It was over 18 months ago that the previous Year 11 Unicef Peer Educators came to see me, voicing their concerns about internet safety and other safety issues surrounding social media. Article 17 of The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child states:

Every child has the right to reliable information from the mass media………….Governments must help protect children from materials that could harm them.

The Peer Educators felt strongly that they were not fully protected regarding social media and made the decision to do something about this situation. This led to a partnership with Dr Caroline Anson, Development Officer, Strategic Partnerships, Hampshire Constabulary, and Edward Waller of Realising Rights. The Peer Educators did a tremendous amount of valuable work and when they left in July 2014 the current Year 11 Unicef Peer Educators confidently stepped in to their shoes. They are now preparing to present at a conference on Monday 9th February. This conference includes a number of high profile speakers (Lord Carlile) and current topics (Hate crime and social media). Please see full details below.
Hilary Delany, Curriculum Leader for RE, Citizenship and RR.

Caroline Anson takes up the story:

Currently there is no national or international, legal or ethical code or reference point written solely for Internet and Social Media activity. One writer compared it to the equivalent of having a county with no rules or laws living alongside where you live, able to attack and damage your personal property and your personal and professional reputation, all without meaningful consequences.

In July 2013, Inspector Terry Cuss introduced me to the work Harrow Way Community School is doing with Hilary Delany and Edward Waller around the Rights Respecting School initiative. This led to me contacting the school to seek their involvement in research I was doing with Solent University and the Chartered Management Institute around managing threat, harm and risk (vulnerability) in relation to the Internet and Social Media.

In April 2014, I arranged for Harrow Way Unicef Peer Educators to speak at a diversity day at Hampshire Constabulary on the work they were doing with Hilary Delany and Edward Waller (Director of Realising Rights), in relation to what a Rights Respecting Internet might look like. This is very important work, as the UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and the UN’s Business Compact are possibly the key international reference points that might be useful in shaping shared values for how we behave in cyber space, in terms of our own rights and taking responsibility for respecting the rights of others both locally and globally.

Harrow Way is the only school I know doing this work using a Rights Respecting approach to the Internet, so in my view it is essential that the young people attend, as they, along with the guidance provided by Hilary Delany and Edward Waller, are developing a unique and timely approach to tackling the issues relating to managing universal personal behaviours on the Internet and Social Media.

The purpose of the day is to offer a CPD day at the offices of Blake Morgan, the solicitors, to people interested in this area.

The morning session will focus on safeguarding vulnerable people, including older people and young people, which is when Harrow Way is contributing.

Working with Dr Simon Fox from Solent University and Martyn Ouston, College of Policing Mainstreaming Cyber Crime National Training, we are looking at the viability of creating a national model for Community Safety Online Champions – the equivalent of Neighbourhood Watch for Internet and Social Media, as well as beginning a structured research pilot in this area.