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New technologies have become integral to the lives of children and young people in today’s society, both within schools and in their lives outside school. These technologies can stimulate discussion, foster creativity and generate awareness of context to promote effective learning. Unfortunately, they can also pose a danger to young people and give access to a wide range of unwelcome activity which schools and parents have a duty to protect them from.

At Catcote Academy, we have an ICT Acceptable Use Policy Agreement for pupils to follow and invite parents to support and promote the positive use of computers, tablets and mobile phones.

Online safety features throughout the curriculum, and is specifically taught as part of our ICT and PSHE lessons. In addition, Catcote Academy takes part in the annual national Safer Internet Day (usually in February), where pupils are exposed to a range of activities to experience and learn about the dos and don’ts of staying safe online, within a safe environment at school. We also have experts such as Cleveland Police visit and speak to students.

Staff at Catcote Academy receive regular updates regarding online safety. The Online Safety Lead Teacher is a registered CEOP Ambassador and attends regular online safety meetings. Our ICT policy is regularly reviewed by our governing body to ensure we are doing all we can to keep pupils safe.

Literature is regularly sent home to keep parents up-to-date with the fast-paced changing world of online safety such as “Digital Parenting”. Parents attend bespoke online safety sessions in school ran by the Online Safety Lead Teacher.

There are many websites where you can go to get advice on how to set parental controls on devices including X-Box and Playstations – go to www.thinkuknow.co.uk for lots of helpful tips and advice.

Below are further useful links for parents and pupils:

https://parentzone.org.uk/

https://parentinfo.org/

https://www.saferinternet.org.uk/

http://www.safetynetkids.org.uk/personal-safety/online-safety/

https://www.net-aware.org.uk

https://www.bbc.com/ownit