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The ‘Green Cross Code’ for internet safety

‘Zip it, Block it, Flag it’ -

An unprecedented coalition of Government, industry and charities has launched the first UK internet safety strategy, to help children and young people stay safe online.

The first ever internet safety strategy, ‘Click Clever Click Safe’ , was drawn up by the UK Council for Child Internet Safety (UKCCIS) and was launched by the Prime Minister at the first UKCCIS Summit in London on 8 December.

SWGfL is a UKCCIS Council member and actively participates in the working groups – and we are delighted to have been part of this development, and we fully endorse this new approach.

Young people now have much greater online access than ever before, with research showing that 99 per cent of 8-17 year olds have access to the web. New research published today also shows that 18 per cent of young people said they had come across harmful or inappropriate content online, with 33 per cent of children said their parents don’t really know what they do on the internet.

Today’s strategy will outline how government, industry and charities are working together to keep children and young people safe online and implement the recommendations from Professor Tanya Byron’s review ’Safer Children in a Digital World’. Professor Byron was the lead speaker at the SWGfL E-Safety conference in Bristol this year.

The strategy will mean:

• That for the first time ever, internet companies, charities and the Government will be independently reviewed against new UKCCIS standards to keep children and young people safe online

• Young people and parents will be targeted by a new Digital Code ‘Zip it, Block it, Flag it’ - the ‘Green Cross Code’ for internet safety. This will be adopted by retailers, social networking sites, schools and charities and displayed where appropriate

• Parents will be able to access a one-stop shop website for internet safety advice hosted by the Child Exploitation and Online Protection centre (CEOP)

• From September 2011 online safety will be a compulsory part of the curriculum from age 5; and Professor Tanya Byron will review the Council’s progress, beginning in January 2010

This new strategy builds on the significant progress already made by the Government to implement the Byron review and provide parents and young people with the information, advice and guidance they need to ensure they can enjoy the internet safely.

The Government also announced that:

• All 270,000 computers to be provided under the Government’s Home Access scheme will incorporate the CEOP Advice, Help, Report button, to help children and their families quickly report inappropriate content or internet approaches from strangers as well as get help and advice on issues such as cyberbullying, viruses and hacking.

•The UK will lead the way globally, by exploring how child internet safety can be improved through the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC)

Overall the new Digital Code ‘Zip it, Block it, Flag it’ is a big step forward in helping young people and their parents understand how to use the internet safely. Backed by £2m of government investment, it represents the first stage of a campaign that is aimed at reaching the widest possible audience.

UKCCIS was set up in September 2008 to implement the recommendations from Professor Tanya Byron’s review ‘Safer Children in a Digital World’. It is made up of over 140 organisations, including Google, Microsoft, Bebo and the NSPCC.

Since publication of the Byron review, the Government and its partners have been committed to making the internet a safer environment and a large number of the report’s recommendations have already been achieved. But it is vital that we continue to work on implementing the remaining recommendations and championing internet safety around the world – the new UKCCIS strategy gives us clear direction on how we will do this.

Further information

The UKCCIS strategy ‘Click Clever Click Safe: The first UK Child Internet Safety Strategy’’ sets out what UKCCIS is collectively doing to keep children safe online. The strategy is available here: http://www.dcsf.gov.uk/ukccis

The full membership of the UKCCIS board is available here: http://www.dcsf.gov.uk/ukccis

3. The Digital Code Zip it, Block it, Flag it’ is available to view on the UKCCIS website http://www.dcsf.gov.uk/ukccis The campaign will be launched as part of Safer Internet Week in February 2010 and will target parents and children.

Online safety is already a compulsory part of the National Curriculum for secondary schools and is also being taught in many primary schools. But from September 2011 online safety will be a compulsory part of the curriculum from age 5.

Government will issue guidance to schools on how they should address online safety across the whole school curriculum, not just within ICT provision, with specific focus on the safe and responsible use of technology in personal, social, health and economic education. This reflects the way that safe and competent use of the internet should be part of every child’s lifeskills.

Published: 08/12/2009 13:49:44

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