A free mobile app that offers vital safeguarding information and advice for schools and families has been launched.
The City of London Corporation’s Safer Schools app provides support on topics including sexting, bullying, mental health, media literacy, gaming and sexual exploitation online.
The app is designed as part of the Safer Schools initiative by the expert-led Ineqe Safeguarding Group, a leading independent safeguarding organisation.
The app contains safeguarding information, advice and guidance tailored to meet the needs of individual users.
Teachers, school staff and safeguarding practitioners from other sectors will have access to information and a range of resources addressing issues relating to safeguarding in the context of social media, including digital imagery.
Staff will also have access to accredited courses, appropriate use of social media and managing mental health in schools.
Parents and carers will have access to information on the popular social media platforms used by their children and their friends. They will also be provided with an insight on critical issues that children face.
The app gives easy to follow information to parents on how they can make their homes and the devices they give their children safer.
Children and young people have access to age appropriate information, advice and guidance on keeping themselves safe online. This includes sharing images, information and privacy considerations.
Youngsters will also have access to content on bullying and sexting and will be sign posted to pathways for help.
Ruby Sayed, chairman of the City of London Corporation’s Safeguarding Sub Committee, said: “In these unprecedented times, we know everyone is spending more time at home and using social media to ensure that physical distancing does not become social isolation.
“The positive power of technology will help keep our community digitally connected, but we also know that more time spent online by our children can lead to greater levels of risk.
“This resource is going to educate and support parents, staff and especially students to be more knowledgeable on keeping themselves safe.”
Colin Stitt, head of safer schools at Ineqe Safeguarding Group, said: “Technology is playing a significant role in many homes to keep us connected. It can feel overwhelming, exciting and for some even frightening.
“The City of London Safer Schools app will play an important role in helping you support children and young people to stay safer while trying to remain socially connected in a digital world.
“Engaging regularly with the app will educate and empower you and those in your care by providing access to credible and relevant information and resources.
“I recommend school staff, teachers, safeguarding professionals, parents and carers download it for free today, and encourage others to do likewise.
“In doing so, you will equip yourself with the tools and knowledge to open up key conversations with those in your care that will help protect them online, during the lockdown and beyond.”