Every school urged to champion fight against online sexual predators and bullies

  |  Published: Feb 20th 2015

Every school urged to champion fight against online sexual predators and bullies

 

 

Every school in Buckinghamshire should appoint cyber safety champions to prevent children from becoming victims of sexual exploitation or online bullying.

That is one of the key recommendations of a report into Children’s Internet Safety carried out by a Buckinghamshire County Council scrutiny committee.

The report, which is going to the Council's Cabinet, follows a three-month probe by the Council’s Education, Skills and Children’s Services Select Committee.

Members received evidence from key witnesses such as the police and computer software giants McAfee, part of Intel Security.

The recommendation from councillors include:

  • The County Council taking the lead in this issue and designating a lead officer for children’s cyber safety;
  • Encouraging schools to ensure staff are trained to deal with new technologies, and that a lead governor and lead member of staff are appointed to deal with cyber safety;
  • Ensuring all parents, schools and children in the county have access to key online resources to promote online safety;
  • Raising public awareness of the risks that youngsters face when going on the internet;
  • Setting up a cyber safety conference this year to refresh the strategy across the county and ensure all relevant bodies are signed up to actions to combat potential online dangers.

Committee chairman Valerie Letheren said: “We are, of course, aware that some of these actions will cost money. I make no apologies for that – because the human cost of doing nothing is immeasurable.

“We have all been sickened in recent times by the various high-profile sex and cyber bullying scandals that have emerged nationally, and we know police across the land are doing their utmost to protect young people. However, despite all of this, our young are at risk as never before by a host of unknown dangers on the internet.

“What hit us most during our inquiry was the lack of knowledge of some parents and teachers about this issue. Some are simply unaware of just what their children are doing online, and it’s time we all faced up to the enormity of this issue.”

* To see the report that Val Letheren will take to Cabinet for approval, go to:
https://democracy.buckscc.gov.uk/documents/s55783/CIS%20Report%20FINAL.pdf

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