As thousands of children up and down the country get to grips with the latest gadgets and technology this Christmas, Education Secretary Nicky Morgan is urging parents to check they know how to help keep their children safe online.
Last year more than 50% of young people were given gadgets and technology for Christmas. But parents are often in the dark about how and where they can apply parental controls to these - leaving their children unsafe and exposed to the potential dangers the online community can hold.
That’s why Secretary of State for Education Nicky Morgan today is urging parents to use new whole home parental controls - introduced by the government - as well as online resources such as ParentPort and Internet Matters to help keep their children safe online.
The government has also announced extra £500,000 funding for the Safer Internet Centre, to ensure schools and teachers are also equipped to teach our young people about how to be safe online. It has also added internet safety to the curriculum to ensure every child is aware of both the benefits and dangers posed by the internet.
Secretary of State for Education and Minister for Women and Equalities Nicky Morgan, said:
From my conversations with parents I know how worried parents are about keeping their children safe online.
This isn’t just about what they may be exposed to but ensuring that parents’ pockets are also not hit by the unauthorised purchasing of apps and games - something very easily done.
But this isn’t just a problem for parents, schools have a role to play too, which is why we have put online safety at the heart of the curriculum and I am delighted to announce extra funding to ensure children are given the information and tools they need to protect themselves online.
The money will provide advice for schools, alongside:
- regional events
- new multimedia resources for schools
- funding to enable a vital helpline for reporting online criminal content to continue
- a series of online safety events for teachers across the country
These are the latest in a series of steps the government has taken to help make sure children are safe online and to tackle the dangers of the internet. This includes putting online safety on the curriculum, and publishing new advice for parents on keeping young people safe from cyberbullying. This offers suggestions on how children can avoid abuse on instant messaging platforms and social networks, and what to do if they are cyberbullied.
And, earlier this month, the Prime Minister announced an unprecedented package of measures to eradicate online child abuse during a global summit on child protection. This included a new joint NCA/GCHQ (National Crime Agency/Government Communications Headquarters) specialist unit to tackle the worst cases of child sexual exploitation online and provide ground-breaking technical solutions - which will be pursued by major tech companies such as Facebook, Microsoft, Google, Twitter and Yahoo - to close the net around paedophiles using the internet.
Notes to editors
- Further information about the Safer Internet Centre is available.
Cyberbullying guidance for parents is available on GOV.UK.
- The Safer Internet Centre (SIC) work includes 4 key areas:
- cyberbullying guidance for schools with regional events
- additional educational multimedia resources for PSHE lessons
- funding for a helpline for reporting online criminal content
- a series of online safety briefing events
Further advice for keeping children safe online is available on the Thinkuknow website.
- Safety advice for parents is available online:
Research on the number of gadgets bought for children is available on the Uswitch website.
- Please contact Government Equalities Office press office for further information on 020 7783 8300.