Aware of the fast pace at which the online world expands and evolves, Lea Forest Primary Academy wanted to empower themselves and their community with more comprehensive online safety knowledge.
E-Safety Lead John Croxon explained how National Online Safety’s Certified School programme and Safe Remote Education Accreditation have benefitted Lea Forest’s whole school community and equipped staff to protect children online.
The importance of online safety
For Lea Forest Primary Academy, it was crucial to make sure they were staying abreast of new developments in the online arena.
John explained: "I think it's a vital topic. Online safety has always been an important topic that we have covered in school."
"Now that schools have the ability to teach remotely, it's even more important,” he continued.
"We use a range of tools, including National Online Safety, that we share with parents on a weekly basis."
A consistent approach to online safety was essential – and National Online Safety were able to make that possible.
John said: "It's never off our agenda. We want our parents to know that the school has a wealth of resources that they can dip into if they have a problem at home. They can come to us for support, or they can use the resources to help and guide them."
"We want to make sure that children are using technology safely," he summarised.
Opting for National Online Safety
When it came to choosing National Online Safety, John was impressed with the range of resources and training which multiple stakeholders could access on our platform.
"In 2017, we were looking for something that would help us kick-start an online safety workshop with parents. National Online Safety fit the bill perfectly," he explained.
Free for everyone to utilise, our weekly #WakeUpWednesday guides aim to provide teachers, parents and carers with handy, concise tips on the latest apps, games and device.
John described their impact. "The #WakeUpWednesday posters are just brilliant, and the parents use those daily,” he explained. “It's been really helpful for us. We've been able to direct parents to particular resources if they are having issues with games, apps or devices."
"The fact that it's a remote platform is great, we can share the resources with parents and send links to guides. For us it was a perfect fit. It works brilliantly," he nodded.
John elaborated: "Our staff feedback has always been really positive: the courses are a great length for staff training, and they aren't too intensive in the way that they’re delivered. It's a good balance."
Parents and carers obviously have a huge role in preventing their child from being exposed to harmful content and behaviours online, so Lea Forest Primary Academy focused on increasing that parental engagement.
John revealed: "The feedback we've had from parents who have completed the courses is that they've been very enjoyable and beneficial."
"The parental engagement is one of the things we really love. The #WakeUpWednesday guides every week have been hugely beneficial."
An accreditation is just the start
Reflecting on Lea Forest's accreditations, John reports the overwhelming feeling is one of pride: not just from a personal perspective, but for the whole school community.
"It's something we'll certainly continue next year," he confirmed. "I've always been very proud of the recognition we get from National Online Safety."
"I was particularly proud of the Safe Remote Education accreditation in 2019: it recognised all of the hard work that our school community had put in."
"It's a nice recognition for the school as a whole - to show that we are constantly putting online safety at the forefront of what we do," he concluded.