Online safety resources for schools and families

Written by: Susie Hargreaves | Published:
Image: iStock

The UK Safer Internet Centre and the charities that lead its work offer a wealth of advice, support and resources to schools and families about how to keep children safe online. Susie Hargreaves explains more

The UK Safer Internet Centre is a partnership of three charities – Childnet International, the Internet Watch Foundation, and South West Grid for Learning – with a shared mission to make the internet a better place for children and young people.

The partnership was appointed by the European Commission as the Safer Internet Centre for the UK in January 2011 and is one of the 31 Safer Internet Centres of the Insafe network. Insafe is a European network of awareness centres promoting safer and better usage of the internet.

The UK centre has five main functions:

  • Education, training and awareness: increasing the UK’s resilience through innovative tools, services, resources, campaigns and training.
  • Helpline: supporting the children’s workforce.
  • Hotline: disrupting the distribution of child sexual abuse content.
  • Youth participation: giving youth a voice and inspiring active digital citizenship.
  • Leadership and collaboration: creating a UK and global eco-system that embeds online safety.

Visit the centre’s website for advice, tips and resources for children, young people, parents, carers, teachers, social workers and the wider children’s workforce (see further information).

Safer Internet Day

Safer Internet Day is celebrated globally in February each year to promote the safe and positive use of digital technology for children and young people and inspire a national conversation.

Coordinated in the UK by the UK Safer Internet Centre, the celebration sees hundreds of organisations get involved to help promote the safe, responsible and positive use of digital technology for children and young people. In 2017, Safer Internet Day in the UK reached around three million children.

Globally, Safer Internet Day is celebrated in more than 100 countries, coordinated by the joint Insafe/INHOPE network, with the support of the European Commission, and national Safer Internet Centres across Europe.

The day offers the opportunity to highlight positive uses of technology and to explore the role we all play in helping to create a better and safer online community. It calls upon children, young people, parents, carers, teachers, social workers, law enforcement, companies, policy-makers, and others to join together in helping to create a better internet.

You can read more about how Safer Internet Day could help your school, sign up for updates and register on the website (see further information).

Game On

The Internet Watch Foundation’s Game on campaign, run jointly with Everton FC, aims to encourage young people aged 11 to 24 to behave responsibly when it comes to sexual behaviour in the online world. Topics include the likes of sexting, revenge porn and bullying vs banter.

We provide a practical, common-sense approach to relationships, sex and online safety and use real and current examples that young people can relate to.

Game On is compatible with the PSHE and relationships and sex education (RSE) requirement in English secondary schools. It also supports the safeguarding arrangements and policies of leading football and sports clubs.

Game On is delivered to sports clubs by the education and online safety specialist Andy Wood for the Internet Watch Foundation as part of the UK Safer Internet Centre.

These are not-for-profit, unique workshops. Workshops are individually tailored and vary between 60 and 90 minutes in length depending on the content, audience and context.

The Internet Watch Foundation

The Internet Watch Foundation is an independent not-for-profit organisation which removes child sexual abuse material from the internet.

We encourage anyone who stumbles upon child sexual abuse imagery to report it to the IWF. Reports can be made anonymously on our website.


The South West Grid for Learning is a not-for-profit charitable trust dedicated to the advancement of education and wellbeing through the safe and effective use of technology. SWGfL provides a wide range of products, services and solutions designed specifically for education.

Childnet International

Childnet is a registered charity with the mission to work in partnership with others around the world to help make the internet a great and safe place for children. See their website for their latest resources, including pages dedicated to young people and teachers and professionals.

The Marie Collins Foundation

The Marie Collins Foundation is the UK charity enabling children who suffer sexual abuse and exploitation via internet and mobile technologies to recover and live safe, fulfilling lives.

The Lucy Faithfull Foundation

The Lucy Faithfull Foundation is the only UK-wide child protection charity dedicated solely to preventing child sexual abuse. The organisation works with entire families that have been affected by sexual abuse including: adult male and female sexual abusers, young people with inappropriate sexual behaviours, victims of abuse and other family members. The charity offers a broad range of services for professionals and members of the public and runs the confidential Stop it Now! Helpline.


The NSPCC is the leading children’s charity fighting to end child abuse in the UK. They offer resources to help tackle online abuse and also run the well-known Childline service.

  • Susie Hargreaves is CEO of the Internet Watch Foundation and co-director of the UK Safer Internet Centre.

Further information


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