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Does your school use Sparklebox?

(20 Posts)
EndoplasmicReticulum Thu 22-Sep-11 23:26:38

So, boy has come home with a worksheet for homework from the Sparklebox website.

I know some schools have blocked this site - see article here

Primary teachers - do you still use it? My concern is that presumably any visits to the site make advertising revenue for the owner.

cece Thu 22-Sep-11 23:28:54

I thought it now had nothing to do with that anymore.

LittleMissWoodscommaElle Thu 22-Sep-11 23:32:25

Daniel Kinge I think is still listed as the actual site owner. Dd came home with a worksheet about a year ago and I rasied the issue. Her teacher had been unaware of it and the school decided that no new resources would be downloaded.

savoycabbage Thu 22-Sep-11 23:32:30

I too thought that it was 'over'.

Feenie Fri 23-Sep-11 06:48:36

Daniel Kinge is still the registered director, AFAIK, with the site being run by a relative. Here is a recent thread about this issue, including an an excellent post by mrz which sets out the facts.

Does my school use it? There is absolutely no way any of us would want to be associated in any way with a twice convicted paedophile, who tried to use the site in question to get photos for his own gratification.

inmysparetime Fri 23-Sep-11 06:53:42

My nursery still uses it, only for the free stuff. I can't see how visiting the site would be supporting paedophilia. Surely by now the man is under close supervision and has been punished by the courts. Why on earth should he not be allowed to make a living? If anything, it would keep him busy and away from actual kids.
<sits back and awaits the inevitable flaming>

Feenie Fri 23-Sep-11 07:06:06

I suppose that would be up to you and your conscience, inmysparetime. Daniel Kinge profits every time you personally click on the site, 'free' stuff or not.

The living he makes is from the exact same website he used to invite teachers to send in pictures of children, which is how he was caught the second time. Hardly keeping him busy and away from children. I can think of a couple of recent high profile cases where probationers under so-called close supervision accessed child pornography.

As I said, it's up to the individual teacher's conscience - if your LEA has unblocked it. Not sure why you should subject parents and children to your distinctly iffy morals though.

EndoplasmicReticulum Fri 23-Sep-11 07:17:16

Feenie thanks for that thread, very interesting.

Do you think I should mention it to the school? I don't want to come across as "one of those parents". But there is a chance the teacher might not know?

The worksheet I have is "copyright 2010" so not previously downloaded resources.

I do know how hard it is, as a teacher, to find free resources (I'm secondary). But I wouldn't personally use this site if it suddenly sprouted fantastic resources for KS3 science.

inmysparetime Fri 23-Sep-11 07:19:20

I still fail to see how a sparklebox picture on a wall is morally unsound for parents.
Are all former pedophiles unable to work now? Should the state support them for the rest of their lives then?
Why on earth did teachers send in pictures of children in the first place? Surely that has been stopped.

Feenie Fri 23-Sep-11 07:42:08

If the picture on the wall provides profit for a twice convicted paedophile, who used the site previously for his own perverted agenda, then I think that's morally questionable.

I have no problem with Daniel Kinge working - I don't think it should have any connection with education or children though, however tenuous.

Daniel Kinge has twice used his working position to commit crimes - once as an award winning Reception teacher, and once as the Sparklebox director. I see no reason to assume this could not happen again. Look at Jon Venables and his very suspect 'supervision' regarding the internet.

I would complain if my ds's school began using it again, EndoplasmicReticulum. As mrz said on the previous thread, parent power is the key.

inmysparetime Fri 23-Sep-11 07:46:48

Surely it's better to know where he is than drive him underground though? I would rather the police know exactly where he is and what he's doing than destroy a perfectly good free education resource and have him start another Internet company doing goodness knows what. It is up to the law to punish wrongdoers, not the consumer.

mummymccar Fri 23-Sep-11 08:02:25

Our council has blocked it from all school computers. Sparklebox is pretty huge so there are a lot of resources there, however there are similar ones available elsewhere on the web. It just takes a bit of finding.
inmysparetime Teachers weren't uploading pictures of the children, they were downloading the sparklebox 'toolbar' onto their Internet browsers. This then gave him access to the pictures stored on the computers. Kind of like a sleeper virus. The teachers had no idea what he was doing until he was arrested.
Using the website now is pretty much down to the teacher's personal opinions. Personally I didn't and neither did any of the teachers I worked with because the company betrayed our trust.

Feenie Fri 23-Sep-11 08:06:04

Mummymccar - he also invited teachers to send in pictures of children, which was an issue aswell as the toolbar.

SWGFL'a statement:

SWGfL’s safety monitoring and filtering systems disclosed that Sparklebox may be a possible child safety issue. There have been opportunities in Sparklebox for pictures of young people to be sent in and be published online and until recently there was a live blog.

mummymccar Fri 23-Sep-11 08:27:44

Was he? I didn't realise that. How awful. I think the honourable thing for them to have done would have been to close down the site. What an evil man.

TashHag Fri 23-Sep-11 09:52:39

Even if the site was now squeaky clean, I wouldn't use a site that downloads by default a toolbar which is extremely difficult for the user to delete and which has hidden functions. It is suspected that it creates a vulnerability in the computer which could leave it open to exploitation from other sources.

Feenie Fri 23-Sep-11 18:05:17

I don't think the site makes people download a toolbar any more, that was what made many LEAs ban it even before he was convicted for the second time.

Hulababy Fri 23-Sep-11 20:11:34

It is still not permitted on our LEA computers. The servers simply won't allow the site to be opened in school.

I never use the site since finding out about it's background. I activiely look for alternative resources or create my own.

Some of our teachers still use resources form the site. Many who do use it don't remove the Sparklebox words either.

TheFlyingOnion Fri 23-Sep-11 21:08:24

I use it occasionally; its too useful not to. Plus, he's done the time....

supersewer Fri 23-Sep-11 21:09:28

I can see people's moral objective but I agree with inmysparetime. Firstly he should be able to work and not rely on the state, secondly I'd also rather know where he is...

Feenie Fri 23-Sep-11 21:15:16

The police knew exactly where he was the second time, and what he was doing. Didn't stop him abusing his position a second time though.

He could earn a living completely separately to education and children.

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