Dear Parent/ Carer,
I write to you to update you on safeguarding themes aimed to keep your child safe in and out of school.
Childline’s new tool helps young people remove nude images shared online:
The NSPCC’s service for children and young people, Childline, has launched the Report Remove tool with the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) to help young people remove nude images of themselves from the internet: https://www.childline.org.uk/info-advice/bullying-abuse-safety/online-mobile-safety/remove-nude-image-shared-online/
The Report Remove tool can be used by any young person under 18 to report a nude image or video of themselves that’s appeared online. The IWF then reviews these reports, and works to have the content removed if it breaks the law.
Spice/THC vaping warning issued:
There has been a worrying trend emerging in Tendring and Colchester in recent times. Young people have been using THC liquid in vapes and diluting the liquid with water. This is extremely dangerous and potentially fatal. I cannot understate enough how dangerous this practice is.
I would ask parents and carers to talk to young people about the dangers of substance misuse. We know this isn’t an easy thing to do but the PHA have a useful leaflet giving advice on how to approach this subject: www.pha.site/YourChildandDrugs.
Internet Watch Foundation (IWF):
In the last year, “self-generated” child sexual abuse imagery increased by 77% and constituted a third of all child sexual abuse material identified and removed from the internet. These included images of girls aged 11 to 13 whose abuse had been recorded via a webcam in a domestic setting.
To help prevent the creation of this type of abusive imagery, the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF), backed by the Home Office and Microsoft, launched a campaign to help raise awareness of parents and carers of young teens. It also aimed to empower and educate girls aged 11 to 13+ to spot the techniques used by sexual predators and give them the knowledge to Block, Report, Tell someone they trust. Further information is available on the IWF website, including specific advice for parents and young people.
Essex Violence and Vulnerability Unit:
The Essex Violence and Vulnerability Unit now has its own website: www.essexvvu.co.uk. It will include a range of information and resources and updates on its work.
A recent initiative from the Unit is to raise awareness of County Lines; the name given when drug gangs exploit young people to carry, and sell, drugs for them. The gangs groom young people, making them believe they are friends, but instead are used to carry drugs around the county. Taking real experiences of Essex young people, their words, and stories, the Unit has produced a film explaining the dangers.
Fake cannabis sweets / “Edibles”:
Essex Police have produced this briefing about fake cannabis sweets: Essex Police Newsletter Fake Sweets
During the summer holidays, the usual systems for reporting concerns remain. During school closure, non-urgent cases can be reported by pupils or parents by clicking on the “Whisper” button or emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you have an immediate, urgent concern, please call the police and/or the Essex Safeguarding Children Board: 03466037627.
Deputy Headteacher and Designated Safeguarding Lead