Safeguarding Update - April 2017
In this lovely warm weather, when more students are walking to and from school, please be aware of stranger danger.
Trust your instincts: if you ever feel scared or uncomfortable, get away as fast as you can and tell a trusted adult. If parents are concerned please call the police on 101
Students, please be vigilant about being safe on the journey to and from school at all times. We received a specific concern from a member of the public about students crossing in front of traffic by the college. Students should always use the crossings provided in a safe and responsible way.
Here are some NSPCC leaflets which give advice on how to keep your child safe online.
Blue Whale Game
The Blue Whale Game asks teenagers to take part in an escalating series of self-harm challenges, culminating in suicide
Schools across southern England are warning parents about the dangers of an internet game, which some people claim has led to the suicides of 130 teenagers
Players of the game are given a “master”, who sets them 50 tasks over 50 days. A descriptive account of the game, posted to a forum dedicated to creepypasta – horror stories and urban legends intended to scare readers – suggests that the master always knows whether or not the tasks have been accomplished.
The tasks start off innocently: for example, a player might be asked to wake up in the middle of the night. Gradually, however, they build up to acts of self-harm, such as carving the image of a whale into their skin. On the fiftieth day, players are instructed to take their own lives. Please be alert to this new threat to our children.
National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC) and UK Council for Child Internet Safety (UKCCIS) - New Guidance on Sexting
We have received notice from Devon and Cornwall Police on response to ‘youth produced sexual imagery’, commonly referred to as “sexting” or ‘’sending nudes’’ amongst young people.
‘Where a parent, child or school reports an allegation to the police, the Home Office counting rules mandate that it must be recorded on our systems as a crime. Taking, making or distributing indecent photographs or possession of an indecent photograph of a child is a criminal offence and therefore all reported offences of youth produced sexual imagery to Devon and Cornwall Police will be recorded as a crime. However, the guidance to Forces also allows the police to use their discretion as to the best means of then resolving that crime report.
This means that even though a young person has broken the law (and the police could provide evidence that they have done so), the police can record that they chose not to take further action as it was not in the public interest. The use of ‘outcome 21’ on a crime means that the young person does not have a criminal record and it is unlikely that the incident would be shared on future Disclosure and Barring Services checks - unless future incidents occurred which suggested a pattern of behaviour.
Where aggravating circumstances do exist, then clearly we will undertake a thorough investigation, as you would expect.’
The full guidance is available for you to read here:
“Sexting in schools and colleges”
Please continue to support us in keeping all our young people safe, and should you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact me.
Yvonne Rippon Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead – Richard Lander School