Islington hails launch of kids’ online safety programme following 12-month trial at Elizabeth Garrett Anderson

Teachers at the launch take part in an exercise

Teachers at the launch take part in an exercise - Credit: Archant

A trailblazing scheme to keep kids safe online, successfully trialled in Islington over the last year, has been rolled out across the country.

Will Gardner, CEO of Childnet, opens the conference

Will Gardner, CEO of Childnet, opens the conference - Credit: Archant

Katy Potts, head of computing and “e-safety” at Islington’s children’s services department, told the Gazette the Town Hall was “seizing the initiative in online safety in schools,” following an event to promote the scheme there last week.

The new “Trust Me” initiative is a web-based education programme designed to help children think more critically about what they view online.

It was officially launched on Thursday having been trialled at Elizabeth Garrett Anderson School.

“In an age where young people are more and more likely to look for answers to their questions via social media, Trust Me provides an invaluable resource,” said Juliette Henry, head of citizenship at the school.

Kate Edwards of Childnet leads a seminar

Kate Edwards of Childnet leads a seminar - Credit: Archant

The initiative has been developed by charity Childnet, in association with the London Grid for Learning.

Representatives from schools across the country gathered for the workshop at Islington Town Hall, where they were taught more about the programme and how it could help teachers educate their students on the dangers of the internet.

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Recent figures published by Ofsted give cause for concern, with 9 per cent of the 12- to 15-year-olds surveyed saying they believe everything they see on social media.

Will Gardner, CEO of Childnet, led the workshop, stating: “Trust Me is designed to give teachers the tools they need to educate young people to be critical thinkers, which is vital in building up their resilience online.”