Tuesday 11 February 2014 is Safer Internet Day. Safer Internet Day is celebrated globally, but this year's theme 'Let's create a better internet together' has a real resonance in light of the policy focus that this topic has received in the UK in recent months, with David Cameron announcing his plans for family friendly filtering as well as plans for a new Computing curriculum in England.
With internet safety top of the agenda, Safer Internet Day is the perfect opportunity to kick start a year of excellence in internet safety education.
As the organisers of Safer Internet Day in the UK, the UK Safer Internet Centre is working to support schools across the UK, not only throughout the year, but also in encouraging and equipping them to think about how they are can play a part in creating a better internet for young people. Whether it's running class activities, holding parent sessions or creating family competitions, we believe Safer Internet Day offers schools a chance to showcase the fantastic things that they and their pupils are doing to make internet safety a priority.
We are working with many industry partners to help extend the reach and amplification of the day - but there is a role for everyone and schools play a crucial role in Safer Internet Day and in sharing the message with children and young people. We are excited to see so many schools already pledging their support for the day.
School supporters are able to register what they are doing for Safer Internet Day on the UKSIC website, and there you can be inspired by the many varied things that they are doing. One particular example which has struck us in the office is Pool Academy, who are using SID as an opportunity to teach young people how to safely use the technologies they love - and for the day will be unblocking Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat in school, to give pupils the opportunity to learn about safety features on those sites.
In England, the new Computing curriculum will be taught from September 2014, and has e-safety embedded in it through both primary and secondary. ICT and Computing lessons provide an opportunity to deliver a progressive internet safety curriculum, as well as giving young people the skills they need to compete in today's digital economy.
Change is coming, and Safer Internet Day is the moment to ensure that all staff are equipped to educate young people about staying safe online, and know what to do if any issues arise.
To help you plan your activities, we've produced a range of educational resources for primary, secondary and parent sessions that are all available to download for free from www.saferinternetday.org.uk and we would encourage schools to remember to submit your logo to join the Supporters list and show that your school is getting involved at the same time as checking out the SID resources!
It has been an exciting year of developments in the internet safety space. Let's make Safer Internet Day 2014 a time to celebrate the great work that schools across the UK are doing - and let's inspire an even greater focus over the next year as we work to create a better internet together.