Online safety first for Ballyclare High

Teacher in charge of eSafety, Mrs Hill with pupils Katie Shearer, Zara King and Victoria Glenn. INNT 06-539CON
Teacher in charge of eSafety, Mrs Hill with pupils Katie Shearer, Zara King and Victoria Glenn. INNT 06-539CON
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Ballyclare High has become the first school in Northern Ireland to achieve the eSafety Mark award - recognition of good internet safety practice.

Following the completion of an assessment last week, the school was approved for the accreditation by the 360 Degree Safe organisation.

“The assessors commented on the strength of our application and were particularly impressed with the pupil involvement in this area,” a school spokesperson explained.

“The award demonstrates our commitment to providing a safe and caring environment where pupils, staff and the wider school community feel supported.”

To celebrate the school’s achievement, the UK Safer Internet Centre, in partnership with Childnet, will visit on Safer Internet Day to formally present staff and pupils with their award.

Meanwhile, Ballyclare High has been selected as one of five schools in the UK to join the Childnet Digital Leaders pilot programme.

Childnet is a children’s charity that was set up in 1995 to help make the internet a great and safe place for children. It delivers educational sessions for over 25,000 children aged 3-18 every year, as well as sessions to about 4,000 parents. They also coordinate Safer Internet Day through their role as the UK Safer Internet Centre.

Funded by Facebook, the Digital Leaders programme will help a team of young people from Ballyclare High develop the knowledge and skills they need to deliver online safety educational sessions to their peers.

The young people will be supported through the programme by teacher Mrs Hill, who leads the development of eSafety policies and practices within the school.