents/carers:
BBC news have released an article that suggests the online game is a hoax and details can be found here:
The PSHE Association have also made a really useful response outlining the challenge is a hoax:
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:
For more information please visit the childnet guidance for parents on Roblox at:
Keeping Children Safe in Education - update 2018
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 online safety policy template can be found at the link below 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
An 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:
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.
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