Students call for greater teamwork between teachers during the pandemic

 

  • Study by Teacherly finds that almost two thirds of pupils would like teachers to work together to create online lessons to help everyone achieve their potential amid coronavirus pandemic
  • Pupils believe schools of all reputations can learn something from each other and should work together more in delivering education during this time
  • Derby High School adopts a more collaborative and flexible approach to teaching pupils in response

 

LONDON 25th November 2020: As the EPI warns of varying levels of attendance in schools across England amid the coronavirus pandemic, a new study conducted with pupils in Britain has identified that almost two thirds (66%) of children would like teachers to work collaboratively together – joining forces and combining their skills to create online lessons that will help everyone better achieve their potential during this time.

 

The findings come as schools continue to decide how best to utilise the COVID-19 catch up funding announced by the government in June. The study, conducted by Teacherly, highlights how pupils are open to creativity, greater flexibility and collaboration within education in order for them to have a better learning experience during this highly disrupted time. The study identified that over half (53%) like the idea of attending a virtual school where they can learn through both online courses and in-person online lessons that cover a wide range of subjects – even those not available at their school. Almost a quarter (23%) of pupils who weren’t home schooled before coronavirus said they liked the idea of attending a virtual school because they’d be able to learn from a wider pool of teachers beyond those available at their school.

 

The research also found that nearly 7 in 10 (67%) pupils who weren’t home schooled before coronavirus agree that everyone should be allowed access to the best education possible, with 41% of pupils agreeing that, regardless of where they live, pupils should be able to access the best teachers. In addition, when asked about school rankings and perception of different schools as good or bad, nearly half (46%) said they believed schools of all reputations can learn something from each other and should therefore work together more closely. 

 

Atif Mahmood, CEO, of Teacherly says: “Education has been on the back foot when it comes to collaboration because schools have often been more focused on competing for the best Ofsted reviews and performance. The COVID-19 pandemic has, in many ways, removed these silos and taken the focus away from competition – in the short term at least. Evidently, there is enthusiasm among students for greater collaboration and the opportunities this creates for better education and learning. During this time in particular, where schools are having to contend with catching-up on lost time, changes to exams and ongoing disruption to in-classroom teaching, the value in collaborating should not be underestimated. We’ve started to see senior leaders from different schools uniting to share ideas and come up with solutions for tackling the challenges in this unprecedented time, but there is a clear need for this to go further.”

 

Mrs R Hamilton, Year 4, Derby High School: “In response to the COVID-19 crisis, we’ve adopted a more collaborative and flexible approach to teaching our pupils. We recognised that we needed to streamline the process of planning lessons by working together as a team across departments, making use of new online solutions that allow for collaboration and teamwork. Collaborating with other teachers within the school has helped not only with creativity but has helped to improve teamwork and reduce workloads during what is an extremely demanding time. Pupils are no longer learning from one single teacher but from all of us as a community, where we share our knowledge and skills collectively online as well as where we can in the classroom in order to provide them with the best education possible.”

 

School installs barriers to reduce risk of spreading coronavirus

A Nottinghamshire primary school has taken tough action to ensure that parents and children socially distance during drop off and pick up times, to reduce the risk of spreading Covid-19.

 

Lantern Lane Primary School, in Lantern Lane, East Leake, has installed steel barriers around the edge of the school, providing a two-metre gap between the classroom doors and parents dropping off and collecting their children.

 

The barriers were installed by local firm, Hardstaff Barriers, in Kingston on Soar, which specialises in road safety and security barriers.

 

As part of Hardstaff Barriers’ commitment to nearby schools and the local community, the barriers were installed at Lantern Lane Primary School free of charge.   

 

Hardstaff installed the red and white steel safety barrier system, known as M.A.S.S, just 24 hours after it received a request for assistance from the school.

 

M.A.S.S is also widely used across the UK as a road safety barrier. The system is specially designed to self-stabilise if a vehicle collides with the barrier, providing additional protection outside the school.

 

Donna Griggs, Business Manager at Lantern Lane Primary School, said: “We wanted to install the barriers to keep everybody at the school as safe as possible.

 

“We are confident that the barriers will reduce the risk of spreading Covid-19 during these busy times, when many parents are present in one place. We are doing everything we can to keep the children, their parents and our staff safe and thank everybody who has assisted us so far.

 

“The barriers also act as a reminder to socially distance and give the message that the school is serious about adhering to the rules.”

 

Dave Todd, Director of Hardstaff Barriers, said: “We were delighted to be able to assist Lantern Lane Primary School in this way, when the need to protect their pupils, staff and parents is greater than ever.

 

“The school has made the very responsible decision to install a robust steel barrier around its classroom entrances, providing an effective and highly visible social distancing system.

 

“As a local business committed to supporting the local community, we are very pleased that the school approached us and that we were able to swiftly step in and help them.”

Top academics unite for a virtual conference to help plan for a better future in times of crisis

COVID-19 has proved that we are at a pivotal point in our history, we need to make urgent decisions to safeguard the environment. And in order to combat the imminent challenges of today, Trinity Business School is supporting EURAM, the European-based community of engaged management scholars, to disseminate and nurture research which addresses the current business environment.

The physical conference which was planned to be held at Trinity Business School in June is now taking place online between the 4th – 6th December 2020.

In the last century, business research has been very e­ffective in highlighting the issues that need to be addressed, ranging from disruptive technologies to potential environmental catastrophe. And many researchers feel that, in a post COVID-19 economy, business leaders have turned to them more than ever – for thought leadership and vital research findings. Trinity Business School is supporting EURAM to provide a conference which addresses the concerns of business in times of crisis. 

The EURAM 2020 conference is designed to help leaders make decisions so they will not just respond to market forces but shape them, so that they serve business and society in a more inclusive and sustaining manner. Ultimately, providing the template for business serving intergenerational stakeholders, where managers can create opportunities of future generations rather than destroy them.

The conference will help guide business leaders to address climate change, as well as to turn the futuristic visions of markets and new technologies into practical options. It will tackle the issues facing business, explore new technology and ultimately make things happen. The conference will discuss setting a well needed blueprint for business management that will enable society to benefit from technological progress and free markets.

The Conference Programme Committee includes; Conference Chair Andrew Burke from Trinity Business School at Trinity College Dublin, Vice President of Conferences Eythor Ivar Jonsson from Akademias & Copenhagen Business School, Denmark and Vice President Strategic Interest Groups Rémi Jardat from Université Evry-Val d’Essonne, France.  They will be joined by senior executives from industry including Danny McCoy CEO IBEC (Irish Business and Employers’ Confederation), Cathriona Hallahan, Managing Director, Microsoft Ireland, John Herlihy, Vice President and Managing Director for EMEA (Europe Middle East Africa) and LATAM (Latin America) at LinkedIn, Imelda Hurley, CEO at Coillte and a Non-Executive Director at both Total Produce Plc and IBEC. 

The Opening panel session discussing ‘How are business schools are going to address the new world of business’ will include Professor Andrew Burke (Chair), Dean of Trinity Business School, Trinity College Dublin, Professor Sara Carter OBE FRSE,  Vice-Principal and Head of the College of Social Sciences, University of Glasgow, Professor Kai Peters, Pro-Vice-Chancellor of Business & Law, Coventry University, Professor Zoe Radnor, Vice President (Strategy and Planning) at City, University of London, Professor Vincenzo Esposito Vinzi, Dean and President of ESSEC Business School.

Professor Kathrin M. Moeslein, President of the European Academy of Management

FAU Erlangen-Nürnberg & HHL Leipzig Graduate School of Management says:

 “I am impressed by the developments and maturity of EURAM. As a founding member I still remember its beginnings 20 years ago. As I now, in 2020, start my presidency, EURAM has well over 2,000 members – management scholars located in Europe and beyond. The 2020 EURAM Annual Conference will give us the opportunity to look inwardly and outwardly. Leading management academics will share their views on how they see the future of management research and education. Leading management practitioners will provide insight on prospects for the next decades. More than ever, there are opportunities to seize, the future is now. There is much to do to make our economies, public health structures, for and non-for-profit organisations thrive again. Let us jointly help our Academy to mature further, to grow in quality and quantity and to strengthen the commitment of all of us to jointly serve society!”

 Professor Andrew Burke, Dean of Trinity Business School says:

“We had been looking forward to hosting this conference in Dublin but the Covid-19 pandemic has forced us to innovate and so now EURAM will host its first ever online conference.  It is somewhat serendipitous that the 2020 EURAM conference which is focusing on ‘The Business of Now’ where business school research is used to provide guidance and solutions to immediate problems, should itself be catapulted into an innovative online conference as a result of the limitations imposed by Covid-19 social distancing requirement and travel restrictions.  I think this gets the theme of our conference off to a flying start.”

More information here: https://conferences.euram.academy/2020conference/

Antimicrobial coating treatment launches that kills & protects against coronavirus and other harmful germs for up to one year

 

A biotech company has launched an antimicrobial surface treatment proven to kill harmful bacteria and viruses including TGEV coronavirus, the model virus for SARS COV 2, for up to twelve months after one application. Nano technology is used to bond quaternary ammonium within the coating, which kills harmful bacteria and microorganisms to ensure hospital grade cleanliness on surfaces and touch points that are treated. London City Airport was one of the first establishments to adopt the treatment shortly after the pandemic, and is still achieving the same level of hygiene as a sterile operating theatre nearly 6 months after implementation.

Biotech and Microbial control company, Zonitise, has launched its antimicrobial surface coating that constantly eliminates harmful pathogens including TGEV Coronavirus, a model virus for Sars Cov 2, as well as many other harmful bacteria and viruses. The treatment is warranted for up to one year after a single application, ensuring long-term protection. 

The non-toxic and non-mutagenic 2 part specialist coating is applied professionally by qualified technicians to provide always-on, 24/7 protection on 100% of the surfaces within a treated area. This coating not only disinfects surfaces, but also coats them with an invisible layer of antimicrobial sealant, which constantly eliminates and inhibits the growth of any harmful microorganisms that come into contact with it for up to twelve months.

To find out more visit: zonitise.com

With 90% of hospital infections transmitted by hands and often in excess of 2,000 germs per square inch on everyday surfaces, Zonitise’s coating aims to prevent the spread of infections by creating safe germ-free spaces that remain constantly self-sanitising all year round between cleaning cycles*. Peer reviewed studies in the US have proven that when an antimicrobial coating was implemented in an intensive care hospital environment, hospital acquired infections decreased by 30%**.

As an added benefit, the self-disinfecting coating also prevents mould or fungi growth and eliminates bacteria that cause unpleasant odours. 

In recent months large companies and institutions have spent millions on additional cleaning to ensure premises are COVID-19 secure. The problem the world faces is that contamination risk in public spaces is continuous, but conventional cleaning and sanitising is only effective for a moment in time.  Zonitise Antimicrobial coatings ensure that surfaces stay hygienic between cleaning cycles resulting in a far more cost-effective approach to reducing the likelihood of cross contamination, with companies who implement it being able to safely return to pre-pandemic cleaning routines. Once applied, Zonitise removes the need for toxic disinfecting chemicals, odour masking and monthly fogging, while also reducing the unsustainable drain on labour and funds of hiring cleaners’ multiple times a day. 

The antimicrobial treatment can be applied across a range of professional environments including the travel industry, leisure and hospitality, education facilities, care facilities, offices and retail stores. 

Zonitise will also be launching a consumer range very soon, of patented self-apply antimicrobial products for surface, skin and laundry, that can be used both personally within homes and vehicles, and commercially across all sectors to ensure long lasting protection from harmful bacteria and viruses.

Zonitise is a biotech and microbial control company, specializing in antimicrobial protection against bacteria, viruses, mould, mildew, and odours. Zonitise’s mission is to reduce cross contamination risk on surfaces and touch points to keep people healthy.

Edward Tennent, Sales Director at Zonitise said,

“We have been pleased to be able to assist many institutions and businesses across the UK with our specialist antimicrobial treatments at a time when we have never been so aware of the need of protection from germs and viruses.  As well as being proven to massively reduce the spread of infection, the treatment also provides protection against micro-scratches and helps reduce damage to surfaces so it is a real win-win scenario.

“Aside from helping to reduce the spread of infection, it has also been good to see people become increasingly aware of how long germs can remain active on everyday surfaces, and how easily they can be spread from person to person.  

“Many institutions are spending a fortune on additional cleaning to comply with COVID-19 guidance, but because disinfectants are only momentary in their effectiveness, there are many hours every day when a shared surface is just a vector for cross contamination.  Zonitise Antimicrobial coating changes that completely – meaning that surfaces stay self sanitising between cleaning cycles. It’s really a gift of science and thankfully it’s not come a moment too soon.

“While we still encourage people to sanitise their hands regularly, wear a mask, and keep their distance, our antimicrobial coatings help facilities to take hygiene to new heights by constantly working to eliminate microorganisms.”

Case Study: London City Airport

Following the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, Zonitise applied its one year warranted antimicrobial coating on surfaces and touchpoints throughout the whole of London City Airport to minimize the risk of any cross contamination for passengers and staff.

As part of its service, Zonitise performs regular checks and six months after applying the coating, Zonitise technicians were pleased to report that London City Airport’s check-in desks and screens were reporting hygiene levels to the same standard as a sterile operating theatre. The airport’s handrails, lift buttons and security trays were also all at hospital grade clean levels.

81% of teachers expect further declines in pupils’ mental health

Education professionals admit they haven’t had sufficient training to deal with mental health problems amongst students
High Speed Training offers complimentary safeguarding advice to alleviate pressure on teachers
Despite the vast majority of teachers (81 per cent) raising concerns that they expect mental health problems amongst their pupils to increase throughout the 2020/21 academic year, over a quarter (28 per cent) of schools have not yet updated their safeguarding policies to reflect children’s needs.
According to the study conducted amongst education professionals from across the UK, pupils in key stage three are of most concern, with teachers expecting bigger declines in mental health and increased safeguarding issues compared to those in other age groups.
Where children have not previously had an existing safeguarding issue, teachers’ greatest worries while coronavirus restrictions remain in place are children falling behind (63 per cent), pupils’ mental health (62 per cent) and access to school meals (42 per cent).
Although teachers expect to see a rise in various safeguarding issues, High Speed Training’s research revealed that almost a third (31 per cent) admit they have not had sufficient training to deal with the problems they might face.
To help combat the issue, High Speed Training has launched a hub of content dedicated to supporting school workers through providing complimentary resources on all aspects of safeguarding.
Catherine Talbot, Education Sector Analyst and Course Lead at High Speed Training, said: “Months of virtual learning and returning to school in extremely different circumstances are taking their toll on children’s wellbeing. Safeguarding is a complex issue but right now it has never been more important.
“Through such testing times, it’s imperative that those working in the education sector feel confident that they have the necessary knowledge, training and expertise to deal with concerns raised by pupils. As a company that’s dedicated to lifelong learning, we hope the resources we’re providing go some way to helping teachers feel better equipped to support students’ changing needs as best they can.”
To support those seeking additional training and information on safeguarding child mental health, High Speed Training has a range of free-to-view and download resources available online at https://www.highspeedtraining.co.uk/hub/designated-safeguarding-lead-resources/

MEDIA SMART TO HELP STUDENTS UNDERSTAND DAMAGING IMPACT OF PIRACY ON FILM & TV

Media Smart, The Industry Trust and its partners have launched a secondary school educational resource on intellectual property, focusing specifically on film and TV piracy

London, November 19, 2020: The UK advertising industry’s education non-profit, Media Smart, in partnership with The Industry Trust for IP Awareness, the Motion Picture Association (MPA) and the Intellectual Property Office, has launched a new school resource focused on intellectual property.

The resource – “Piracy: What’s The Big Deal?” – turns the spotlight on film and TV piracy. It encourages 11-14 year olds to think first before illegally accessing content by introducing key concepts of copyright and copyright infringement and explores the risks to individuals, the associated impact on the creative industry, and wider links to organised crime.

The teaching materials include an engaging film featuring influencer and actor Luke Franks and Sky One presenter Jacqueline Sheppard, which encourages students to identify the consequences and impact of piracy and to assess how serious these can be. Students will also be given the opportunity to create a short anti-piracy campaign in the form of a storyboard or a one-minute film. This element will run as a competition with schools being given the chance to win £2,000 worth of media equipment for their schools and prizes from digital entertainment retailer, Rakuten TV.

To view the resources and the film click here.

Rachel Barber-Mack, Director of Media Smart, commented:

“Media Smart’s supporters have long wanted to work with the wider creative industry in educating young people about piracy, a subject that is ever more important during COVID-19 – when kids are online more.

“We are proud to say that the teaching resource have been awarded the PSHE Association Quality Mark and developed to support the curriculum for living in a wider world with media literacy and digital resilience. Our partnership with the Industry Trust, MPA and IPO has enabled us to create innovative film-based materials plus competition that will resonate with and inspire our target audience.”

Liz Bales, Chief Executive of The Industry Trust, commented:

“Research conducted by the Industry Trust has found that young people are among those most likely to be tempted to infringe copyright. These studies highlight a need for anti-piracy and pro-industry messaging that engages with and informs younger audiences, allowing them to consider their actions and positively change attitudes towards piracy.

“Our aim is primarily to education young people, to encourage them to value content and respect the creative industry and also to understand the personal and very real risks they expose themselves to if they do engage with illegally sourced content. We’re delighted to partner with Media Smart in order to produce this comprehensive and engaging resource that has the potential to reach millions of young people throughout the UK.”

The importance of the resource is clear when it is estimated that more than 50% of current infringers have been a victim of hacking or viruses and 31% have been exposed to inappropriate content.[1] Furthermore, in 2019 the Intellectual Property Office estimated piracy and counterfeiting cost the UK economy £9bn and 80,500 job losses each year.[2]

In a sign of its success in increasing media literacy and digital literacy among children and young people, Media Smart recently won Gold at the International CSR Excellence Awards. This builds on other news that the programme has made the finals in two categories for The Drum Awards for Social Purpose 2020.

Virgin Media Business secures major deal with Falkirk Council to help schools deliver digital education

• Falkirk Council has appointed Virgin Media Business to support schools with next-generation digital connectivity
• The multi-year deal will provide additional bandwidth and Wi-Fi improvements for 58 local schools, making it easier and safer for students and their educators to benefit from digital learning
• Virgin Media Business redesigning schools’ wireless networks to improve coverage and security, ensuring students can learn digital skills to support them finding jobs in the future
Virgin Media Business has signed a major public sector contract with Falkirk Council that will see it improve connectivity in schools and support digital learning.

The operator will deliver new wireless networks in all the council’s 58 primary, secondary and additional support schools, providing more bandwidth to help them cope with the additional data traffic that will be generated by 18,000 new iPads given to students through the council’s Connected Falkirk project.

Virgin Media Business will provide safe and secure solutions for the schools, ensuring educators can help protect students from unsuitable content as well as provide a cloud management platform that gives the council greater flexibility in managing their connectivity. The dedicated Wi-Fi and connectivity provided through the contract also ensures equity of access in all Falkirk Council schools.

Martin McFadyen, Head of Public Sector at Virgin Media Business, said:

“We are proud that our cutting-edge technology will help Falkirk Council safeguard against network issues today, while also creating a digital learning environment fit for the future.

“With our support, thousands of children across the Falkirk area will be able to safely and securely access reliable connections that support their learning and help them build the digital skills they need to thrive in future.”

Over the next five years, Connected Falkirk will transform learning and teaching across all schools in the Falkirk area, helping to prepare children and young people to live, learn and work in a truly digital age.”

Part of the ambitious Council of the Future Change programme, Connected Falkirk is one of 23 projects that aim to modernise and improve services and help deliver the council’s three corporate priorities – Communities, Enterprise, and Innovation.

Robert Naylor, Director of Children’s Services at Falkirk Council, said:

“The investment in Connected Falkirk gives increased access to devices, coupled with a suite of powerful digital tools, increased connectivity, and a dedicated professional learning programme that will bring learning benefits to all.

“We believe our partnership with Virgin Media Business will enhance and support the delivery of learning excellence to all our children and young people.”

Carrot Productions announce a brand new arts package for schools this Christmas

Carrot Productions, the world’s leading performers of The Snowman with live orchestra, has created the perfect alternative to the traditional school outing, introducing some much-needed joy and happiness into pupils’ lives this Christmas, ALL DELIVERABLE REMOTELY IN CASE OF LOCKDOWN.

All music in the show other than The Snowman has been written by Daniel Whibley, whose orchestration of Four Notes – Paul’s Tune has gone viral, reaching number 1 in the singles charts.

Schooltime Showtime offers schools the opportunity to actively champion high quality art and cultural education in a meaningful and safe way, as well as having lots of fun. Each Gold package also provides essential and valuable work for our wonderful professional freelance musicians.

It’s much more than just a show
Schooltime Showtime also provides teachers with a comprehensive package of resources to create a hassle-free and memorable experience for all ages, including:

• Ready-to-go lesson ideas, differentiated for EYFS to Key Stage 2.

• Show and Tell live online session with a musician, conductor, composer or author.

• Fun videos of instrument-making from junk by the musicians and their families, Makaton Christmas Carols filmed at a special school, and dance instruction from a professional dancer.

• 7 day streaming of The Snowman Tour show, affording a close-up view of some of the UK’s finest musicians, handpicked from orchestras including the BBC Scottish, Hallé and BBC Philharmonic.

• The final performance features a Christmas medley, a fun introduction to the orchestra and even a visit from The Snowman himself. Additionally, there is an exclusive adaptation of the award-winning book The Bear and the Piano by David Litchfield, commissioned by Carrot Productions in 2017. This beautifully-illustrated tale of music, friendship and adventure features music by Daniel Whibley played live by the orchestra, and a narration recorded by Joanna Lumley.

Incredible value
The packages represent excellent value – starting at £295 for the whole school – and offer 100% risk free booking. They have been designed to be deliverable in a flexible way, are accessible entirely from within a school setting, can be shared with multiple bubbles at once, and the materials and final show can be shared online with pupils at home in the instance of a lockdown or isolation.

REVEALED: THE TOP 10 SKILLS MOST NEEDED WITHIN EDUCATION SECTOR TODAY FOLLOWING THE IMPACT OF COVID-19

• Within unemployment rates rising, a new report has analysed 1.5 million job adverts to identify the most in-demand skills that employers within the education sector are actively recruiting for, right now in the UK.
• The top 10 skills, most in-demand in the UK education jobs market includes mental health awareness and welfare.
A new report* published last week (11th November) by the UK’s biggest independent online learning provider, The Skills Network, in partnership with global insights from EMSI UK, has highlighted the top 10 most-sought after skills that UK bosses are actively recruiting for right now, due to changes in the jobs market brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.
With an estimated 1.52 million people* unemployed during Summer, and experts anticipating this figure to rise even further once the furlough scheme ends, the report analysed 1.5 million live job adverts to identify the expertise that is most sought-after by UK employers. The report aims to help guide those who may have been made redundant or unemployed, so they can identify the abilities bosses are looking for in their local region.
The top 10 most in-demand skills requested within the education and early years sector in the UK, right now, include:
1. Welfare
2. Autism
3. Child protection
4. Learning support
5. Classroom management
6. National curriculum
7. Mental health
8. Numeracy
9. Science education
10. Auditing
To help those candidates looking for a new position in their local area, The Skills Network has also purposely developed an online app, which provides a personalised and bespoke list of the top 15 most sought-after skills and roles available in their local area. It is hoped this application will help people find the most appropriate position for them no matter which sector they worked in previously.
Mark Dawe, CEO at The Skills Network, comments: “Being able to identify and address mental health is a growing requirement for staff in the education and early learning sector. Both teachers and support staff play a significant role in tackling mental health issues within the classroom, and mental health training can equip today’s candidates with the right tools to help children experiencing personal problems.
“At The Skills Network, we offer distance learning, as a way of learning remotely and achieving new qualifications without attending lessons or lectures in a classroom. We’d urge anyone currently looking for their next role to consider online learning as a way to bolster their CV – and to tap-into the knowledge of the skills that employers are recruiting for.”
Andy Durman, Managing Director of EMSI UK, said: “The huge disruption to the economy this year has revealed a number of new labour market challenges, as well as exacerbating some existing ones, such as the already widening skills gap and the challenge brought about by increased automation.
“In order to really get to grips with these challenges, we need to better understand exactly what skills employers are demanding, and how this is changing over the period of economic upheaval and beyond.”
To access the full report, or to review the online courses available – please visit: https://www.theskillsnetwork.com/skills-gap-trend-report

SafeToNet and the Anti Bullying Alliance stand united against bullying

SafeToNet are proud to announce their support for Anti-Bullying Week 2020, which will take place from Monday 16 – Friday 20 November. This year’s themeis United Against Bullying, which urges the nation to come together and play their part inpreventing and responding appropriately to bullying both face to face and online.  

New statistics from the Anti-Bullying Alliance show that a third of children in the UK have been bullied in the last six months, with one in five children on the receiving end of bullying behaviour once per week or more. Heartbreakingly, the number of children reporting they have more than one close friend dropped following the outbreak, going from 91% in 2019 to 86.5% in October 2020. 

As a leading safeguarding company, SafeToNet understand the long-term impact and consequences bullying can have on children and young people and are passionate aboutplaying their part in the fight against these threats. Their mission is simple; to safeguard as many children as possible against online risks such as bullying and to educate them and their parents on becoming safe, responsible digital citizens. By joining forces andchannelling their collective ambitions, efforts, and platforms, SafeToNet and the Anti Bullying Alliance are working to beat bullying together. They believe that everyone – from parents and carers, to teachers and politicians, to children and young people – all have a part to play in coming together to make a real difference.  

The app, which is downloaded onto both the parent and child’s devices, uses an AI-driven smart keyboard to detect and filter risks and harmful content in real time, before any harm is caused. The pioneering technology has been designed specifically to pick up on a user’s psychological wellbeing, recognising signs of doubt, low self-esteem and dark thoughts, and offering support and guidance in the moment. The privacy of the children is paramount; what they are looking at, who they are talking to and what they are typing is never seen or read by the parents or by SafeToNet. 

Due to the Covid-19 lockdown, children have spent more time than ever online this year,doing everything from socialising to schoolwork online with less adult supervision than normal, creating an even greater opportunity for online bullying. In this sense, there is an even greater need for SafeToNet as a real time safeguarding solution to ensure that children have the necessary tools to navigate the digital world safely and feel comfortable havinginformed, constructive conversations with parents or guardians about online behaviour.  

Anti-Bullying Week 2020 includes a number of events and activities in order to raise awareness and highlight the issues surrounding bullying; Odd Socks Day on Monday 16 November asks workplaces and schools to encourage everyone to turn up wearing odd socks to embrace their individuality and celebrate difference, whilst the School Staff Award  

allows pupils to nominate their favourite anti-bullying member of school staff for a prize, to celebrate the adults who are standing up to bullying and making a difference. There will also be a range of online activities with resources and ideas on how parents and schools can get involved and play their part,  

Co-founder of SafeToNet Sharon Pursey says ‘We are honoured to be supporting Anti-Bullying Week again and stand united against bullying; we are all a piece of the puzzle and have our responsibility to ensure children’s safety and wellbeing. As a safeguarding tech company, our vision is to create a world where all children are automatically safe online and are protected from digital threats such as bullying, so by supporting this initiative we hope to raise some awareness and start the conversation about digital safety and wellbeing in schools and households across the UK.”  

Martha Evans, Director of the Anti-Bullying Alliance says ‘It’s clear that bullying remains a significant problem for many children across the country, and we know that these experiences can have a lasting impact well into adulthood. But this year we have witnessed the power that people can have when they unite to tackle a common challenge. If we are serious about reducing bullying, we have to harness that energy and work together. Itsespecially important that the digital world is a safe place for children and young people to enjoy, and we are delighted to team up with SafeToNet again this year, who have been at the forefront in developing software to support families. But whether it is online, in the community or in school, we all have a part to play and its time we came together, friends and family, classmates and colleagues, and unite against bullying.’