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AIBU to ask my sons nursery to stop using Sparklebox resources?

(73 Posts)
pizzaqueen Tue 30-Apr-13 19:58:06

My DS (2.5) attends a lovely private nursery 2 afternoons a week. I'm more than happy with his care and he is really happy there.

Today he brought home a 'home to nursery bag' each one has a different theme and the kids get to pick them to bring home. I was shocked to find some sparklebox resources and worksheets inside the pack.

For those that don't know sparklebox's owner (Kinge) was associated with having indecent images of children and sex offence charges a few years ago and many schools and childcare providers boycott sparklebox resources as a result.

More here:

Would I be being unreasonable to draw the nursery's attention to this and explain I'm not happy about them using these resources? I don't want to come across as a trouble maker but this just sits really uncomfortably with me, I hate to think in a round about way I'm finding child pornography.

kim147 Tue 30-Apr-13 21:01:42

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

pizzaqueen Tue 30-Apr-13 21:03:00

This man makes money every time someone clicks through the site through advertising. Those who use it are inadvertently funding a convicted peadophile. I think that is wrong and I'm hoping my DS's nursery is naive to the background story of sparklebox and will stop using the resources.

CloudsAndTrees Tue 30-Apr-13 21:04:40

Wasn't there something about the site putting cookies onto its users computers so that he could access photos that way?

I have no technical knowledge at all to know if this is even possible, and have no idea if this is true, just something I heard.

HollyBerryBush Tue 30-Apr-13 21:06:15

Companies House says Sparklebox is a dormant company

manicinsomniac Tue 30-Apr-13 21:08:15

Hearts the resources are free!

manicinsomniac Tue 30-Apr-13 21:12:01

Plus, I just checked the site (haven't been there for ages, have the resources I like from there laminated and recycled throughout the years) and it seems to have grown massively - international links etc. I seriously doubt it would be allowed to stand if it was really funding child pornography.

McNewPants2013 Tue 30-Apr-13 21:13:17

Manic, what has the cost got to do with anything.

this man is a convicted peodophile and is making money by supplying materials to teachers who teach children.

CloudsAndTrees Tue 30-Apr-13 21:13:59

The resources are free but the site can still generate profit through advertising on it.

Although if they are a dormant company now I'd have no idea how that would work!

Euphemia Tue 30-Apr-13 21:14:03

But the resources are free. confused

Picturesinthefirelight Tue 30-Apr-13 21:16:31

Not just a convicted pardon hole, twice convicted.

Picturesinthefirelight Tue 30-Apr-13 21:16:59

Pred text doesn't like paedophile

Finola1step Tue 30-Apr-13 21:20:38

In the local authority in which I work, access to Sparklebox has been banned for some time. This is due to the founder's criminal history (he changed his name after previous convictions) and the fact that he set up a chat section on Sparklebox. It was strongly believed by the police, CPS and social services that this was an elaborate scheme to groom children over the Internet by making his website seem so natural and ordinary within the classroom through the logo etc that children would instantly trust him. So that's the background.

Most schools that I know of took the approach that no new Sparklebox resources should be made and used. Any existing resources should have every part of the Sparklebox logo covered. And such resources were expected to be gradually replaced. Hence the popularity of Twinkl and good old Primary Resources.

So back to your original question. YADNBU to be concerned and definitely tell them. They probably don't know the full story.

And for anyone still using the resources with the logo visible, it takes two minutes to cover the logo. Please cover it. Oh and there are a few eagle eyed Ofsted Inspectors who take Safeguarding very seriously.

pizzaqueen Tue 30-Apr-13 21:21:52

Yes the resources are free but the site will still generate income in other ways (advertising) and therefore funds this man. I'd rather fund another site that isn't run by a criminal.

Finola1step Tue 30-Apr-13 21:25:58

And just to clarify, he apparently has no links with the website now. But I would argue that any professional working with children would steer very clear because of the history and breach of trust.

Let me put it this way, if I walked into a classroom with that logo on display, I would have serious concerns about the Safeguarding procedures in place.

jamdonut Tue 30-Apr-13 21:30:03

We use Teacher's Pet and Twinkl as very good alternatives at school. The trouble is, the resources on Sparklebox are very,very useful. So some teachers access them from home,because they know what is on there from when they were allowed to use it, but there is a block on the site through the council network.

As I understand it, it is run by members of his family now.

raisah Tue 30-Apr-13 21:30:24

My LEA doesnt use sparklebox but my cm does so I will have to inform her tomorrow. CBeebies has a parental resource site which is meant to be very good alternative to sparklebox.

Feenie Tue 30-Apr-13 21:30:28

And just to clarify, he apparently has no links with the website now.

Yes, he does - he is still the registered owner, out of prison after his second conviction and able to profit from the advertising revenue.

Feenie Tue 30-Apr-13 21:31:09

As I understand it, it is run by members of his family now.

Only while he was in prison.

jamdonut Tue 30-Apr-13 21:35:03

OK I stand corrected.

Finola1step Tue 30-Apr-13 21:37:21

Thank you Feenie, I wasn't aware that he was back involved.

So OP, even more reason to talk to nursery.

FannyMcNally Tue 30-Apr-13 21:37:58

So manic, Sparklebox creating 'great colourful display resources' and generating income for a paedophile is preferable to Twinkl also creating 'great colourful display resources' and no known links to paedophiles. Your meh comment is a bit silly after being told that LAs banned it's use in schools years ago. They didn't just do it on a whim.

MiaowTheCat Tue 30-Apr-13 21:43:32

School I was at at the time it all kicked off and hit the news took the line that they'd let existing resources wear out (logo covered up) but no more new stuff was to be produced using the site.

We have a local day nursery who use their front outside fence as extra display boarding to show paintings etc off to the local community - and it's usually incredibly heavily Sparklebombed... and I cringe every time I walk past it at the message it's sending out since it's all new, freshly-downloaded stuff (the nursery's only been open a few months).

I always preferred to design my own stuff anyway - but chugging along on the PC making resources was one of the things I enjoyed most about teaching... aaah give me a pile of worksheets and classroom signs to design, some laminated stuff to cut out with nice sharp scissors and a pile of nice messy glue pots to pick the dried-on PVA off and I'd be in heaven!

Feenie Tue 30-Apr-13 21:46:49

As you can see, he never stepped down as director, and is now free to run the company, which is still very lucrative due to either teachers who are ignorant or idiots who say meh

McNewPants2013 Tue 30-Apr-13 21:48:26

Miaow i would be very tempted to send the nursery a letter or email with the information of the sites owner.

nannyof3 Tue 30-Apr-13 21:48:54

I told the childrens skool about this as they use this alot... They ignored me and still use it!!!! Grrrrr

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