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St. Mary's Bluecoat CE Primary School

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E-Safety Information & Resources

E-Safety advice for parents


St Mary’s Bluecoat CE Primary School is committed to promoting the safe and responsible use of the Internet and as such we feel it is our responsibility to share important information regarding children's use of the Internet.  


Possible risks for children using social media sites may include:


• “Age targeted” advertising and therefore your child could be exposed to adverts of a sexual or other inappropriate nature, depending on the age they stated they were when they registered

• Children may accept friend requests from people they don’t know in real life which could increase the risk of inappropriate contact or behaviour

• Language, games, groups and content posted or shared on Facebook is not moderated, and therefore can be offensive, illegal or unsuitable for children

• Photographs shared by users are not moderated and therefore children could be exposed to inappropriate images or even post their own 

• Underage users might be less likely to keep their identities private and lying about their age can expose them to further risks regarding privacy settings and options

• Social media sites could be exploited by bullies and for other inappropriate contact

• Social media sites cannot and do not verify its members therefore it is important to remember that if your child can lie about who they are online or their age, so can anyone else!


We feel it important to point out to parents the risks of underage use of such sites, so you can make an informed decision as to whether to allow your child to have a profile or not. We will take action (which may involve the police) if a problem comes to our attention that involves the safety or wellbeing of any of our children.


Should you decide to allow your child to have a social media profile we strongly advise you to:

• Check their profile is set to private and that only friends can see information that is posted

• Monitor your child’s use and talk to them about safe and appropriate online behaviour such as not sharing personal information and not posting offensive messages or photos.

• Monitor your child’s use and the comments they make to ensure they do not breach the school’s agreed protocols and social media policy.

• Install the CEOP (Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre) application from on their profile. This places a bookmark on their profile to CEOP and the Report Abuse button which has been known to deter offenders 

• Set up your own profile so you understand how the site works and ask them to have you as a friend on their profile, so you know what they are posting online

• visit the CEOP Think U Know website for more information on keeping your child safe online  and then talk to your child.


Whilst we wait for the Online Safety Bill to be passed, which will hopefully improve Online Safety nationally, there are certain laws already established to help protect us online. For example, in the UK we have the Malicious Communications Act 1988 that states it is an offence to send a communication that conveys an indecent or grossly offensive message or a threat. We also have the Protection from Harassment Act 1997, which covers threatening behaviour or harassment online.


Report Harmful Content have curated a list of laws that are relevant to online behaviour here:


Children should not have a mobile phone in school. Any mobile devices MUST be handed in to Mrs Seal in the school office for safe-keeping during the school day. The school will not hesitate to take action should any pupil deliberately abuse this policy which is intended to keep everyone safe.


I am hopeful that through a heightened awareness and by all parents following the age guidance set out by social media sites and/or e-safety measures set out above, the whole school community can work together to ensure our children are safe.


We will continue to teach our children important e-safety messages through our PSHE curriculum and parents should ensure they read the monthly e-safety newsletters that are sent out by ParentMail to all parents.


Unfortunately, things can go wrong for children when using social networking sites. Problems caused by the use of social media by children are frequently in the press. The safety of our pupils is paramount. The following information provides a reminder of risks and measures that parents can take.



You must be at least 16 years old to register for and use WhatsApp. WhatsApp is a free messaging app that allows you to send messages and videos. We strongly recommend that children of primary school age do not have access to a personal WhatsApp account. However, if they do have access then parents should be aware of the following;

Group chats: One of the key features is that WhatsApp has a group chat function that are set up by one person (the admin). Everybody in the group, even if they are not one of your child’s phone contacts, will be able to see all messages within that group. If your child is added to a group with someone that they have previously blocked, that person can still see their messages and send them messages within the group.

In settings, you can change who can add your child to groups, for example, you can change it to ‘my contacts’, which means that only those in your child’s contacts can add them to a group. You can leave a group chat at any point so talk to your child and encourage them to leave any chat that makes them feel uncomfortable.

Location sharing: If switched on, then when you share images/videos, it will show the location of where they were taken. This can be switched off in your phone settings. There is also a Live Location feature which allows you to share your location. Talk to your child about when this would be appropriate to use but also the potential danger of sharing their location, for example with strangers.

Blocking/Reporting: Show your child how to block and report.

Online Bullying: WhatsApp has been used in instances of online bullying, e.g. to send nasty messages or share images of other children without their permission. It is important to have regular chats with your child about their online life and that they understand that they must talk to you or another trusted adult if they are being bullied. This is a helpful article from BullyingUK, which talks about what to do if you are being bullied:


Be Kind: How we behave online should be the same as how we behave face to face. This YouTube video from Dr Linda Papadopoulos tells us how we can encourage our children to be kind online:

Further information


Websites and Aps such as Snapchat, WhatsApp, and Facebook offer amazing communication and social connections, however they are created with their audience in mind and Snapchat requires individuals to be at least 13 years old before they can create an account. Facebook in particular states that ‘providing false information to create an account is always a violation of our Statement of Rights and Responsibilities. This includes accounts registered on the behalf of under 13 year old children by older parties.’

You should be over 13 years of age to set up an account on Instragram. Instagram is used to post photos and videos.  Users can also DM (direct message), send disappearing messages, add to their stories (these disappear after 24 hours) and broadcast live. Instagram have now introduced new age verification software to help confirm the age of users.  Any user who tries to change their age will have to upload an ID document or take a video selfie.  You can find out more here: