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Ensuring Online Safety

Thomas Telford UTC recognises that technology and its use in the modern workplace is well-established and that technology is a valuable productivity tool. As an organisation, we embrace the use of technology to support all that we do with students. Like any tool, it is essential that those using it are well trained to ensure their continued safety. At Thomas Telford UTC, we approach this training through our Self & Society curriculum as well as at induction.

Before allowing students to make use of our ICT facilities, all students and parents are required to read and sign the Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) which can be viewed by clicking here. There are several other resources below which we hope you find useful.

When at school, students and staff can enjoy a filtered and monitored internet connection. Where monitoring identifies someone who may be vulnerable, this is passed to the Safeguarding team to provide the necessary support and training and, where appropriate, parents will be informed.

The following websites offer invaluable guidance regarding Online Safety:

We would also like to offer our parents support with the rapidly changing technology. This support comes in the form of the following guidance sources.

Online Safety Factsheet for Parents

This factsheet gives parents a general overview of Online Safety. It gives parents an overview of the positive and negative aspects of the Internet, some key statistics, tips and useful links.

Click to Open the Online Safety Factsheet.

Online Safety Information Sheet on “Sharing Nudes” or “Sexting”.

It seems that there is a whole new language developing in the younger generations! But while many are playful and literal abbreviations, some are more potent. To help make parents aware of some of the sexting abbreviations, we have compiled a short glossary. This is by no means exhaustive but will help parents learn about this new form of communication. More young people have smartphones and use a range of social media such as Facebook, WhatsApp, Snapchat and Twitter the dangers of getting involved in risky behaviour is therefore multiplied. There is a trend in young people ‘sexting’ images to each other.

Sexting is ‘sending or posting sexually suggestive images, including nude or semi-nude photographs, via mobiles or over the Internet.’ Possessing and distributing any imagery of someone under 18 which is ‘indecent’ is illegal. This includes sending imagery of themselves if they are under 18. Indecent images includes not only nude images but images of children in underwear. Once an image is sent to another person the sender loses control of who else the image is seen by or where it is stored. There is a potentially devastating long term effects on the young person of losing control of these images as they get passed around the web. Young people involved in sharing pictures of a sexual nature may be committing a criminal offence. Specifically, crimes involving indecent photographs of a person under 18 years of age falls under Section 1 of the Protection of Children Act 1978, Section 160 Criminal Justice Act 1988, and Section 62 of the Coroners and Justice Act 2009.

Under this legislation it is a crime to:

  • take an indecent photograph or allow an indecent photograph to be taken; make an indecent photograph (this includes downloading or opening an image that has been sent via email);
  • distribute or show such an image;
  • possess with the intention of distributing images;
  • advertise; and
  • possess such images.

If you have any concerns or require additional information please speak to Mrs Gleeson the Safeguarding Officer at the UTC.

Click to Open the Sexting Factsheet.

Click to Open the Sextortion Factsheet.

Sharing nudes and semi-nudes | NSPCC

What Every Parent Needs to Know about Radicalisation

The internet brings marvellous opportunities to children and young people with the ability to learn new skills and visit websites which engage and enrich their lives. However, the internet also brings dangers such as online predators who will try and contact children through websites and software applications. This guide will help parents and carers learn more about the danger of their children being targeted by online extremists. The guide provides information to help them identify the issue of online radicalisation and gives suggestions on how to support their children with the threat of online extremism.

Click to Open the Radicalisation Factsheet.

The Influence of Andrew Tate

Child Sexual Exploitation Checklist for Parents

Child sexual exploitation is when a child or young person is in an exploitative situation and receives gifts or other items as a result on performing sexual activities to the abuser. It can also occur through technology when a child or young person is persuaded to post images on the Internet. It is vital that parents play a role in identifying if their child may be a victim of CSE. This checklist will help them become aware of some of the signs to look out for.

Click to Open the CSE Checklist.

Parents and Carers - CSE - It's Not Okay (

Online Safety Information for Parents and Students

With all the changes and the rapid development of Social Media, it can be difficult to know how to be secure online while using these types of applications. To help support our parents in supporting their children we have uploaded four different Social Media "Checklists" which parents can use to help guide their children, and themselves, into keeping safe online. The links are below and include four of the major Social Media providers which are:- Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and SnapChat. We have also included factsheets on groups chats, sextortion, TikTok and online friendships.

ParentInfo - Online Safety

Click to Open the Facebook Safety Checklist.

Click to Open the Instagram Safety Checklist.

Click to Open the Twitter Safety Checklist.

Click to Open the Snapchat Factsheet.

Click to open the Guide to Group Chats.

Click to Open the TikTok Factsheet.

Click to Open the Popular Platforms Factsheet.

Click to Open the Virtual Friendships Factsheet.

Online Safety guidance for use of Social Media

How you present yourself on social media says a lot about who you are — just like what you say and do at school or with your friends. In all public places, online and off, it’s important to represent yourself as the kind of person you want to be. Social Media communities are where people use their real names and identities, so we’re all accountable for our actions. It’s against their terms and rules to lie about your name or age. Help keep the communities safe by reporting fake profiles if you ever see them.

Think before you post. It’s easy to get caught up in the moment and write or do something that may seem hilarious at the time. But remember, what you say can really hurt someone, or come back to haunt you. Think before you post. It only takes a second or two. Ask yourself if you really want to say it. Make sure you don’t mind if your friends, classmates or teachers hear about it later. Also remember that any information you post – whether in a comment, a note or a video chat – might be copied, pasted and distributed in ways that you didn’t intend. Before you post, ask yourself – would I be OK if this content was shared widely at school or with my future employer? At the same time, we all make mistakes.

If you find yourself wishing you hadn’t said or done something, it’s never too late to apologise. Don’t talk to me anymore. If you ever receive hurtful or abusive messages or posts on your profile page you have options. Depending on how serious the situation is, you can ignore it, ask the person to stop unfriend or block person, or tell your parents, a teacher, a counsellor or another adult you trust. Everyone deserves to be treated with respect.

Report abusive content. Make sure you always REPORT abusive content—whether it’s on your profile page, or someone else’s. You can also report inappropriate Pages, Groups, Events and fake or impostor profiles. (Remember that reporting is confidential, so no one will know who made the report).

Tips for Students

  • Don’t share your password with anyone.
  • Only accept friend requests from people you know.
  • Don’t post anything you wouldn’t want your parents, teachers or employer to see.
  • Be authentic. The real you is better than anything you might pretend to be.
  • Learn about privacy settings, and review them often.