Information for parents
Parents play a vital role in the online safety of children and young people. Of course, schools are able to put a great deal in place, they can filter, monitor and also educate, but we have to recognize that many children and young people will have a very different level of access to the internet at home, or via a mobile device, than they will have at school. Many parents are quite effective at providing and guidance for their children about offline issues, but many are reluctant to try and provide similar support for digital aspects of the lives of their children. In part, this may be a result of the fact that many parents talk about their children being "better at the technology" than they are.
- Schools need to offer some support, guidance and advice to parents. This can take on various forms, a specific talk on the subject, leaflets about different issues, links on the school website or an article in the school newsletter.
- It is important to recognize that often the parents who attend an eSafety evening are the parents who probably don’t need to attend! Parents who take an interest in what their children are doing will also be more likely to be aware of and communicate with their children about issues that they are facing online.
- Schools report that it can be challenging to engage parents with eSafety issues and that they are often reluctant to come into school for such events. It can be helpful to involve children and young people in delivering these messages, since parents are more likely to come to an event if their child is involved e.g. making a presentation. Another strategy is to deliver some eSafety messages whilst parents are already in school for something else.