Musical.ly Message

An important message for all parents about our pupils online behaviour.

As you know, we are living in a fast changing digital world and available technologies are changing all the time. Our children are often at the forefront of these changes and it can be very hard as parents to sometimes keep up with what our children and their peers are doing.

We have a dedicated e-safety curriculum at school helping our pupils to become responsible and confident digital learners, whilst remaining as safe as possible and understanding when they might need help or could be in danger.

We have recently become very concerned about the online publicly published behaviour of many of our pupils via the musical.ly app. A letter has been sent home to all parents today and Year 5 and 6 pupils (who are more involved than our younger pupils, but pupils from all year groups have been found to be involved) were shown the slideshow presentation that you see here (we have edited the website version that you see here to protect pupil privacy).

You may wish to watch this with your child and discuss any issues that arise. One common misconception is that deleting the app off your child's phone deletes the content of the account. This is NOT the case. Removing the app does not remove any of the published videos or other data. As there is no way to delete the account, it is necessary to log in and remove the content yourself. If you or your child do not know the username and/or passwords the account was originally created with, it may be necessary to submit a request through the musical.ly website to the site administrators. Make it clear that it is unauthorised use by an under 13 and it should be removed. 

Please use this opportunity to discuss appropriate use of online devices, and online publishing especially. All Westfield pupils have email and online blogging/vlogging facilities within their learning platform account and we encourage responsible "social" use of these facilities to chat and share with friends as they system is closely monitored. If your child wants to run a gaming vlog, or a football blog, then why not use the school system? All their friends at Westfield can visit their page and add comments. Inappropriate use can be reported to a teacher at any time in one click. It is an excellent way to learn safe online behaviours. Like with all learning, they may make a few mistakes along the way, but it is much safer to make these mistakes on our controlled system than anywhere else.

For further information and support about online safety, visit www.thinkuknow.co.uk, which has helpful information for both children and parents. If any new internet enabled devices are entering your household this holiday season, please take time to understand and work out the parental settings. If you're stuck, the NSPCC's online safety helpline, run by o2, is excellent at running though settings on particular apps, phones and devices. It's free and confidential and you can call 0808 800 5002. 

Don't hesitate to get in touch directly with the school if you have any concerns or comments you'd like to make.

 

Stuart Wilkinson
E-safety co-ordinator
20th December 2016