Promoting Online Safety: Insights and Tips

Dear Parents,

This term, Mrs Fenton and I attended safeguarding training which specifically covered children’s online safety, including insights from Ofcom’s March 2023 report on the media habits of children aged 3-17, focusing on internet use, TV viewing, video games, and social media.

Here’s a condensed summary of their key findings:

Online Access and Usage:

97% of households with children aged 0-18 had internet access.

Primary online access was through mobile phones (69%) and tablets (64%).

Children’s TV Viewing Habits:

Traditional TV viewing decreased by 20% for 4-15-year-olds.

Video consumption on online platforms like YouTube remained prevalent (96%).

Online Platforms:

YouTube was the most-used platform (88%), followed by WhatsApp (55%) and TikTok (53%).

Facebook’s popularity declined to 34%.

Video Games:

About 89% of children engaged in playing video games.

Boys preferred console or handheld games (73%) more than girls (45%).

Social Interaction in Gaming:

Children played games for social reasons, including “hanging out with friends” (24%).

Concerningly, some interacted with strangers outside the game (25%).

Social Media and Interaction:

WhatsApp (55%) was the most used app for communication.

Social media facilitated active connection, with 30% of 8-17-year-olds sharing, commenting, or posting.

Positive and Negative Experiences:

Children acknowledged positive benefits of being online, including learning (81%) and building friendships (68%).

However, almost 30% of children aged 8-17 experienced negativity or hurtful behaviour online.

Parental Concerns:

Parents expressed concerns about inappropriate content (75%) and potential exposure to adult or sexual content (73%).

Critical Understanding:

Children aged 8-17 showed increased awareness of advertising in search results (41%).

Confidence in identifying real or fake online information varied, with 23% claiming confidence but being unable to identify a fake social media profile.


With these insights, we conducted our own anonymous survey among our Year 6 children and have emailed the results to their parents. Here are the main findings:

The most frequently used Apps:

  • Netflix
  • YouTube
  • Roblox
  • Minecraft.

Additionally, we collected data on how students access the internet:

  • TV
  • Parents/Siblings Phone
  • iPad/Tablet

Given the prevalence of TV and parent/sibling phones in internet access, here are some top tips to ensure your child’s online safety:

Top Tips for Parents:

  • Talk Together: Encourage open conversations with your child about their online activities.
  • Control Content: Implement parental controls on devices like TVs and phones.
  • Privacy Matters: Teach your child about the importance of protecting personal information.
  • Balance Screen Time: Set guidelines for screen time, encouraging a balance with other activities.
  • Supervise and Share: Watch content together when possible, fostering discussions.
  • Stay Informed: Keep updated on the latest trends and apps.
  • Positive Examples: Model responsible online behaviour.

Despite concerns, Ofcom concluded that children were generally positive about social media, with 67% saying it makes them happy.

Fostering a safe online environment is a joint effort. If you have questions or concerns, please contact us at school. Together, we can empower our children to navigate the digital world responsibly.

Thank you for your ongoing support.

Mr Fernandes