Thoughts from the Headteacher’s office

Do you monitor your child’s use of social networking?

Back in September I blogged about the perils of social networking

At Woodcote we have very clear guidelines for students’ mobile phones whilst they are in school – we do not expect phones to be in school. These procedures are in place to avoid distraction from learning during the school day and to ensure the safety and wellbeing of our Woodcote family. Modern smartphones have so many features, many of which can be used for negative reasons. Although the vast majority of our students act totally responsibly, in common with all schools there are a few who don’t, and use their phone in a way that can upset and disconcert other students.

The majority of our young people are responsible users of social media and communication with the awareness and guidance of parents, although this can be a complex area for adults to monitor. In the past Woodcote has offered workshops about cyber safety and awareness for parents in consultation with the police and will continue to do so in the future. Relevant recommended websites for parents are:

http://www.nspcc.org.uk/help-and-advice/for-parents/online-safety/online-safety_wdh99554.html

https://www.thinkuknow.co.uk/parents/

It’s well worth reminding parents that the minimum age guideline for Facebook use is 13 years of age.   Unfortunately staff do sometimes have to spend time in school dealing with unpleasantness between students which has either begun or been exacerbated through mobile phone or social media communications which take place out of school hours. I am sure you will understand that whilst staff will do all they can to work with students and parents to try to resolve any such issues, monitoring social media interactions whilst students are out of school remains a matter of parental responsibility.

Whilst parents might want to respect privacy, the safety of students must come first. So, please be aware at all time of what your child is up to online.