Early use of digital technology has been shown to improve language skills and promote children’s social development and creativity. But it’s not without risks for young children, who may come across inappropriate content or begin to copy what older children do online. As a school for students with learning difficulties, our Online safety policy addresses those issues that are relevant to our school.
Use airplane mode
Use airplane mode on your devices when your child is using them so they can’t make any unapproved purchases or interact with anyone online without your knowledge.
Check if it’s suitable
Use PEGI ratings and App store ratings to ensure your children are playing age-appropriate games. There are eight such descriptors: bad language, discrimination, drugs, fear, gambling, sex, violence and online gameplay with other people. Help children understand why some games are allowed and others aren’t.
Put yourself in control
Install parental controls on your home broadband and any internet-enabled devices. Set up a user account for your child on the main device they use and make sure other accounts in the household are password-protected so that younger children can’t access them by accident.
Preventing Online Abuse
As a parent or carer, you play an important role in helping your child to have positive experiences online. If your child has additional needs, then this role can be even more important, and it can feel like a lot of responsibility when you hear about some of the risks young people face online.
Make sure to regularly check in with your child about who they’re talking to online and what kind of things they chat about. Exploitative friendships, sometimes known as ‘mate crime’, can happen in different ways but might include:
- Pressuring people to give money
- Asking someone to share things about themselves that should be private
- Asking some to share images, videos or livestreams that are considered sexual
To support your child, help them build an understanding of how some people can behave online, and remind them that you’re always there for them if they want to talk. Our Friendships activity could help with this conversation.
Montacute School Online Safety Policy 2021