New system to protect Lichfield and Burntwood children from bullying

Computer keyboard. Pic: lapideo

Computer keyboard. Pic: lapideo

An electronic guardian is set to protect Lichfield and Burntwood children from bullying and other online perils following the launch of a new computer monitoring system.

Staffordshire County Council is introducing the sophisticated system in schools, libraries and youth centres. It monitors computers and provides alerts if pupils place themselves or others in danger.

The council is the first in the country to make the software available to all of its schools and places where young people use computers.

The system highlights inappropriate language and captures screenshot evidence if pupils use bullying or threatening behaviour; inappropriate internet sites or computers for unacceptable personal use during lessons. This means a message does not have to be saved – particular words or phrases will trigger the screenshot immediately and alert those monitoring. It also identifies potentially harmful situations such as internet grooming.

Software developer Securus is providing the system which is being officially launched during the Staffordshire Safeguarding Children Board E-safety Month in October. The aim of the month is to raise the profile of e-safety with children and young people, parents and carers and practitioners.

County Councillor Mark Winnington, Cabinet Member for Assets, Performance and Organisation, said:

“This state-of-the-art monitoring system will make a real difference to ensuring that we keep our children safe. We’re really pleased to be the first council in the country to have the system made available to every school in addition to having it installed in our libraries and youth centres. The internet is a valuable learning resource and one which young people benefit from with their studies.

“However, it’s frightening what dangers there are online. It’s also a complex issue to tackle. With this system in place though, we’re confident our young people can continue to use computers and the internet safely.”

County Councillor Veronica Downes, Cabinet Member for Schools, added:

“We’ve had a good take-up from schools to install the monitoring system and we’re hoping as many as possible now get in touch as it’s of no cost to them. Knowing it’s in place gives parents, carers, teachers, governors and the young people themselves piece of mind.”

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Founder of LichfieldLive and editor of the site.

1 Comment

  1. Steven Norman

    18th October, 2009 at 6:11 pm

    Another succes by the previousl Labour administration from January this year. See the Securus website at http://tinyurl.com/yfd5g33.