The Government today launched its Internet Safety Strategy green paper and accompanying consultation, covering various approaches to keeping people safe online, including technological solutions, support for parents and carers and developing children’s digital literacy.
The paper outlines some of the challenges facing today’s children, who are growing up in a world in which problems such as harassment, pornography, exploitation and bullying are amplified by the internet. Schools can play a vital role in keeping children safe online according to the paper, which highlights the opportunities presented by compulsory relationships and sex education from 2019, and potentially PSHE education in its entirety.
The paper suggests collaboration between DCMS and DfE in designing online safety aspects of this new curriculum, working with a wide range of stakeholders to determine subject content, school practice and quality of delivery.
PSHE Association Chief Executive Jonathan Baggaley said:
“The PSHE Association welcomes this green paper and the emphasis on PSHE education’s potential to support safety and digital resilience. We look forward to working closely with DCMS and DfE to ensure these proposals meet their full potential to prepare children for the risks and opportunities of today’s world. PSHE education is the ideal context for such education, dealing as it does with the fundamental skills, attributes and knowledge young people need to stay safe, healthy and prepared for life online and offline. As the paper outlines, to help schools to meet these responsibilities, we have integrated digital literacy into our curriculum framework for PSHE and we will continue to prioritise this area of the subject, including through the development of training”