Helping to keep children safe online talks coming to Tamworth schools

Tuesday, 29th January 2019

ADVICE for staying safe online is being delivered to hundreds of primary school children across Tamworth over the next few weeks as part of activities surrounding the 2019 Safer Internet Day and special event at Ankerside Shopping Centre.

Tamworth Borough Council’s Play and Education Officer will be giving 33 talks at schools and parents evenings in the weeks leading up to half term to share important online safety advice with children and parents.

Further guidance will be available to parents and children of all ages at a special event celebrating Safer Internet Day on Tuesday, February 5, at Ankerside Shopping Centre. Professionals from a variety of organisations will be on hand to share helpful tips and answer questions on all aspects of online safety, including cyberbullying and child sexual exploitation. This will include representatives from Tamworth Borough Council, Staffordshire Police and O2 – who will provide technical support for setting up devices and parental controls.

The event, which has been organised by Tamworth Community Safety Partnership in conjunction with Ankerside Shopping Centre and O2, takes place between 11am and 3pm on February 5 and people are invited to visit the stand at any time during that period.

The online safety school presentations are aimed at pupils in Key Stage 2, ages 7-11, to share important safety advice and raise awareness of potential dangers at a time when they might be starting to use the internet more independently. Sessions explore how children are using the internet, how they can keep themselves safe online and whether they would know who to speak to if they were faced with online bullying.

Cllr Stephen Doyle, Tamworth Borough Council’s Cabinet member for Communities and Wellbeing, said: “The internet is a valuable resource for young people growing up in this technological age. However, with the potential risks and dangers of technology, we need to explore the role we all play in helping to create a better safer online community.

“Parents play an important role in ensuring their children know the dangers, such as not sharing personal information, creating strong passwords and being aware that people can lie about their identities online.

“Risks can be mitigated as long as users know what to be aware of and the measures they can take to protect themselves online.  .

“Although Tamworth Borough Council’s Play and Education Officers visit schools throughout the year to talk about online safety, sessions are often concentrated around the annual Safer Internet Day which helps to raise the profile of the issue and we take advantage of this to spread the safety message as widely as possible.

“I would encourage people to visit Ankerside on February 5 to find out more.”

Mark Burbridge, Ankerside Shopping Centre manager, said: “Here at Ankerside, we are looking forward to raising awareness of how adults, as well as children, can use the internet more safely.

“The O2 store is extremely active in helping the public understand technology and the various devices that are available”

“More importantly, O2 will be advising shoppers on how to set up devices for children, as well as assemble parental controls on their own phones, tablets and desktops that little ones use for games.

“This is a fantastic opportunity to partner with Tamworth Community Safety Partnership and O2 to bring knowledge of the risks of browsing the internet, as well as how to avoid the chances of danger whilst online and we’re sure the event will be a huge success with the people of Tamworth.”

Safer Internet Day is co-ordinated by the UK Safer Internet Centre – a partnership of three leading charities: Childnet International, Internet Watch Foundation and South West Grid for Learning (SWGFL) – with a shared mission to make the internet a better place for children and young people. This year’s theme is ‘Together for a better internet.’

Information and safety advice is available from a number of resources including: