Department for Education
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Groundbreaking internet safety strategy launched to keep children safe online

- New ‘Green Cross Code’ for internet safety ‘Zip it, Block it, Flag it’ -

- Professor Tanya Byron to review progress since 2008 -

An unprecedented coalition of Government, industry and charities will today launch 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 will be launched by the Prime Minister at the first UKCCIS Summit in London today.

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’.

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 today 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.

.  Government 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)

Prime Minister Gordon Brown said:

"The internet provides our children with a world of entertainment, opportunity and knowledge - a world literally at their fingertips. But we must ensure that the virtual world is as safe for them as this one.

"Today we are launching our online version of the 'green cross code'. We hope that ‘zip it, block it, flag it’ will become as familiar to this generation as ‘stop, look, listen’ did to the last."

Speaking ahead of the launch, Children’s Secretary Ed Balls said:

“The internet presents tremendous opportunities for young people, but with this come risks. Online safety is an issue of growing importance for parents and families who rightly have concerns about what their children see and do online.

“New standards on internet safety mark a watershed in government and industry cooperation. I am pleased some of the biggest names in the industry, including Microsoft, Google, and Bebo are giving it their backing. In addition, our new digital code will provide a handy tool for children and parents to give them the confidence to know how to protect themselves online.

“Today’s launch of the first ever child internet safety strategy is a pivotal moment in implementing the recommendations from Professor Tanya Byron’s review. The range of measures we are introducing will ensure that, with Government and charities, some of the biggest websites continue to play their part in keeping children safe online. I’m delighted that Professor Byron will return in January to review the progress made since 2008.

“But I know that there’s even more we can do to educate children and young people, who are using online media at an ever earlier age. That’s why we are making online safety a compulsory part of the primary curriculum from 2011.”

Home Secretary Alan Johnson said:

"The Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP) set up by the Home Office in 2006 is a huge success providing children with a safe point of contact if they are worried by any on-line communication.

“I am pleased that so many different groups have signed up to the strategy being launched by the Prime Minister today which will make the internet even safer for children, enabling them to enjoy the benefits with fewer risks.”

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.

Annie Mullins OBE, Global Head of Content Standards at Vodafone, who was responsible for the Home Office Social Networking Guidance, said: “We all share the same priority, to keep young people safer online and the new strategy goes a long way towards making this happen. We have already responded to the Byron Report independently by developing a comprehensive support and information website for parents, http://parents.vodafone.com/ but we are delighted that parents and carers are being given additional support through a government website as many of them find it hard to keep up with the pace of change and are baffled by what their children are doing be it on their on their mobile, on Facebook or via their iphones. This initiative is a good example of how policy can be delivered successfully when we all work together."

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.

Editor's Notes
This press notice relates to 'England'

1. 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

2. 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.

4. The Home Access Programme is delivered by Becta http://www.becta.org.uk . Over the next 3 years it will provide 270,000 grantsto low income families to purchase computer and internet packages, helping to reduce the digital divide. The scheme has safety features built in as an intrinsic part of the offer – this includes all machines having access to Know It All for Parents and pre set parental controls and we are also pleased to announce that all of the machines will now have the CEOP reporting button on theirhomepage.

5. 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.

Contact Details
Public Enquiries 0870 000 2288, info@dcsf.gsi.gov.uk

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