Are Schools Protecting their Staff? SWGfL

28 September 2011 - A Workshop on Other in Nairobi, Kenya

Agenda

Professionals, such as teachers, are often at the frontline and are increasingly the target of online harassment and victimisation often with catastrophic consequences on their professional integrity and livelihood. New research conducted in the UK by University of Plymouth and SWGfL concluded that 35% have witnessed abuse of professionals online with 72% coming from children and even 12% from their colleagues. The workshop will hear from the professor who undertook the study as well as a School Principals perspective and the impact of this on youth and professionals.

Are schools taking the steps to protect their staff from this victimisation? New global data (UK, USA, Aus, HK & Singapore) will illustrate for the first time, what schools strengths and weaknesses actually are when it comes to Internet safety - how well they are set up to use ICT to teach as well as protect their workforce.

This issue is clearly an international one and using global evidence and research, the workshop will discuss and debate the issues and impact on professionals, especially those working with children. The workshop will also draw on case examples from the new UK Safer Internet Centre's pilot helpline co funded by the European Commission's Safer Internet Programme.

Strategies will be illustrated that combat the issue on national and local levels.

 

A brief substantive summary and the main events that were raised:
Evidence was presented from research conducted in the UK into the abuse of teachers and other professionals who work with children. In parallel, research exploring what online safety schools provide, not only in terms of educating children, but also in the policies and infrastructure that they have. This was from a study of 2,000 schools in the UK, US and Australia.

Strategies that schools could adopt, combined with innovative tools were highlighted

 

Conclusions and further comments:
It was concluded that teachers are often the victims of online abuse, often in the hands of the children they are responsible for. Equally, using quantitive and qualitative research examples of wider school online safety practice and provision, it was concluded that schools are strongest on policy but consistantly weakest on training their staff when it comes to online safety.

Innovative tools such as Generation Safe can make considerable difference in stimulating and supporting a culture change towards digital inclusion and digital literacy.

 

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