Facebook backs Web safety drive
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.