Childnet launch new e-safety programme

New peer education programme to help transform e-safety in secondary schools

Childnet has announced the launch of an internet safety programme, which aims to put young people at the forefront of transforming e-safety in secondary schools.  

Launching in September, the Childnet Digital Leaders Programme aims to empower young people to champion digital citizenship and digital creativity within their schools and to educate their peers, parents and teachers about staying safe online.

The programme has been piloted over the last year, and as a result, 70% of pupils who received a session from their school’s digital leaders said they would now be more careful about what they share online

Mhairi Hill, the E-Safety Coordinator at Ballyclare High School, one of the schools involved in the pilot and the first school in Northern Ireland to achieve the E-Safety Mark, said: “In our school, being part of the pilot of the Childnet Digital Leaders Programme has had a wide-ranging impact. The Digital Leaders have helped to increase awareness about e-safety by delivering a peer-education session that reached all 187 of our Year 9.

“The young leaders also held a Social Media Workshop for parents, created wall displays and produced a video encouraging their peers to ‘Make the Right Choice Online’, which has been displayed on screens around school. As a result, the Digital Leaders have become champions and role models for the safe use of technology at Ballyclare High School. Pupil voice has been a powerful tool in shaping our set of e-safety-related policies, and has helped to create an ethos of positive technology use in school.”

The Programme will offer young people access to an exciting online community, where they will access training and support from Childnet’s expert team, record achievements and progress through award levels, and collaborate and share inspiration with schools across the UK.

Childnet CEO Will Gardner said: “This year Childnet turns 20 and we’re excited to be launching a new youth programme, which will help transform your school’s approach to e-safety, putting young people at the heart of the solution. We have been piloting this programme over the last year, with support from Facebook, and the impact of the programme is clear – from safer online behaviours of pupils to improved e-safety policies and wider.”

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