Online Safety

The majority of young people are sensible, responsible users of the internet, and will not knowingly put themselves at risk. However, the internet can be a very dangerous place: parents and students must never be complacent and, sadly, there are people out there who use very cunning strategies to put young people unknowingly at risk.

Click on the link below to access a useful leaflet.

How Safe Are You Online?

At Clyst Vale students are educated about E-safety through the ICT curriculum, Course 42 (PSHE), assemblies and one off events.

If you have any questions or concerns please contact your child’s Head of School or our Child Protection Officer – Mr Sutton ()

The Child Exploitation & Online Protection organisation (CEOP) provides a wide range of support through its web sites which we recommend you visit to stay up to date with the issues:

CEOP Parent Information Site

If you need to report an incident to CEOP please use this link CEOP Report

Parental Controls

Setting up parental controls can help to provide your child with a safer online environment, protecting your child from seeing something that they shouldn’t.

This guide helps you to navigate setting parental controls for Home Internet, Social Media, Mobile Devices and much more:

Parental Controls booklet 2021

Think U Know – 11-18 – The Internet, Relationships & You

YouTube Parents Guide

NSPCC Net Aware a guide to the social networks your kids use

NSPCC Share Aware

Facebook’s advice on How to Set up your Facebook Account Safely

South West Grid For Learning Facebook Checklist

Safer Internet Day

Click here to view a video outlining the problems with ‘selfies’.

In a recent Parents’ Briefing the presenter Gary Gates raised CBBC as a good web site to use because it has some good educational content, fun games and a parents’ area for advice and guidance. As a not for profit public service it excludes third party ads and pop ups, and it has a strong public service remit. Nowhere is totally safe, but this is it one of the safer places to be online for children.

We provide periodic parents’ briefings on online safety and these are useful notes from those events. Future events will be advertised through our Parents’ Newsletter and the web site.

Why should we be worried about children’s use of the internet? 

1.The nature of childhood 

  • Children are very “technology-savvy”, in most cases more than their parents
  • Children respond to instant gratification, and need to know now
  • Children are naturally inquisitive, and like to experiment
  • New technology has opened up huge opportunities for predatory adults to access children, AND to establish their own rings and networks between themselves to share information
  • In terms of child development, children have a heightened need to communicate
  • Children may perceive the internet as private, free from parental control, a means of instant communication, and this can affect their judgement; children also tend to be trusting
  • A minority of children develop a completely different persona when on-line to their “real world” one 

2. The extent of internet use (2011 figures)

  • 67.4% of all child abuse reports stem from chat rooms and instant messaging service
  • The average number of “friends” on Facebook is 130: do you know 130 people well enough to trust them all implicitly ? 
  • Of every eight minutes web users spend on the internet, one is on Facebook 
  • There were 2 billion photos on Facebook alone 
  • 75% of Facebook users are outside the USA 
  • 75% of 16-24 year old internet users post, and 50% upload material 
  • There are 30 million Facebook users in the UK

3. Educators’ concerns over excessive internet use 

  • Rushing of homework in order to get on-line
  • 58% of educators consider children’s spelling is suffering 
  • Handwriting is deteriorating 
  • A minority of students become internet/gaming obsessed, seriously affecting their schoolwork and often their attitude/behaviour in school. Similarly, a minority suffer from diminished sleep time, both affecting their schoolwork and their ability to engage in “normal” social interaction 
  • There has been a sharp increase in snatch robberies in the street and in one or two schools, especially on the way home: wearing earphones in the street advertises that the person probably has an iPod or smart phone and will probably get it out in a few minutes 
  • About a third of young people claim their main source of sex education is the internet. This seems to be leading to more aggressive sexual practices, especially by young men, in the “real world”.

4. Cyber-bullying 

  • There are seven main forms of cyber-bullying: texts, photo messages, silent or abusive phone calls, e-mails, chat rooms, instant messaging services, and websites/blogs. 
  • The nature of cyber-bullying is changing; as with adult predators, the increase of on-line X-box style gaming chat rooms is becoming more commonly used for cyber-bullying. 


How to protect your children


  • Don’t allow children to have a computer, laptop, or internet-connected gaming box in their bedroom. 
  • Don’t allow, or supervise the use of, webcams 
  • Negotiate being given your child’s password(s), even in a sealed envelope. 
  • Make sure your child puts no personal contact details on their sites: this includes: address, phone numbers, e-mail address, messenger or Facebook id, school attended, information about friends or family. 
  • The idea of “stranger danger” taught and well-understood at Primary School is exactly the same idea when using the internet (80% of child abuse through the internet is the responsibility of strangers) 
  • Talk about what is and isn’t appropriate in terms of posting pictures. Once a picture is on the web, it is there forever and could come to light in the future. 
  • Everyone needs to understand that sharing or uploading picture and personal information through the internet is effectively publishing it to the world. 
  • Although they shouldn’t, employers are undertaking searches on applicants’ names to see what they are really like before interviewing/recruiting. In other words, a couple of innocent indiscretions could affect career chances. 
  • Make sure Facebook privacy settings are secure, and that your child realises they will actively have to opt out of facilities like Facebook Places. In 2009, Facebook changed its settings without notification, meaning that a lot of its content became public which had previously been private. This sort of unannounced change is likely to be repeated so please check your privacy settings on all social networking accounts regularly.
  • Use the parental controls provided by your broadband service or anti-virus software

Advice and support 

  • CEOP (Child Exploitation and On-line Protection) has its own website
  • To report a concern, “click CEOP”
  • An extremely useful site covering e-safety from age 5 to adult, with information and activities for all ages of children, is
  • Please report any concerns and cyber-bullying in particular to us (Tutor, Head of School, Mr Sutton or Mrs Dormand): we can often deal with minor incidents, and always take advice and fully cooperate with the Police when necessary.

Students are taught explicitly about e-safety in Years 7 to 9 as part of the ICT programme of study and through Course 42 (the PSD programme), Deep Learning Days and assemblies. 

A Sense of Perspective 

The majority of young people are sensible, responsible users of the internet, and will not knowingly put themselves at risk. However, the internet can be a very dangerous place: parents and students must never be complacent, and, sadly, there are people out there who use very cunning strategies to put young people unknowingly at risk.