An innovative technological application, called Safer Schools, has been launched on 18 September 2019 at St Ninian's Lower School. The Safer Schools app aims to help the Island’s school communities better protect themselves by having safeguarding information at their fingertips.
School leaders, teachers and support staff from across the Island, together with representatives from the Isle of Man Safeguarding Board, the Isle of Man Constabulary and Business Isle of Man were invited to the launch.
Developed by Ineqe Safeguarding Group in partnership with Zurich Municipal, the Safer Schools app will provide teachers and support staff, students and pupils, parents and carers with regular updates and resources about safeguarding and staying safe on- and off-line. In addition, schools will have the ability to send notifications via the app to each of these groups to alert them to topics such as social media, gaming, bullying, sexting and mental health.
Graham Cregeen, Minister for Education, Sport and Culture said:
‘In this increasingly digital world, it is important to safeguard young people. The Safer Schools app has been designed by Ineqe Safeguarding Group in collaboration with the Department, the Isle of Man Safeguarding Board and the schools, to provide contemporary credible and relevant information about staying safe on and offline. A successful pilot ahead of today’s launch has taken place. We are grateful to Zurich Municipal as the Isle of Man Government insurers for providing free access to this technology.’
Colin Stitt, Safer Schools Team Leader, Ineqe Safeguarding Group said:
‘At Safer Schools we understand the importance of keeping our young people safer, alongside providing solutions to the various issues facing parents, carers and those responsible for educating and empowering our adults of tomorrow. All content of the Safer Schools app has been tailored to meet the unique requirements of the Isle of Man, based on Isle of Man Government policies.’
Rob Sellors, Headteacher at Cronk y Berry School said:
‘The school has enjoyed taking part in the pilot of the Safer Schools app as we continue to help parents and children stay safe online. Our pupil led eSquad have shown the rest of the school how to use the app, which they think is really useful to find out more about the apps and games they play as well as how to get help if they need it. The response from parents and staff has been fantastic as many families are eager to understand more about how to minimise the risks of being online.’
Following on from the launch, the Chief Executive Officer of Ineqe Safeguarding Group, Jim Gamble, will be presenting at CYBERISLE 2019 discussing the complex subject of safeguarding in a digital world as well as providing more details of the benefits of using the Safer Schools app.
A CYBERISLE 2019 – Schools session will take place, which is targeted at school teachers with key information to be provided around the use of the safer schools app and ongoing digital safety.