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BT and Unicef UK hold 100th workshop on internet safety  

15 April 2015

BT and Unicef UK have held their 100th workshop on internet safety for schools. The event at St John and St James Primary School in Hackney, London is part of their partnership ‘The Right Click: Internet Safety Matters’, which aims to empower children and young people to become confident digital citizens and safely enjoy the benefits of the internet. It also aims to better equip teachers and parents to help children achieve this balance.

To date, over 2,500 teachers, parents and children across the country have taken part in internet safety workshops at Unicef UK Rights Respecting Schools, which supports schools across the UK to embed children’s rights in their ethos and culture. The workshops, which have so far taken place across England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, give both parents and teachers the tools to discuss internet safety openly with their children. This includes how to stay safe online, and that as well as parental controls, children need to understand the dangers of sharing personal details and images.

Woman and girl at computer

Following the 100 schools reached, nine in 10 parents said they would talk to their children more about internet safety and as many children said they would tell an adult if something upset them online*. 83 per cent of the children who attended felt the workshops had helped them use the internet more safely and 92 per cent of parents said they would work together with their child to address any problems.

Through the three-year partnership both organisations are working with teachers, parents and children across the UK, delivering ‘train the teachers’ sessions, which are followed by workshops for parents and children on practical ideas and tools to empower them to make the most of what the internet has to offer. The partnership has also enabled Unicef UK to expand its UK based Rights Respecting Schools programme to 50 schools in disadvantaged areas with a further 30 schools joining the programme in 2016.

Pete Oliver, Commercial Director, BT Consumer, says: “Our first year partnering with Unicef UK has been a huge success. At BT, we take online safety extremely seriously. We want to empower young people and their parents to learn how to best protect themselves and their children online while maximising their potential.”

Kate Goldman, Corporate Partnerships Director, Unicef UK, said: “We are delighted that 100 Unicef UK Rights Respecting Schools have already been reached with our online safety workshops. Unicef UK and BT are together helping more children stay safe online.”

Interim Head Teacher of St John and St James' C of E Primary School in Hackney, Jo Smith, said: “Online safety is only set to grow as a discussion topic between parents, teachers and children. Through these workshops parents and pupils are learning practical measures to help children protect themselves online. Together we’re able to work with children and parents to understand the importance of internet safety and ensure that they not only feel they can talk to an adult, but that the person they speak to can offer the right support and advice.”

Unicef UK supporter Keeley Hawes, who has supported this partnership from the start, said:“It’s great to see how much of an impact this partnership has had on teachers, parents and children. As a parent myself and a supporter of Unicef UK, I think these workshops are fantastic, I’ve had to talk with my own children about keeping safe online, and only wish I’d had the support of a programme like this at the time.”

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