The number of incidents related to inappropriate use of social media and under-age use of apps on phones and tablets increases year on year.
Each week, via our newsletter, we provide up to date information and guidance on how to put boundaries and controls in place to protect not only your own children from seeing inappropriate material, but also to help you guide your children so that they aren’t creating and sharing inappropriate material. We also regularly through our computer science and PSHE curriculum guide your children in the safe and positive ways of using technology and social media.
It is not enough though for this to be taught in school. These messages need to be reinforced at home. This means that it is every parents’ responsibility to stay informed, to monitor children’s activities and make the use of social media a topic that is discussed at home regularly. Research also shows that parents modelling good and appropriate behaviour with technology also helps eg. No phones at dinner tables, use alarm clocks and keep phones out of bedrooms at nighttime, reduce screen time, have technology free days etc. We would also recommend regular monitoring of devices, remove devices from bedrooms overnight and take that opportunity to check what your child is doing online, who they are talking to etc.
Please find below some links that will help you to do these things:
Parental Controls Made Easy: https://www.qustodio.com/en/30-days-school-special/?utm_source=internal&utm_medium=parentsessionsuk
This tool is recommended by smoothwall and Tameside Safeguarding to help parents monitor activity, set time limits and locate devices/family members. It is available for free for 2 mobile phone devices per adult. For an annual subscription of £39.99 you can use it on 5 devices and also filter content and apps, track calls and text messages and get reports/alerts/SOS messages. We would strongly recommend that you download the free element of this tool as a minimum.
Setting up parental controls on your child's device:
https://www.internetmatters.org/parental-controls/ Allows you to choose the device and get step-by-step instructions in what to do to set up appropriate controls.
Age appropriate online safety advice:
Commonsensemedia: https://www.commonsensemedia.org/ is a website which allows parents and carers to check out in more detail apps, gaming, books and netflix series etc. as just going off the age restriction isn't always enough.