Well aware of the fast pace at which the online world is growing, Q3 Academy Great Barr wanted to empower themselves and their community with online safety knowledge.
In order to accomplish this aim, the academy became members with National Online Safety and set about achieving our Certified Accreditation.
Sure enough, February 2021 brought with it that subsequent accolade, and it’s one that everyone at the Birmingham-based Academy is immensely proud of.
The current digital world
Online risks for children can manifest themselves in a number of different ways and for Luke Price, who is Assistant Vice Principal, Director of KS3 and one of the Designated Safeguarding Leads with a specific focus on e-Safety at Q3 Academy Great Barr, it’s important always be as proactive as possible in combatting these.
He said: “Let’s face it, who isn’t glued to their phone or tablet nowadays? Technology has never been more prominent in our lives because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Whether we enjoy it or not, we’re all exposed constantly to online content and it’s made increasingly difficult for adults to stay safe online, let alone young people.
“We know that peer-on-peer abuse is a national issue, and Birmingham is no different to this trend. Lockdown has had a massive impact on our students’ interpersonal skills and this really shows through social media interactions. We’re also really concerned about some of the content appearing on platforms designed for children, as well as how easy it is for children to access platforms intended for older audiences.”
Engagement from the whole community
Enthusiasm from the staff roll and beyond has been sky high, with a plethora of training completed and a real culture of online safeguarding embedded throughout.
“We’ve offered all of our community access to the National Online Safety hub and pointed out some particularly useful and interesting courses. We’ve even had parents/carers share their knowledge with other parents/carers and point them in the direction of interesting resources they’ve found on the hub,” he revealed.
“We ran a number of parent/carer virtual events to highlight the importance of eSafety and share some helpful tips which were really successful. Our eSafety topics with the students in the Academy curriculum are always popular too. We felt that the National Online Safety hub of resources were a fantastic library to bolster our provision.
“We have a passionate group of staff on board, our eSafety Champions, who come from all areas of the Academy in different roles, so all have unique perspectives of the importance of eSafety. They’ve collectively completed almost all of the available courses, and do a wonderful job of imparting their knowledge through the wider staff body, using the National Online Safety resources to deliver staff CPD.
“Parents and carers have loved the National Online Safety hub, we’ve had calls and messages thanking us for sharing the resource, as well as proud photographs of their certificates and achievements!”
Acknowledgement of an online safety ethos
For Mr Price, it’s great to see everyone pulling in the right direction when it comes to protecting pupils online, and our Certification is a testament to that.
He declared: “Incredibly proud! It’s reassuring that all of our community are on board with establishing boundaries and taking steps to keep our children safe online.
“Being honest here, it’s a no-brainer! (to sign up for National Online Safety) The resources are high-quality, interesting, and informative, and it’s all just a click away, it’s so easy to use.”