Face­book backs Web safety drive

Yorkshire Post - - FRONT PAGE - CHARLES BROWN NEWS COR­RE­SPON­DENT ■ Email: yep.news­[email protected]­me­dia.co.uk ■ Twit­ter: @york­shire­post

ON­LINE: So­cial me­dia gi­ant Face­book has backed the Gov­ern­ment’s new on­line safety les­sons to help school pupils recog­nise on­line dan­gers.

The tech­nol­ogy firm has en­dorsed the pro­posed on­line les­son cur­ricu­lum ahead of a meet­ing with min­is­ters and anti-bul­ly­ing cam­paign­ers on Mon­day.

SO­CIAL ME­DIA gi­ant Face­book has backed the Gov­ern­ment’s new on­line safety les­sons to help school pupils recog­nise on­line dan­gers.

The tech­nol­ogy firm has en­dorsed the pro­posed on­line les­son cur­ricu­lum ahead of a meet­ing with min­is­ters and an­tibul­ly­ing cam­paign­ers on Mon­day.

It will form part of Gov­ern­ment plans to make re­la­tion­ships, sex and health ed­u­ca­tion classes com­pul­sory at all schools from Septem­ber 2020.

The new cur­ricu­lum has been de­signed to teach ev­ery pupil about how to recog­nise dan­gers on­line, in­clud­ing what healthy and un­healthy re­la­tion­ships look like, the Depart­ment for Ed­u­ca­tion (DfE) said.

School stan­dards min­is­ter Nick Gibb will meet Face­book rep­re­sen­ta­tives along­side on­line safety char­i­ties the Di­ana Award and Child­net to dis­cuss in­ter­net safety.

The DfE said the meet­ing sup­ported the Gov­ern­ment’s mis­sion to work with tech com­pa­nies to get them to con­sider their col­lec­tive re­spon­si­bil­ity re­gard­ing chil­dren and young peo­ple’s wel­fare on­line.

Mr Gibb said he was pleased Face­book had recog­nised the im­por­tance of the new les­sons, which will be de­liv­ered through com­pul­sory re­la­tion­ships, sex and health ed­u­ca­tion classes.

He added: “No child should face the fear of bul­ly­ing. The in­ter­net, whilst usu­ally a force for good, brings with it new dan­gers – that’s why our new on­line safety les­sons will teach pupils about how to use the in­ter­net re­spect­fully and sen­si­bly.

“We all have a col­lec­tive re­spon­si­bil­ity to pro­tect chil­dren from this kind of harm, whether as par­ents, min­is­ters, busi­ness lead­ers or school teach­ers, and can all play a role in shap­ing the kind of so­ci­ety we want for our fu­ture gen­er­a­tions, pre­par­ing them for life in mod­ern Bri­tain.”

Un­der the plans, all pupils will be taught re­la­tion­ships ed­u­ca­tion in pri­mary school and re­la­tion­ships and sex ed­u­ca­tion in sec­ondary school, while all pupils will be taught health ed­u­ca­tion in state-funded schools.

Re­becca Stim­son, Face­book’s head of UK pol­icy, wel­comed the in­tro­duc­tion of on­line safety les­sons to the school cur­ricu­lum.

She said: “The safety of young peo­ple on­line is our ab­so­lute pri­or­ity and, like the Depart­ment for Ed­u­ca­tion, we are com­mit­ted to giv­ing schools the right sup­port so young peo­ple have safe and pos­i­tive ex­pe­ri­ences on­line.

“We’ll be work­ing with our safety part­ners in­clud­ing the Di­ana Award and Child­net and the Gov­ern­ment to make progress in this area.”

The Di­ana Award is try­ing to en­cour­age 9,000 schools to ap­point an am­bas­sador as part of DfE-funded projects to work with schools to stamp out prej­u­dice and dis­crim­i­na­tion.

More than £1m is be­ing shared among three anti-bul­ly­ing char­i­ties – the Di­ana Award, Anne Frank Trust and the Anti-Bul­ly­ing Al­liance – to reach more than 260,000 pupils with projects de­signed to pre­vent bul­ly­ing in the class­room and on­line.

Rep­re­sen­ta­tives from the Di­ana Award and Child­net will join the meet­ing with Face­book.

The part­ner­ship aims to help en­cour­age schools to be­gin ap­point­ing pupil am­bas­sadors, in a fresh bid to tackle bul­ly­ing and pro­mote the safe and re­spon­si­ble use of tech­nol­ogy among young peo­ple.

No child should face the fear of bul­ly­ing.

Nick Gibb, School Stan­dards Min­is­ter.

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