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Hanham Hackers celebrate challenge success

Hanham Woods Academy students, the 'Hanham Hackers', plans to tackle online crime wins the Children's Takeover Challenge

Posted by Hannah Vickers | January 26, 2017 | Secondary

The team of ten from Year 10 saw off stiff competition from five other schools in the Avon and Somerset area with a plan to tackle what they identified as the top threat online: just how easy it is to create a false persona.

Superintendent Simon Ellis, who was involved in selecting the winning plan, said: “Each of the six school teams who took part was challenged with carrying out some initial research into their peers’ use of the internet before attending a pretty gruelling day where they carried out various tasks in order to devise their plans.

“What they achieved was a real credit to them and the research and ideas of all six will inform our force’s approach to tackling online crime going forward.” 

Across the region, 83 per cent of children say they access the internet daily with almost half using it routinely throughout the day. This allows for rapid information and knowledge exchange, connection with new and like-minded people, support and friendship. But, it has a dark side, too. Offences against young people through online activity are rising, however much of it is hidden from view and the virtual domain is largely unpoliced.

Steve Kneller, Principal of Hanham Woods Academy said, “The Internet safety of our students is of paramount importance to us. In lessons in school students learn how to stay safe and secure while using the internet, so to win this prestigious award is amazing, I would like to congratulate the team who won this taking on fierce competition from other schools. I would also like to thank Avon and Somerset Police for taking time out to come and visit us here at Hanham Woods Academy.”

Supt Ellis added: “I’d like to thank the students and staff from each of the schools that took part – we couldn’t have asked for more in terms of energy and enthusiasm.  Well done to all of them.”

Children’s Takeover Challenge is a national event led by the Children’s Commissioner for England which puts children and young people into decision-making roles. Organisations and businesses benefit as they gain a fresh insight into their work by listening to children’s ideas and experience. 

A total of 60 children took part in the challenge, which included teams from Bedminster Down and Henbury School in Bristol, Bath Community Academy, Chilton Trinity School and Robert Blake Science College in Somerset.

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