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Online safety information and guidance.

Child abuse in all its forms is increasingly being linked to the use of digital media. Technology is constantly being updated and the internet can now be accessed using mobile phones, laptops, computers, tablets, webcams, cameras and games consoles.

In terms of online abuse, children and young people may experience cyberbullying, grooming, sexual abuse, sexual exploitation, emotional abuse, radicalisation and other ideologies that reinforce unhealthy messages such as suicide and eating disorders.

There are risks from inappropriate content such as adverts, violence, pornographic, illegal pornographic or other sexual material, misleading information or advice, racism and hate speech.

Children and young people could be at risk online from people they actually know as well as strangers (who the child believes, over time, that they know).

As with other forms of sexual abuse, online abuse can be misunderstood by the child and others as being consensual, occurring without the child’s immediate recognition or understanding of abusive or exploitative conduct. In addition, fear of what might happen if they do not comply can also be a significant influencing factor.

The abuse may be purely online, but it could transfer into the real world.

Sexting is often a term used by adults and to describe the sending, receiving, or forwarding sexually explicit messages, photographs, or images, primarily between mobile phones, of oneself to others. It may also include the use of a computer or any digital device. Young people often do not describe this activity as sexting. 

Digital Romance 2017

This is a recognised piece of research by Brook and CEOP command giving insight in into youth generated imagery and how teenagers use digital technology in their relationships.

The Home Office has published guidance which is aimed at making sure young people understand the law on indecent images of children, empowering them to navigate the internet confidently and safely within legal boundaries.  There are some very useful short videos suitable to show students.

Schools in Derbyshire and education establishments should use the advice from the UK Council for Child Internet Safety (UKCCIS) non-statutory guidance Sexting in schools and colleges: Responding to incidents and safeguarding young people.


If you are concerned that a child is being sexually abused or groomed online, you should follow your organisation's safeguarding policy and procedures and report your concern to Call Derbyshire.

You can anonymously and confidentially report child sexual abuse content and non-photographic child sexual abuse images to the Internet Watch Foundation.

We have reproduced with kind permission from Kent Council, the Education People a useful flowchart for schools and settings in responding to an online safety concern.

Derbyshire guidance is included within the Derbyshire Safeguarding Childrens Board (DSCB) Procedures Chapter on E-Safety and Internet Abuse.


The county council’s community safety unit has developed a new Cybercrime and Online Safety eLearning module to give a brief overview of what cybercrime is and how to keep yourself, and the people you work with, safe online. It also includes information about how to report cybercrime and how to access support for victims. 

The eLearning module is accessed via Derbyshire Learning Online (Learning Pool).

Derbyshire Safeguarding Childrens Board has approved and accredited Traci Good at e-safety training for online safety training and awareness for schools.

Additional information and resources

Derbyshire Safeguarding Childrens Board (DSCB) has information on online safety.

The NSPCC has a section on online abuse which includes issues that children and young people may experience, for example, cyberbullying, grooming, sexual abuse, sexual exploitation or emotional abuse. NSPCC Net Aware is a valuable guide to the social networks used by children. It helps you to stay up to date to keep children safe in today's digital world.

The UK Safer Internet Centre is a partnership of three leading charities with a mission to make the internet a better place for children and young people. You can find e-safety tips, advice and resources to help children and young people stay safe online. 

Childnet has a number of resources available for schools including some to upskills staff. It also co-ordinates the Digital Leaders Programme

South West Grid for Learning offers the 360 degree safe schools audit tool, which is a free tool to help schools review their Online Safety policy and practice.

Get Safe Online provides comprehensive online safety advice that can be used by professionals, young people and parents.

Parentzone provides good advice for parents and resources for schools. You can request hardcopies of the Digital Parenting Magazine to give to your parents.

Thinkuknow is the education programme from CEOP.  A range of resources are available for young people, parents and schools.

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