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Boarding schools - Internet safety

(12 Posts)
Russiandarcy Fri 29-Jan-16 17:53:52

I have a concern about "gadgets" boarders are allowed in the boarding house. It's an all boys school but in the "specialist" independent category (dyslexia/ADHD/ high functioning autism etc) so many boys perhaps more vulnerable and less worldly aware than their counterparts in an MS school. Anyway, given that these personal items are 3G/4G enabled, I have heard the kids are up at 1 or 2am viewing inappropriate material/visiting chat rooms or whatever. I have approached the Head who seems to think 1. My concerns are exaggerated (my son has described some shocking things he's seen) and 2. That there is no way of policing it!! Am I over reacting? It doesn't seem right to me but I'd really like others thoughts. Thanks.

contraryMe Fri 29-Jan-16 18:38:43

I would be completely freaked by this. It's a question l often posed at boarding schools l visited and l never got a satisfactory answer. I would vigourly pursue this. You are absolutely not over reacting!

derektheladyhamster Fri 29-Jan-16 18:43:29

What can they do? At my ds's boarding school, the juniors (up to yr 10) have their phones etc taken off them at night and obviously the WiFi is limited but if the children have smart phones it up to the parents who buy them.

Dancingqueen17 Fri 29-Jan-16 18:44:46

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Gruach Sat 30-Jan-16 13:34:00

I think you're right to be concerned.

Well run schools make sure to hold meetings with both parents and pupils about Internet dangers. But parents need to follow that up. Often they find themselves being reactive rather than proactive.

It's difficult. The preps I know don't allow any personal technology but at senior school it is generally needed during school hours - and for purposes of staying in contact with families and staff. Schools do what they can to block things. And to remove devices they find being used after hours. But the fact is, children would have access to this stuff if they were day pupils as well.

I'm rambling because, actually, I don't have an answer.

Drinkstoomuchcoffee Sat 30-Jan-16 16:12:52

How do you deal with this when he is at home?

I think it is really difficult for boarding schools to police this - just as it is difficult for parents to do so. Obviously they can control what can be accessed over the school wifii, but they cannot control what students see on 3g/4g phones that parents have bought. Some schools collect phones in - but this is more difficult to enforce as they get older, especially as some kids have multiple devices, and their friends will not shop them to the staff even if they are accessing inappropriate material.

I think the main focus has to be on dealing with what kids will inevitably see. The fact that he is discussing it with you is positive.

balletgirlmum Sat 30-Jan-16 16:19:47

It's a difficult issue & dds school has written to parents a few times.

They are supposed to hand in their phones at bedtime but lots have other gadgets too.

What I do is to set up strict parental controls (because dd has an android phone & laptop I can set up time restrictions, & web monitoring with Norton family safety - I can log in at home & see everything she's done. This doesn't work on iPhones & iPads so all you cdm do is set up parental filters.

Russiandarcy Sat 30-Jan-16 17:00:31

Hi, thank you, this is all very interesting. I don't feel school has set any proper guidelines or informed parents adequately, and tbh, I am sure a lot of parents are naive to what kids see on the Internet and how to prevent it and I feel this is where school could help. In my sons case, he's seen things on another child's device rather than his own. By "things" I mean snuff films, sexual animal related activities and rape - I found about about it because he actually was totally troubled by what he's seen and upset. I'm not really just talking boys ogling at porn, more sinister stuff, hence my worry.

ewbank Sat 30-Jan-16 17:09:01

The internet should be very strongly filtered, I would regard it as a safeguarding issue if it wasn't.

It's not hard to put a bloody filter on it - all schools should do it as a matter of course!

ewbank Sat 30-Jan-16 17:09:20

There should also be a policy in place, which you can ask to see

balletgirlmum Sat 30-Jan-16 17:36:59

There is no wifi at the boarding house at dd's school. I suspect that for the op as well the issues are when kids are on their own 3G/4g rather than school wifi.

ewbank Sat 30-Jan-16 18:17:45

Sorry, yes I see. Actually that an interesting question, I hadn't thought about what they'd be accessing on 3G etc....

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