Habsmonmouth Online

Pastoral care

Online Safety

Guidance for parents on online safety during period of online learning during lockdown

Your children will be spending more time than usual online, and therefore it is timely to remind them of some of the basic principles of online safety. It is understandable that they will want to connect with their friends via social media even more than usual, and that we make allowances for this, given the restrictions on normal contact. Here are some messages to give to your children.

Social media

  • Remind young people about privacy settings; check that these are set to high and that they are not unwittingly sharing personal information with people outside of their real-life friendship groups and family. Default privacy settings may change over time without the user’s permission being sought, so encourage your children to review them periodically.
  • Block any users you do not know who send suspicious messages
  • Disable location settings to avoid being tracked
  • Show your children how to report offensive or upsetting messages
  • Encourage your children to talk to you about which social media they use and their experiences on them

Parental controls

  • Check that you have set parental controls on your broadband service, so that unwanted material is filtered at source when your children are using wifi at home
  • Consider the use of parental control services, like Qustodio, which block harmful content and allow you to monitor and put limits on your children’s access to various social media, gaming and online services

MOOCs and online forums

  • Many children will access online forums for support with academic work; be aware that these may not be moderated and are not subject to the school’s firewall if they are accessed directly and not via the school network.
  • MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) are increasingly popular with young people of school age, and some will productively engage with them during this period of home learning. Most MOOCs will have a forum for users to discuss the content and assignments, and these will have varying degrees of moderation. Again, there is no protection from the school’s firewall, so ask your child if they are using such a forum and encourage them to show it to you and tell you if they see anything that makes them feel uncomfortable.

Sources of advice and reporting harmful content online

  • Thinkuknow is a very good online advice centre for young people of various ages. There are helpful educational videos on all sorts of topics relevant to eSafety for all age groups, as well as for parents and teachers
  • If you are concerned about the way someone has been communicating with your child online, you can report it to the Police’s Child Exploitation and Online Protection command (CEOP)

Informing school of Safeguarding concerns

Please contact the following if you wish to raise Safeguarding concerns:

For Monmouth School Girls’ Prep:
Mr Tom Evans
Email: Evans.Thomas@habsmonmouth.org
For Monmouth School Boys’ Prep:
Mr Neil Shaw
Email: Shaw.Neil@habsmonmouth.org
For Monmouth School for Girls:
Mr David Edwards
Email: edwards.david@habsmonmouth.org
For Monmouth School for Boys:
Mr Alex Peace
Email: peace.alex@habsmonmouth.org