Throughout 2019, the Safer Schools app, a pioneering online application designed to help safeguard children whilst online, is being rolled out to more than 13,000 UK state schools nationwide.
The educational resource is delivered by public sector specialist insurance company, Zurich Municipal, through their partnership with industry specialist, INEQE Safeguarding Group. The safeguarding initiative will help educate, empower and protect children and young people from the surge in online risk, while providing a resource for teachers and parents to identify, prevent and mitigate the effects of online child abuse.
With over 1,000 schools across the UK already benefitting as part of a successful trial period, the app ensures school staff, pupils, parents and carers remain up to date and equipped to discuss contemporary online risks.
The app provides expert information and guidance to teachers and school staff across the UK, along providing free access to CPD accredited training, including safeguarding certifications and managing mental health in education.
The content in the app is curated, reviewed and updated in real time by Ineqe’s safeguarding experts, providing a source of information and guidance for school communities in the digital world.
On average, children and young people spend in excess of 20 hours per week online, making them increasingly vulnerable to issues affecting their self-esteem & mental wellbeing. Online risks faced by children can range from bullying by school peers, to predatory behaviour such as grooming and sextortion.
This vital safeguarding resource is being released following the recent Government White Paper, “Online Harms”, reporting that parents ‘want to be empowered to keep themselves and their children safe online, but currently there is insufficient support in place and many feel vulnerable online.’
Commenting on this initiative, Jim Gamble said: “In various safeguarding roles over many years, I’ve come to recognise that partnership is key, whether it’s multiagency working across Local Authorities or national and transnational law enforcement initiatives. The right partnerships make a real difference.”
“Our partnership with Zurich Municipal has greater potential than any I’ve been involved in before. Their support reach and commitment to keeping people safer will deliver our entire suite of safeguarding resources to schools without diminishing the school budgets that we all know are under relentless pressure. I believe that together through the resources and technologies we will make available we can improve understanding of safeguarding for thousands of our children and their families.”
Andrew Jepp, Managing Director at Zurich Municipal, said: “We believe that in order to build resilient communities, we all have an important role to play in safeguarding our children, whether it is as parents or guardians, teachers or organisations that operate in those communities. Partnerships such as this one with Ineqe, help us draw on the already available expertise and share this knowledge with our school communities.
“As a socially responsible insurer, we want to help protect young people in the UK from the online dangers and educate the whole school community on those risks so that they can be understood, spotted and managed properly if needed.”