PARENT ZONEChild Protection & Internet Safety
Keeping Our Young People Safe
If you have a wellbeing concern about a child who attends this school, in the first instance please contact Mr D Watson, Head Teacher on 01292 612461.
Keeping our young people safe is everyone’s responsibility.
An issue which is causing myself and my staff increasing concern, and that is the use of social network sites by many of our P4-7 pupils. This is, of course, an important topic which is explored in school through our Health & Wellbeing programme and is also discussed with pupils in class and at assemblies.
As you will be fully aware, there has been an explosion in the use of social media being used in our society by children and adults – snapchat, facebook, messenger, instagram, twitter – to name a few! Many of our young people in Forehill tell us they make use of these safely and appropriately, but we are noticing, when investigating situations which are brought into the school, that increasing numbers of children are using these as a tool to direct comments or threats at individuals, to send inappropriate images, captions or to victimise and humiliate others.
My main concerns include:
- The unsafe disclosure of personal information in which pupils can provide potentially dangerous or damaging personal information without a full understanding of who can access this and how it can be used.
- Addiction – whereby the pupil spends an excessive amount of time online, to the detriment of that pupil’s education, ability to socialise, wellbeing and health.
- Cyber-bullying – involving the sending or posting of harmful and sometimes malicious material online to, or about other children and families in the school community.
- The consequences of poor online behaviour on the parents, family and the school’s reputation.
I alert you to these concerns, but to also invite you to explore with your child what they are using and how they are using it. A few parents who have done this in the past have been indeed shocked and anxious about what they have found.
Although many of these messages are sent or posted at home, it inevitably becomes a school issue because of the impact it has on relationships and behaviour in school. As Head Teacher, I have taken, and will continue to take a very strong line with those who misuse social media. What harms and upsets others is, to us, completely unacceptable and I hope you will therefore support the strong line I am taking with this.
As always, should you have any queries as we work together to seek a positive solution and to ensure the safety of our young people in Forehill, please do not hesitate to get in touch. My sincere thanks in anticipation of your support.
As you are aware ensuring children are kept safe and protected from harm and abuse is a high priority and it’s everyone’s job to help protect South Ayrshire’s children.
Part of South Ayrshire Child Protection Committee’s (CPC) work is to raise public awareness about child protection.
To help your child stay safe on-line there are various programmes and resources that schools use to support pupils.
The main resource used is ThinkUKnow.
It is also important that you as a parent or carer have up to date information regarding on-line safety covering a variety of issues including: cyber bulling, age related matters, social net-working.
This information is available by clicking on the link below: