The action we take to promote the welfare of children and protect them from harm – is everyone's responsibility. Everyone who comes in to contact with children has a role to play. Working together to Safeguard Children, August 2013.
Medina College fully recognises the responsibility we have to protect and support every student, member of staff, and visitor. Our commitment to act in a professional manner in accordance with relevant statutory procedures is at the forefront of the work that we do.
We understand that safeguarding covers a variety of situations in which a student might be at risk. This includes the full range of possible scenarios including cases of neglect, bullying, or even physical or sexual abuse.
The College is committed to ensuring that all staff are approachable and aware of how to deal with any potential difficult situations or disclosures, as well as how to pass the information on to designated staff.
The Child Protection Liaison Officer (CPLO) for Medina College is Michelle Butler. Working alongside Michelle are a dedicated team who are able to offer assistance with any concerns or enquiries that you may have.
Last week SnapChat, used regularly by many children and young people, launched a new feature. SnapMaps allows users to see the location of their contacts. This feature allows others to accurately pinpoint where you are. There are three possible privacy settings:
- Ghost mode, where only you can see your position;
- My Friends mode, where any contact can see your location; and
- Select Friends mode, just those who you choose can see you
ChildNet have posted a thorough explanation of SnapMaps and how to ensure users stay safe. Well worth a read to share with anyone you know who uses the app. Although I know many adults don't use these apps on a regular basis, if we are to protect children, we need to have at least a working knowledge of the risks and uses of such apps.
Further reading: Introducing SnapMaps (ChildNet)
Summer Time Safeguarding
Summer time, and particularly the summer holidays, can be full of hazards and risks to manage. Here's a roundup of some resources to help children and parents.
Shore Thing (RNLI)
Teenage Cancer Trust
Skcin (including their school accreditation scheme)
Network Rail - Primary school resources
Network Rail - Secondary school resources
Keeping safe away from home (NSPCC)
Keeping safe away from home (NSPCC)
Protection from sexual abuse
Whilst it’s an uncomfortable thought, parents need to ask questions of any childcare provider, play scheme or holiday centre children's services, about how they prevent their workers harming a child. The NSPCC has a useful video about the prevention of sexual abuse in particular and what adults can do to ask organisations about how they keep children safe. You can watch the video here: Preventing Child Sexual Abuse (NSPCC)
External Support Organisations
On Friday 15th September there was another terrible terrorist incident on a rush-hour London tube train. CitizenAid is an app created by experienced UK civilian and military clinicians to provide an easy use logical system of immediate actions. It is designed to guide the public to react safely, to pass effective messages to the emergency services, to prioritise the injured and to give life-saving first aid. The app can be downloaded for iOS, android and google.
Further Information: http://citizenaid.org
Dealing with unwanted requestes for sexual images
Voice Box, Childline’s weekly video chat, features Molly chatting about how to handle the pressure of being asked to send nudes, and what to do if you receive one. Childline has relaunched the Zipit app, which uses humour to help teenagers deal with unwanted requests for sexual images of themselves. The free app offers young people a gallery of images and animations which they can send in response to requests for sexual pictures and to deal with difficult sexting situations.
Date: 01 November 2017
Further Information: Zipit App
The 12 ways that Christmas shoppers can keep children and data safe when buying smart toys and devices (ICO)
Have you finished your Christmas shopping yet? Planning to spend a couple of hours in a Christmas Market or even on Amazon? This Christmas there will be more tech toys than ever before, and many of them will use bluetooth or wifi to link to apps and the wider internet. Some of these toys will have cameras and microphones recording the environment and the child's play. The Information Commissioner recently published an article looking at the risks of using smart toys and it is well-worth sharing it with parents.
Safety alert: see how easy it is for almost anyone to hack your child’s connected toys (Which?)
Which? Magazine have also surveyed many connected toys and found that, without appropriate safety features, they can also pose a big risk to your child’s safety.
The Which video below shows just how easy it is for anyone to take over the voice control of a popular connected toy, and speak directly to children. Which? found that it is easy enough for almost anyone to do, not only skilled hackers.