What to do if you become aware of online content which is harmful.

Responding to Bad Online Content

A new website provides advice and support for any member of the public who becomes aware of harmful online content and is not sure how they should react.

Should they report it? If so, who to? What support is available if the recipient is upset and worried? Can harmful online material be removed?

This service is designed to help everyone, adults as well as under 18s. It covers many problems, including bullying or harassment, online abuse, impersonation, threats, pornographic content and more.

It also directs you to the right websites to report specific illegal activity;

  • online material supporting terrorism (ACT. Action Counter Terrorism)
  • sexual images of under 18s (IWF. Internet Watch Foundation)

This website could be very useful for anyone involved in safeguarding, especially senior safeguarding staff. Sometimes things happen and we need to be able to show a response, but are not sure what is best to do. This free online website will help with both advice and support; it is a great resource.

Take a look here: https://reportharmfulcontent.online/

Reminder: Help your students stay safe in winter.

Winter brings some challenges, especially the snow, ice and sub-zero temperatures. People living here know that UK does not always deal successfully with winter conditions, especially if you are trying to move around; travel can be a nightmare! 

But what about our international student visitors? They may come from countries where similar conditions occur and everything continues to run smoothly or from countries where snow, ice and freezing temperatures never happen.

How can we help safeguard our students in a UK winter? I expect you and your staff have already been doing some of the following:

  • tell them to wear warm clothes and footwear, and more layers of clothing
  • give advice on what warm clothes they should buy (do people from warm countries know about woolly scarves, hats and gloves?) and good places to buy the clothes
  • tell them that transport services are unlikely to run as normal and that they may need to find alternative ways of getting to class
  • advise them not to make long journeys, for example at weekends because they might get stranded. But if they have to travel, go prepared carrying water and snacks in case they get stuck or delayed.
  • explain that iced rivers or lakes can be extremely dangerous as ice in UK is not usually strong enough to hold a person’s weight
  • explain what the wind-chill factor is and how that affects how we feel.

In other words, help the students understand things you know automatically. Never assume they will know things, even if they come from countries with a hard winter; snow and ice in UK might be different!

Also think about the most effective way to get your ‘winter guidance’ to the students? In a student meeting, via a student email bulletin, asking homestays to do it, via posters around school or via classes? Usually using more than one route is best – and with repeated reminders!

Safeguard well.

February 2019