On the 22nd November some Year 7 parents attended one of our regular Safeguarding Parent Information Evenings.
Along with the QE Safeguarding team and Year Team Leader, the visiting speaker was Bryan Smith , who was formerly a teacher at QE and is an online e-safety expert and a Child Exploitation Online Protection Ambassador( CEOP)
Bryan and the team were able to raise awareness of some of the issues linked to online safety , such as online-grooming , bullying and the increasing craze for sharing inappropriate images. Some CEOP video clips were shared and it was explained to parents how this awareness raising work is also woven into the Personal Development Programme for all students at QE.
The main advice to parents is to keep dialogue open with your children. Talk to them and discuss what applications and games they are using.
In the same way as good parenting will give grounding on road safety , the same applies to the internet.
A very helpful website for sharing advice for young people and for concerned parents is www.thinkyouknow.co.uk.
If, however, you are aware of any child who is in serious danger and being subject to abuse , please contact the child Protection Unit called MASH on 0345 155 1071 or call the police.
As the Vice Principal for the last 13 years, I have also been the Designated Safeguarding Officer for the school.
Over these years I have had to deal with some very sad and vulnerable young people and yet, I am always completely amazed by their resilience once they understand that some form of help and interventions are possible.
I do believe that QE is a caring community and that generally the students have a good sense of peer support and concern and also know that there are always staff they can talk to if they are troubled and worried.
I would like to thank my colleagues Alastair Smith and Cheryl Elliott the other Safeguarding officers, (who will be your main point of contact from now) Lynne Westcott ,the school Counsellor, Juliet Phillips the School Nurse and all the Year Team Leaders for their amazing commitment and support of this difficult and often challenging work.
Best wishes to QE and all the students for the future...and remember , keep yourselves safe!
- Lynette Grimshaw