Quick Links

Useful Links

Ormiston Academies Trust is a not-for-profit sponsor of 39 primary and secondary academies. Visit Site

Ormiston Sandwell HTML

Parental Advice

1. NSPCC Abuse in Education helpline

The NSPCC have launched a dedicated helpline to provide appropriate support and advice for victims of abuse and harassment and concerned adults, including onward action such as contacting the police if they wish to. 

This dedicated helpline will offer support to:

  • all children and young people making current and non-recent disclosures of sexual harassment or abuse on school grounds within school time, and incidents linked to school in any capacity
  • any children or young people who want to talk about being involved or witnessing any incidents
  • any adults who have experienced non-recent abuse
  • parents and carers who have any concerns about their own or other children

Anyone who wishes to contact the NSPCC helpline, Report Abuse in Education should ring 0800 136 663 or email help@nspcc.org.uk

2. Combating violent crime 
Warning signs and what you can do to help young people caught up in gangs
3. Make sure your home doesn't have an open door to child sexual abusers
 
Click on the link below to find out how to keep your child safe online

Make sure your home doesn’t have an open door to child sexual abusers. Follow the TALK checklist to help keep your child safe online. Find out how 1 in 4 teenagers receives unwanted sexual messages online.* Are you unknowingly letting child sexual abusers into your home? Young people are being contacted in their own homes

talk.iwf.org.uk

4.WhatsApp have changed their privacy settings 

We wanted to make you aware that WhatsApp have recently changed their privacy settings. From today, anyone outside of your contacts can join a group that you are a part of when using the app. We are conscious that many children use this app to contact their friends and we have concerns that this change could have major safeguarding implications. You can however rectify this problem by following the steps below: 

1.  Go to Settings

2. Select 'Account'

3. Select 'Privacy'

4. Select 'Groups'

5. Tick 'My Contacts' to change it from everyone

 

5.NSPCC launch new Report Remove tool

The NSPCC and the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) in partnership with Yoti (an age verification platform) have launched Report Remove – a tool to help young people under 18 remove sexual images or video footage of themselves that has been shared online. The image removal can be done entirely online, and NSPCC’s Childline service will ensure that the young person is safeguarded throughout the process. For more information, visit Report Remove and make sure that your sons and daughters are aware of this important tool.

6 .Dangerous Website and App: Monkey

Safer schools have highlighted that a website and app called ‘Monkey’, which allows users to have video calls with strangers, is extremely dangerous. The platform markets itself as ‘an alternative to Omegle, with a TikTok vibe’. The online safety experts reviewed and tested this platform and have found that it contains large amounts of inappropriate, disturbing, and harmful content transmitted via web cameras.

7 .What Parents Need to Know About Tik Tok
TikTok is a video-sharing social media app which lets people create, view, and download looping 15-second clips. Typically, these are videos of users lip-syncing and dancing to popular songs or soundbites (often for comic purposes), enhanced with filters, effects, and text. Designed with young people in mind, TikTok skyrocketed in popularity in 2019 and has featured near the top of the download charts ever since. It now has around one billion active users worldwide.

A free online safety guide on TikTok (available HEREIn the guide, you'll find tips on a number of potential risks such as age-inappropriate content, addiction, and in-app spending 

 

8 .What Parents Need to Know About Snapchat

Snapchat is a photo- and video-sharing app through which users can chat with friends via text or audio. Images and videos can be shared with specific friends, or as a ‘story’ (documenting the previous 24 hours) that’s visible to a person’s entire friend list. Snapchat usage rose during the lockdowns, with many young people utilising it to stay connected with their peers. The app continues to develop features to engage an even larger audience and emulate current trends, rivalling platforms such as TikTok and Instagram.

A free online safety guide on Snapchat is available HERE
In the guide, you'll find tips on a number of potential risks such as sexting, visible location and strangers.
 9.What Parents Need to Know About Netflix

Netflix is a subscription-based streaming service that allows users to watch TV shows and movies on any internet-enabled device that supports the software, such as smart TVs, phones and tablets. The pandemic saw a surge in children consuming on-demand content as many families relaxed their screen-time rules. Netflix’s diverse range of programming caters for all age groups – so it’s important for parents to recognise the potential risks of children using the service and the measures to help their child enjoy a safe streaming experience.

A free online safety guide on Netflix 

Netflix Guidance

 

In the guide, you'll find tips on a number of potential risks such as  screen addiction, inappropriate content and hacking attempts.

 

10. Squid Game

Due to the popularity of Netflix’s most recent viral show, Squid Game, there have been several questions asked by concerned parents, carers, and teachers. 

The letter HERE summarises some of the risks and concerns. 

11. What Parents and Carers Need to Know About Age-Inappropriate Content

 “Inappropriate” means different things to different people. What’s acceptable for one age group, for example, may be unsuitable for a slightly younger audience. Online, young people can chance upon inappropriate content in various way – from pop-up ads to TikTok videos. The increasingly young age at which children become active in the digital world heightens the risk of them innocently running into something that they find upsetting or frightening. Trusted adults need to be able to help children be aware of what to do if they’re exposed to age-inappropriate content.

In the guide, you'll find tips on a number of potential risks such as social media, gaming and adverts. Guide Here

12. Talking to Your Child About Online Sexual Harassment
It takes a lot of bravery for a child to share their experiences of abuse or harassment. Things that might feel uncomfortable to begin with, will feel less so over time. Parents and carers need to grasp the nettle as they support their children navigating this complex part of growing up. Our children have told us it’s what they want. This guide will help you get there. GUIDE 

13. What Parents and Carers Need to Know About Setting Up New Devices for Children
 
At Christmas, millions of lucky children will have excitedly ripped the wrapping off new phones, tablets, computers or consoles. However, in the rush to let young ones enjoy their shiny gadgets, many parents neglect to set these devices up safely – increasing the chances of children going online and stumbling across adult content, making expensive downloads, or installing unsuitable apps. A little time configuring the device properly can save a lot of anguish later.

In the guide, you'll find tips such as adjusting the screen time settings, setting windows limits and installing Xbox family settings. (Download Guide) 
Would you please add the following plus a link to the attached document to the Parents Advice section on the Safeguarding Tab of the Academy website as follows
14. What Parents and Carers Need to Know About Fortnite Chapter 3

First released in 2017, Fortnite has become one of the most popular games in the world. It currently has around 350 million registered players. Developed by Epic Games, it began life exclusively as a ‘battle royale’ contest, where up to 100 online player characters would fight – with weaponry including rifles, handguns, and rocket launchers – to be the last one standing. Today, it features multiple modes which each offer something different (although some modes, such as ‘Save the World’, are only available on certain platforms).

In the guide, you'll find tips on several potential risks such as scams, in-app purchases, and user-controlled content. Download HERE 

 

15. Building Resilience in Children and Teens
 
Read our tips and guidance to help your child.

 Parenting and Family Support - Family Lives (Parentline Plus) 

 

16. What Parents and Carers Need to Know About Horror Games

 

Horror video games come in such a variety that the genre can be hard to define. The overlapping element is that these games are designed to scare or unsettle the player through gameplay, atmosphere, story, music, setting and 'jump scares.' The most common sub-genres are survival horror, action horror, psychological horror, jump-scare horror, and reverse horror. These games originate from a range of developers, including smaller indie studios which release download-only titles (that is, they aren't physically sold in shops) and therefore aren't subject to age ratings.

In the guide, you'll find tips on a number of potential risks such as adult themes, psychological horror and violent content. (Download HERE)

 

17. Gambling 

The Young Gamers and Gamblers Education Trust (YGAM) is a national charity with a social purpose to inform, educate and safeguard young and vulnerable people, helping them build resilience and understand the potential harms caused by gambling and gaming.

Parents can often feel overwhelmed in a world of constantly advancing technology and YGAM is keen to provide simple, usable resources to help parents have honest and open conversations with their children around the topics of gaming and gambling.

There are supposed to be protections in place to keep children away from the risk of gambling. However, the way that online apps and games work, give rise to behaviours that might encourage children towards gambling.

In late 2019, the Gambling Commission published a report investigating the impact of gambling on 11–16-year-olds in Great Britain. The report singled out the loot box as an example of the blurring of gaming and gambling, finding that 44% of young people who are familiar with in-game items had paid money to open loot boxes in-game. Loot boxes can be bought within a game and contain a random selection of items.

The Young Gamers and Gamblers Education Trust (YGAM) has resources for parents and teachers and can be found here: https://parents.ygam.org/about-ygam-parent-hub/

 

18. What Parents and Carers Need to Know About YouTube

YouTube is a video sharing media platform that allows billions of people around the world to watch, share and upload their own videos with a vast range of content - including sport, entertainment, education, and lots more. It's a superb space for people to consume content that they're interested in. As a result, this astronomically popular platform has had a huge social impact: influencing online culture on a global scale and creating new celebrities.

In the guide, you'll find tips on a number of potential risks such as connecting with strangers, inappropriate content and high visibility. 

Download the guide HERE

 

19. 10 Top Tips for Respect Online: Inspiring Children to Build a Better Digital World.

Even before lockdowns inflamed the situation, one in every five 10- to 15-year-olds was experiencing bullying online: abusive messages, having rumours spread about them or being excluded from group chats, for example. Through smartphones and tablets, we’re used to being able to communicate from anywhere, at any time – but digital devices became commonplace so quickly that it caused a problem: as a society, we haven’t properly adjusted to how different they’ve made life. Our top tips can help you to build positive relationships online and avoid some of the potential issues.

In the guide, you'll find several tips such as how to stop internet addiction, being aware of the dark side, and pressing ‘pause’.

Download the guide HERE

 

20. What Parents and Carers Need to Know About Wink

Wink is a messaging app which allows children to connect and communicate with other users. In a similar style to Tinder, Wink uses the swipe method for browsing profiles and accepting or declining them. Once two users have accepted each other by swiping on each other’s profile, they can then communicate and play games online together. The fact that Wink allows children to share photos, personal information and their location with other users has caused significant concern.

In the guide, you'll find tips on a number of potential risks such as grooming, cyberbullying and inappropriate content. 

Download the guide HERE
21. What Parents and Carers Need to Know About WhatsApp

WhatsApp is the world’s most popular messaging service, with around two billion users exchanging texts, photos, videos and documents, as well as making voice and video calls. Its end-to-end encryption means messages can only be viewed by the sender and any recipients: not even WhatsApp can read them. Updates to its privacy policy in 2021 (involving sharing data with parent company Facebook) caused millions to leave the app, but the new policy was widely misinterpreted – it only related to WhatsApp’s business features, not to personal messages.

In the guide, you'll find tips on a number of potential risks such as scams, strangers and location sharing.

Download the guide HERE
22. Supporting Children to Deal with Upsetting Content

Raising children in the digital age seems to be getting tougher, with the world currently experiencing so many uncertainties. From the continuing impact of COVID-19 to the war in Ukraine, right now children across the globe can scarcely go online without being exposed to unsettling stories, images and ideas. Reassuring a concerned child can be difficult, especially when bad news feels omnipresent. We’ve put together some advice to help you in discussing upsetting events with young ones.

In the guide, you'll find tips on several things such as encouraging your child to ask questions, setting limits and to emphasis hope.

Download the guide HERE

 

23. ParentWise: A helping hand for parents and carers
 
As children get older and more independent, issues that affect them can be harder to spot. Learning about potential dangers can give you the knowledge and skills to act if there is a problem. It could also help keep your child safe by preventing problems before they happen. You know your child best, so if you’ve got a feeling something’s wrong, you’re right not to ignore it. It could be nothing, but it might be something. At ParentWise, you’ll find information about potential harms, tips on how to have open conversations and links to advice and resources. 
 
Worried about your child? When you don’t know where to begin, start with #ParentWise Visit www.gov.uk/parentwise 

24. What Parents and Carers Need to Know About Facebook

With 2.9 billion users, Facebook, owned by the recently rebranded Meta, is the world’s most popular social media platform. It encourages interaction with other people by (among other things) adding them as friends, reacting to or commenting on their content, sharing images and videos, posting status updates, joining groups and playing games. Facebook is free, and anyone over 13 can join – but with no age verification, younger children can easily create an account: it’s likely your child is already familiar with the platform, even if they don’t yet use it themselves.

In the guide, you'll find tips on several potential risks such as cyberbullying, strangers and the addictive nature of Facebook.

Download the guide HERE

 

25. Spotting Ads on Social Media

Can young people always recognise when what they’re seeing on their social media feed is an advert? The evidence suggests there’s a good chance they might not. What often complicates matters is that many ads are virtually indistinguishable from a regular social media post. They’re frequently designed to be funny, exciting or cool, which distracts younger users away from the reality that they’re being sold something. Our  guide has some top ideas for helping youngsters to spot ads like a pro!

In the guide, you'll find tips such as paying attention to the account name, studying the hashtags for clues and being savvy with high numbers of likes and shares.

Download the guide HERE

 

26. What Parents and Carers Need to Know About Facebook Messenger 

Facebook Messenger is a communication app through which users can exchange messages and send photos, stickers, and video and audio files. Messenger allows both one-to-one and group chats, has a ‘stories’ feature and – via its latest addition, Rooms – can host a video call with up to 50 people. As of 2021, the app had 35 million users in the UK alone (more than half the population!) among its 1.3 billion users worldwide. Whereas Messenger is integrated into Facebook on desktops and laptops, it has existed as a standalone app for mobile devices since 2011.

In the guide, you'll find tips on a number of potential risks such as addiction, strangers and secret conversations.

Download the guide HERE

 

27. What Parents and Carers Need to Know About Group Chats

Occurring through messaging apps, on social media and in online games, group chats are among the most popular ways that young people engage with their peers online. Involving, by definition, three or more individuals, these groups allow users to send messages, images and videos to everyone in one place. While they are useful for helping friends, people with shared interests or members of a club to communicate and coordinate activities, they can also leave young people feeling excluded and bullied – as well as providing opportunities for inappropriate content to be shared and viewed.

In the guide, you'll find tips on a number of potential risks such as bullying, inappropriate content and unknown members.

Download the guide  HERE