Empowering parents to talk about internet safety

Posted on 23 July 2015

This academic year, from September 2014-July 2015, our Education team spoke to almost 3500 parents and carers across primary and secondary schools.

Much like our education sessions for young people and teachers, our parent’s sessions take a balanced approach to internet safety.  We discuss the positive use of technology but we also educate parents on the risks young people can face online, giving practical advice on how to keep their children safe.

Through evaluation of our sessions we can see how educating parents and carers about internet safety has helped build confidence providing them with the skills and knowledge to start talking to their children about staying safe online.  

An evaluation of approximately 400 parents found that 98% of parents said they learned something new and 96% of parents felt more confident about supporting their child online as a result of the session. 

96% of parents felt more confident about supporting their child online

This was encouraging as many of the parents attending the session said it was lack of knowledge of online issues that encouraged them to attend.

A parent from St Anthony’s Catholic Primary School said he/she said they attended the session “to learn about protecting my child on the internet as I have little knowledge about almost everything!”  Others such as a parent from Ivydale Primary School wanted to be “updated on current issues, eg. Cyberbullying” and many grandparents like one from Elm Green came to understand “today’s use of the internet”.

99% of respondents said they would speak to their children about being safe online as a result of the session

We, at Childnet, firmly believe that it is through education and open dialogue that young people will learn how to be safe online, as opposed to blocking or banning them from using devices. It was therefore encouraging to hear so many parents declaring they will have more, ongoing conversations with their children about internet safety. 

When asked what they learnt from the session one parent from Kew Green said “Where do I start? Mainly that communication is more important than ‘control’.”

Many said they would begin to support their children differently online. For some, that meant putting in parental controls and filters to protect their children from inappropriate content, and for others it meant researching more about PEGI and being more involved in their children’s online life. 

100% of parents said the presentation was excellent or good 

By educating parents on how to use the internet safely, we hope that they leave feeling empowered and informed to use the internet in a positive way.

"A great session.  Best part was that it gave us a structued approach on how to deal with e-safety". - parent from Kings College School

If you’d like to discuss booking an education visit for parents for your school, please get in touch at education@childnet.com

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