Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA)
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SQA supports Safer Internet Day 2018

SQA is once again supporting Safer Internet Day, which takes place on Tuesday 06 February. We are encouraging centres, customers and candidates to unite behind the campaign, which aims to promote the safe and positive use of digital technology amongst children and young people. 

Safer Internet Day 2018 is organised by the Safer Internet Centre and will see hundreds of organisations celebrate with the slogan ‘“Create, Connect and Share Respect: A better internet starts with you.”

SQA is contributing to the Safer Internet Day social media campaign by signing up to Thunderclap, which sends out the same message across Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr from everyone who has registered. Last year’s Thunderclap reached almost 8 million people worldwide.

The Safer Internet Centre offers teachers, parents and young people a range of helpful information about staying safe online. SQA will be sharing this guidance through our Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn profiles, as well as handy tips from elsewhere on the internet. These include tips on protecting your digital footprint and using Snapchat and Instagram safely.

Emma Campos, Qualifications Officer with SQA’s Computing Team, said: “SQA offers a unit in Internet Safety, which introduces the principles of online safety. It was recently updated to reflect the most up-to-date threats faced by young people. The unit has been undertaken by over 1,500 people since its re-launch in 2016, including by school pupils who achieve it whilst on work experience with us. Candidates learn how to stay safe whilst working online, deal with unwanted communications, and protect against identity theft and viruses. Also, SQA has packaged this unit into an Internet Safety Award, so that learners receive a formal certificate upon completion.”

Bobby Elliot, SQA’s Computing Qualification Manager, says SQA’s National Progression Awards (NPA) in Cyber Security are helping to address threats posed by digital technology. Bobby said: “The National Progression Award provides pupils in S4 to S6 with the opportunity to study digital forensics, data security, and ethical hacking. The course is a great foundation for a career in what is a continually expanding industry.”

SQA worked closely with Kyle Academy in Ayr to develop the Cyber Security NPA. Scott Hunter, principal teacher of Computing Science, believes that pupils have embraced the course because they can see the importance of cyber security in their everyday lives, saying: “There’s a real buzz about the NPA in Cyber Security because the pupils see cyber breaches in the news almost on a daily basis and they want to know more about the causes and what can be done to prevent them.”

SQA offers a portfolio of computing qualifications, which have been developed in partnership with schools, colleges and employers. These include a Professional Development Award in Software Development, which SQA created alongside digital skills academy CodeClan.

Also on offer is a suite of complementary computing awards including Digital Literacy, Digital Passport, and PC Passport, all of which help to develop and build learners’ knowledge and understanding of digital and online technologies. 

A range of cyber security resources are available through SQA’s open learning resource platform Ushare, where teachers and learners can share information which supports SQA qualifications.

Register your support, and get involved in Safer Internet Day 2018, follow @saferinternetday and use #SID2018.

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