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2500 Children receive Kidsmart message! Childnet's Kidsmart project has been back ‘on the road’ working with Leicestershire Police Forces to teach children how to be SMART online... [more]
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Childnet has worked closely with a number of Local Education Authorities (LEA), libraries, social services teams and regional police forces on developing internet safety programmes. We believe that in terms of reaching pupils and families it is vital that all sectors play their part and are proactive in helping children understand how to be safe online wherever they are using computers. Childnet is happy to work in close partnership with all strategic bodies who would like to use our materials and expertise and we are able to adapt our resources for specific audiences if necessary.

Childnet has worked closely with a number of police forces including Leicestershire constabulary, visiting all the schools in one borough with their community police officers educating children and parents on internet safety.

photo of Inspector Tony MarsonIn conjunction with our youth policing and our commitment to our future generation we wanted to continue with delivering the right kind of messages to schools within our policing unit. One such message was to promote the good side of the Internet but to raise awareness of those who exploit it. I must stress that this was not a reaction to a known problem. Links were formed with Helen at Childnet International and our "Web-awareness" was born. I am grateful to Helen for her enthusiasm and enlightening insight into this problem which was also delivered to parents. As a result a local newspaper launched their own "ban the filth" campaign which proved that this subject was extremely important. Head teachers also welcomed the presentations.

Inspector Tony Marson

To run a similar scheme please contact kidsmart@childnet.com or telephone the Childnet office on 0207 6396967.
If you think the Kidsmart leaflets, posters and other resources outlined on this website would be helpful in your work, or if you need advice on how to develop your own internet awareness programme Childnet staff can help you.

For example, if you would like to consider using the Kidsmart leaflets, Childnet can arrange for bulk orders. If re-printing is needed it may be possible to make minor changes on the back panel of the leaflet and include other local or specialist website resources and organisation contact details and logos. Charges for using the content and making minor adaptations as well as print costs and distribution would need to be made, but Childnet staff can advise.

In September and October 2004 Childnet’s Kidsmart team partnered with Quorn and Syston Police in Leicestershire. The team worked with local beat officers visiting primary and secondary schools to talk about the positive aspects of the internet and how to stay safe whilst using it. Topics included peer to peer networks, mobile phone technology and chat services online. There were also four parents evenings for all the schools visited which were well attended.

Inspector Chris Alcott, Commander of the Syston Local Policing Unit, said:

When I attended a local High School, I was really impressed with the presentation and the teenagers’ positive participation and responses. Most people are aware of the Stranger Danger message but the “SMART” message from Childnet International which gives 5 safety tips for use of the Internet and mobile phones is essential for older children. Many adults openly admit that their children know far more about the Internet than they do themselves; so the presentations to parents and the handouts provided were well received. Parents were keen to find out more about the use of the Internet and asked far more questions than had been anticipated. Hopefully less parents will allow the Internet to be placed the their child’s bedroom, as it would be much better to be in the family room, where it can be more closely supervised.

Inspector Neil Straughan, Commander of the Quorn Local Policing Unit, said:

The partnership working between the schools, Childnet International and the police has been well worth the time and effort involved, as it is very rare that we could make positive contact with such a large group of children on a subject that they are really interested in. We were pleased with the interest that the parents showed and, particularly after having been made aware of the potential dangers, they would be going home to become more involved in their children’s use of the Internet. On the evaluations from the schools involved, the majority have requested further presentations.

Quorn and Syston Community Liason Officer, Angela Fielding said:

Over a two week period the Kidsmart team visited 29 primary and high schools. 2300 children received various presentations and 125 parents attended evening seminars. The presentations covered a variety of areas to help children keep safe on the internet such as how to avoid being a victim, smart use of mobiles and it provided an opportunity to see how safe chat rooms work. The children played an active part in the presentations and as well as learning how to be smart on the internet the children were encouraged to use the internet positively with a web designing competition where pupils and teachers could win an Easter holiday in Jamaica! The pupils were also given jumbo paper clips and pencils with the message ‘Be Aware, Be Web Aware’ as a gift and leaflets with a design a poster or screen saver competition and a word search in along with information on how to be smarter on the internet. The two weeks were a real success and we’re hoping to repeat a similar scheme with Childnet International next academic year.

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