Volunteers Make A Real Impact in Schools

Posted on 20 April 2006

Independent evaluation of “Getting To Know IT ALL” volunteer programme highlights positive impact and suitable model to expand.

Childnet is delighted to announce the results from the evaluation of the recently launched volunteer programme “GETTING TO KNOW IT ALL” which the charity ran with partners Microsoft, MSN and the Police’s Virtual Global Task Force.

This pilot programme which was launched in November 2005 involved 277 volunteers being trained by Childnet and the Police to deliver a presentation in 104 secondary schools (including 5 special schools) on the subject of internet safety and security. In all an estimated 50,000 pupils were reached with the presentation.

Crucial to evaluating the impact of this pilot was the commissioning of academics from the University of Bristol to undertake a three month long study. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the immediate and longer-term impact of the pilot and asses its potential as a valid way of reaching children, teachers and parents with internet safety and security messages. The evaluation was funded byOFCOM.

The evaluation looked at three main areas, the effectiveness of the training, the feedback from the volunteers and most importantly the impact the sessions had on pupils and teachers. 

3 key findings which emerged are as follows:

  • 98% of  teachers interviewed said that they would recommend the presentation to another teacher. There was also evidence of heightened teacher awareness of e-safety issues when using the internet throughout all the schools sampled; and of policy and curricular changes in some schools
  • 95% of the volunteers said that their experience of presenting in school was good or very good, every single one of them was willing to repeat the experience and 97% would be willing to recommend the experience to others.
  • 46% of the pupils said that the best thing about the presentation was the information they learned from it about safe use of the internet.

An important aspect of the success of the volunteer model of delivery was the complementary nature of the organisations working together. Volunteers from the police and Microsoft/MSN formed buddies and this system worked well as each individual had skills which complemented  the other (Child protection and IT respectively)

Stephen Carrick-Davies, CEO of Childnet says:

"Whilst many of our corporate partners have asked us to train them to go and talk to schools, we wanted to make sure that this approach was fully and independently evaluated, and that we could ensure that it was an effective and positive way to get safety advice messages to the different audiences of young people, teachers and parents.  The evaluation has been so helpful in getting quality feedback from schools and volunteers and we have learned some valuable lessons about how to refine the model to make it more robust for the future."

Jocelyn Wishart from the University of Bristol says:

"In my experience to have such a large percentage of pupils report ‘Learning’ as the best thing about a presentation is highly unusual. It shows that the presentation was well designed and works well in its present form."

The volunteer programme complimented the wider distribution of the "Know IT all" stand alone pack which was distributed to support teachers at the same time as the volunteer programme. With funding from Microsoft this pack was sent to every secondary school in the country and reached a potential 4.7m students in 5,923 schools. Outreach was tracked to over4 million people, with 50 pieces in the media.



for more information.

The full report with recommendations can be viewed at:



Or contact:

Mary Louise Morris


Childnet International

Tel: +44 (0) 20 7639 6967

E-mail: marylouise


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