Understanding Online Safety (E-Safety) for Practitioners


Understanding Online Safety (E-Safety) for Practitioners

Dates to be confirmed, in central London


The world never sleeps. Where-ever you are, whoever you are, as long as you have an internet connection...

  • you can chat to others as your self harming habits escalate 'supported' by your online friends, like 14-year-old Molly Russell, who took her life
  • you can 'find love' like Colin Blanchard, at the centre of the child sexual abuse ring with Nursery Worker Vanessa George and Tracy Dawber who worked with Vulnerable Adults
  • you can 'find company and a place to belong' when you're feeling isolated. 'Perhaps' the starting position for Sudesh Amman, the 20-year-old radicalised terrorist who stabbed two people Streatham, South London on Sunday, 2nd February 2020, and was then shot dead by those who had him on surveillance, just weeks following his release from Belmarsh Prison.

Many very small children, babies under a year old, can easily use smartphones. Their fingers are nimble, and their brains work with lightning speed. However, one in five children between 10 - 12 years have been bullied or trolled online. In fact, 78% of these children have social media accounts - Facebook, Instagram, Youtube. Although these young people often have a sophisticated online presence across these platforms, they can be quite naive about who they are actually talking with online.

How can we turn this tide ?

How can we support and actively inform our young people, from babyhood, when their nimble little fingers negotiate our iPhones with ease.

How do we do this from schools, youth provision, early years settings and build a meaningful partnership with both children themselves and their parents ?

Are you confident that you're keeping your children safe online?

One of the biggest threats faced by children and young people is from their often innocent activity online.

And we, the professionals who are charged with helping to inform children and young people's online safety are ill-informed. Sometimes we even distance ourselves from this complex aspect of our safeguarding responsibility because it seems so alien.

We have arranged some training to build your confidence around this subject.

We designed this one-day training to help practitioners, managers and Designated Lead Persons to look carefully at their setting's online safety strategy. This strategy should provide practical steps to help protect children in their online world. You'll no longer have to shy away from this aspect of your safeguarding duties.

What we'll explore

  • We'll highlight the kinds of risks that children face online and the ways that they may become targeted, groomed and harmed both by peers, by those that 'pose' as peers and those that offer a range of online support and guidance.
  • We'll inform you of the current online trends, showing you how these can quickly grow, mutate and 'apparently' disappear.
  • We'll look at the 'clues' that may suggest that younger children and young people have been targeted in this way.
  • We'll build your confidence in reflecting and discussing online choices with children and young people in age and stage appropriate ways, including how to seek advice from support networks.
  • We'll deeply explore the key guidance and legislation that aims to protect children and young people online, including the process to follow when reporting online safety concerns.
  • We'll share a rich array of online resources that we can use to protect young children, primary and secondary age children and their parents/carers.
  • We'll evolve a range of approaches for working with children and young people themselves, their parents/carers and the broader practitioner body. This will help give you a deeper awareness of potential risk, 'responses in the moment' when they suspect that they are being targeted and follow-up in adopting safer practices.

To address the specific risks faced by very young children and those in their teenage years, we are going to deliver this training across two distinct training days.     

One training day will focus on working with infants, very young children to primary school-age children. This day will be delivered by Lorraine Palache, who provides safeguarding training both within and outside of her role as a Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead Person within a Family Services Team in a Primary School.

Lorraine is an  Ambassador for CEOP (Child Exploitation Online Protection) and is well known for sharing her professional learning and experience with a broad range of people. She will bring her unique insights into the challenges faced by families as their children enter the online world of social media and offer clear solutions on what parents/children need to know and how to keep safe online. 

A second training day will focus on working with young people of secondary school age and their access to the online world from within a school, youth, faith or a range of sports/activities. Anna McDowell is the trainer. Anna has nearly 20 years of experience working with young people and their families within roles in secondary education. And now Anna gives essential space each week over to professional Development and Training. Anna is known as a  knowledgeable, enthusiastic and motivated facilitator who will make the session a great learning experience for everyone.

"In this most complex of areas, Catherine Rushforth & Associates courses are always relevant, interesting and tailor made so they represent the best fit for the needs of the target audience.”
- Susie West, Head of School, St Christopher's School, Hampstead