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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 to describe the sending, receiving, or forwarding sexually explicit messages, photographs, or images, primarily between mobile phones, of oneself to others. The UK Council for Internet Safety (UKCIS) has produced guidance - UKCIS sharing nudes and semi-nudes advice for education settings along with a useful summary sheet to support this, including how schools should respond. Education settings in Derbyshire are encouraged to follow this guidance in supporting the work around online safety and keeping children safe whilst online.

All schools and education establishments in Derbyshire should have an up to date online safety policy. The model policy on offer, in the related documents, is comprehensive and provides a framework for safe use of the internet in school, the use of social media and devices, and conduct for staff and pupils.

All schools and education establishments, including governors, should refer to the recommended DfE document - Teaching online safety in school.

All schools and education establishments should have a fit for purpose filtering and monitoring system, which blocks sites which can be categorised as: pornography, racial hatred, extremism, gaming and sites of an illegal nature. The filtering system blocks all sites on the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) list.

Schools and education establishments should work with their service provider to ensure that their filtering policy is continually reviewed. 


If you are concerned that a child is being targeted, sexually abused or groomed online, including hate and race hate, you should follow your organisation's safeguarding policy and procedures and report your concern to the police and Children's Services by contacting Call Derbyshire (Starting Point).

You can anonymously and confidentially report child sexual abuse content and non-photographic child sexual abuse images to the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF). Any material believed to be illegal must be reported immediately to the appropriate agencies, such as the IWF, Derbyshire Police or Child Exploitation and Online Protection command (CEOP).

Derbyshire guidance is included within the Derby and Derbyshire Safeguarding Children Partnership (DDSCP) Procedures chapter on E-Safety and Internet Abuse.

Additional information and resources

i-vengers  - an innovative resource to engage children in being online aware, helping to make the internet a safer place for young explorers, contact:

The Children's Society has many useful resources including Appropriate language: child exploitation information document.

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

Derby and Derbyshire Safeguarding Children Partnership (DDSCP) has information on online safety.

NSPCC online safety 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. NSPCC How safe are our children is updated annually, providing an excellent overview of child protection in the UK with a focus on online harm.

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

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 hard copies 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.

Also see