Keyham Lodge and Millgate School are currently working together on an ambitious project which will establish the school federation as a national e-safety centre of excellence for schools that support learners with social, emotional and mental health difficulties (SEMH). The project aims to increase student, staff and parental awareness. The project will create and share a range of high quality cross-curricular resources that can be used to support SEMD learners. A bespoke training package for staff and learners is being created with the help of experts, specifically focusing on e-safety in relation to mobile technologies. An e-safety questionnaire is also being designed to find out what pupils, parents, carers and staff know, and identify areas where more support may be needed. Survey findings will inform the direction of the project and the resources created. You can read the initial project post here.
Project lead Darren John (Learning Technology Lead for the two schools) comments on the findings so far from the project e-safety survey:
Keyham Lodge and Millgate are federated schools supporting children with Social, Emotional and Mental Health (SEMH) needs. We deal with some of the most vulnerable children in Leicester City and see e-safety as a vital educational area for keeping them safe.
We teamed up with James Diamond to produce e-safety materials for SEMH because of his role as Safeguarding Officer for Leicester City Council, as well as his interest in e-safety and the recognised contacts he has made in this field, including Ken Corish and Professor Andy Phippen of South West Grid for Learning (who agreed to provide advice on the student survey). James is currently employed as the Leader of Digital Learning at Abbotsholme School in Staffordshire, but continues to provide online safety guidance to schools and organisations.
Producing the initial questionnaires
Before creating materials, we decided to ask pupils, staff and parents to complete a confidential online survey in order to get a clear idea as to how they perceive online safety. All pupils were given the opportunity to fill in the questionnaire, from Year 5 – 11 (ages 9 to 15), with a c.60% return rate. We are currently analysing the results from staff and parents/carers, but the pupil answers are shared below.
The survey is based on previous student online experience surveys produced by Andy Phippen at the University of Plymouth, and is designed to elicit honest opinions from the young people completing it. The aim is to gather as true a reflection as possible about their online experiences.
Our discussion focused on how easy the questionnaire would be to complete, based on literacy levels of the young people across the two schools. We decided the questionnaire should be completed with careful help from staff on each point, whilst ensuring the answers aren’t elicited through poor guidance.
Once implemented, the questionnaires went out to all pupils on SurveyMonkey, hosted by Andy Phippen at Plymouth University. The results were then reviewed in meetings and the questionnaire for parents and staff was modified slightly through discussion between James Diamond and Darren John, prior to being sent out electronically to all staff and parents before Christmas. This allowed for any changes that become highlighted by the pupil answers, particularly by those about getting round rules and who pupils are prepared to go to with issues that concern them. The results are now being used as the foundation for the training program, to be implemented later in the academic year.
Download the survey questions
You can see the questions (and all options) here. They are shared under an open licence, so please do use them to create your own surveys – remember to give credit!
What young people told us
Across both schools, there are 151 pupils on roll. 90 at Keyham (78 boys, 12 girls), 61 at Millgate (all boys). 49% of all pupils responded to the survey at Keyham (within this figure, 33% of all girls responded, 51% of all boys – 44 pupils in total). 52% of Millgate pupils responded (32 pupils in total).
1. Which school do you go to?
2. What Year are you in?
3. How old are you?
4. Are you male or female?
Q 1-4. Because the project is across two schools in a Federation, we wanted to be able to see who came from which school. Keyham Lodge goes from Year 5 to 11 and also has some girls, whereas Millgate is all boys from Year 7 to 11, so there may be a requirement for differing needs to be addressed. It will also be necessary to address helping boys try to understand the different kinds of issues that are associated specifically with girls online, rather than just splitting the sexes educationally and focusing solely on their individual needs.
5. What do you use to go online?
Q5. Access to the internet was primarily through Smartphones and Tablets, which didn’t pose any surprises, or buck national trends. What did seem unusual was that 20% of those surveyed didn’t connect through their Mobile phones. Is this perhaps due to cost of contract for data? Over 30% now connect through their TV, which shows the speed of the rise of the Smart TV, even amongst families with less disposable income.
6. How much time do you spend online in an average day?
Q6. 50% spend over 3 hours online every day. Most of this is either at home, or on their mobile phone. 32% over 6 hours a day, which therefore suggests students are going online late into the night on devices such as gaming consoles, and also fits in with anecdotal evidence from discussions in lessons. One possible way of opening up discussion could be to get them to analyse their own use of the internet, through discussion. When do they access the internet? What are they looking at? Adult content? Games? Once again, national trends and anecdotal evidence suggests this.
7. What do you use the internet for?
Q7. The majority of the answers centred around social networks, instant messaging, gaming and listening to music, followed closely by content creation and browsing/general entertainment. 30% said shopping, even though all are too young to have credit cards, so they must have access to parent/carer accounts and cards.
8. If you use social networks to talk to your friends, please list the ones you use regularly.
Q8. There were no great surprises over the answers for the most used social networks, with Facebook coming out on top. There were some answers showing gaming networks, such as Playstation, but very few for Twitter. This does show that individual schools create their own trends for communication, which makes sense. For example, one prominent secondary school primarily uses Twitter.
9. If you play video games, do you play online?
Q9. Only 2.7% don’t play video games online. All the rest do. As the majority of games are set up for online play, this is no surprise, although it does suggest a huge percentages of homes across both schools have internet access.
10. If you play video games, please list the ones you play regularly
Q10. As with National trends, the majority of games listed are for 16’s and over, with the notable exception to the rule being Minecraft. This means most of the pupils in our Federation are playing games rated as unsuitable for their age.
11. Do you use the Internet to download films or music?
12. If you do use the Internet to download music/films, do you do this legally?
Q11 & 12. Just over 71% use the internet to download movies and music. Of these, nearly 39% download illegally, with another 17% unsure, so there needs to be some education done here. This also helped shape one of the questions for the parent/carer and staff questionnaire, in order to find out whether adults are also aware of the legal position.
13. Have you ever seen anything on line that has made you feel upset?
14. If you have been upset by something you’ve seen online, would you like to explain what this was?
Q13 & 14. Nearly 28% said they’d been upset by something online. Examples given were animal cruelty, personal family comments, beheadings and sexual comments. We were a little concerned that 72% hadn’t been disturbed by something! Is this because they’re sensible online, or desensitised to comments and inappropriate content?
15. Have you ever said anything nasty to someone on line?
16. Have you ever received nasty comments/content online?
Q15 & 16. 59% admitted to saying nasty things online, which is above national trends. Our debate centred round whether this was because they were being more honest than many on the questionnaire, or because some don’t understand the social norms as well as others who have answered similar questionnaires. 48% admitted to receiving nasty comments, which also seems high, so clearly some work required here.
17. Do you strongly agree/agree/have no opinion/disagree or strongly disagree with the following statements:
- I know more about the Internet than my parents and teachers
- It is none of my parents’ business what I do on line.
- I can protect the things I have put online (e.g. photos, status updates, tweets etc.) from people I don’t want to share them with.
Q17. 56% believe they know more about the internet than their parents or teachers. Just under 40% believe it is none of their parents’/carers business what they do online and a whopping 75% believe they can protect their personal information online, which is a worry which needs addressing, but apparently isn’t any different to the national average.
18. Are there any rules at home for using the Internet?
19. If yes, what sort of rules are there?
20. If you answered yes to rules at home, do you know how to get around these restrictions?
Q18 – 20. 65% say there are no rules for going on the internet at home. Of the 35% with rules, 55% said their parents or carers can see what they do online, but others said they delete their online history, so this needs investigating further in training, possibly through 1:1 interviews. Interestingly, as trends move towards tablets and other mobile devices, only 19% say they’re only allowed online in family rooms, where they can be observed. 41% said they could get round all the rules imposed at home anyway, with a further 22% being able to get round some rules, which suggests some work in this area needs to be done with parents and carers.
21. Who would you turn to if you were upset by something that happened online?
Q21. If something happened online, 71% said parents/carers would be the first person to turn to, with friends being next. Police were the lowest, at 22%, with teachers next at 29%. These results further highlight the need to support parents and carers further.