Welcome to the first of four blogs focusing on the rise of peer-to-peer mentoring in online safeguarding!

Technologies such as social networking, online gaming, instant messaging and photo sharing bring with them serious risks. Increasingly, those risks are as real in the school environment as they are outside of it.

In her recent report, the Children’s Commissioner Anne Longfield warned of the dangers facing children who are left to learn about the internet on their own, and encouraged schools to teach ‘digital citizenship’ to every student aged four to 14 in an effort to help keep them safe online.

This report, coupled with ongoing advice from the Internet Watch Foundation, the Safer Internet Centre and OFSTED, has led to schools taking a much more collaborative approach to safeguarding.

But it isn’t just older pupils stepping into these roles; in fact, schools are starting to move away from the idea of Year 6 pupils being the fountains of all knowledge and instead cascading that knowledge down to younger year groups.

We’re now seeing mentors from as young as Year 3 and upwards, which gives the schemes more longevity by allowing mentors to build up their status within peer groups as they progress through school together.

By making schemes such as these accessible to pupils from an early age, schools are fostering a generation of learners who are more informed about the digital world than ever before, and – most crucially - empowering them to create a safer and brighter future.

Part 2 of series : Building a safe and successful mentoring programme

Part 3 of series : Creating better safeguarding engagement through peer-to-peer mentoring

Part 4 of series : A collaborative approach to peer-to-peer mentoring

For more information, advice and guidance around our online safety solutions, visit www.rm.com/onlinesafety.

We will also be discussing Digital Resilience this month at the RM Seminars and delivering a day’s session to help school’s build digital resilience in their children and support them in navigating the online world effectively. To find out more and register for your free place, visit www.rm.com/seminars.

online safety survey

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