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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. It may also include the use of a computer or any digital device. Young people often do not describe this activity as sexting. The UK Council for Internet Safety (UKCIS) have produced guidance - UKCIS sharing nudes and semi-nudes advice for education settings along with a useful summary sheet to support this. This includes how schools should respond. We are encouraging all our education settings in Derbyshire 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. This policy 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 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. 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).


If you are concerned that a child is being targeted, sexually abused or groomed online, 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.

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. Which can be printed off as a document for your office wall.

Derbyshire guidance is included within the Derby and Derbyshire Safeguarding Children Partnership (DDSCP) 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) for multi-agency practitioners, including schools. If your staff have existing Derbyshire Learning Online accounts (for example, Derbyshire SAP schools) they will be able to access the Cybercrime and Online Safety module.

Those who have not yet set up accounts will need to request a registration key in order for their staff to gain access. Please include the full names and email addresses of each individual requiring an account, so they can be added to the approvals list.

If you wish to request a registration key or need help to access existing accounts, please email:

Guidance for remote learning and online lessons

Remote education is a broad term which covers any learning that happens outside of the classroom, with the teacher not present, in the same location as the pupils. (for example, online lessons) 

The latest updated version of the Remote Learning Guidance for Schools can be found on Services 4 Schools.

Additional information and resources

iVengers - an innovative resource to engage children in being online aware, helping to make the internet a safer place for young explorers.

The Social Switch project #switchtoremote posters - The Social Switch Project have created some useful resources to help professionals navigate remote working.

The Children's Society - The Children's Society has many useful resources including an online exploitation advice and information document.

Digital Romance 2017 - This is a recognised piece of research by Brook and CEOP command, giving insight 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.

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.

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.

Derby and Derbyshire Safeguarding Children Partnership (DDSCP) 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 upskill 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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