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Using the internet is now an irreplaceable resource in the lives of most people of all ages, whether this be for work, education or fun. With advances in technology now allowing access to the internet on many different devices in almost any location, this brings with it an increase in risk of cyber-crime and cyber-bullying.

According to a recent study by Ofcom (Children and parents: media use and attitudes report (PDF)) seven in ten 12 to 15 year olds now has a social media profile. This level is only likely to increase as the access to the internet for children becomes more accessible. Research for the NSPCC (The experiences of 11-16 year olds on social networking sites) has also found that 1 in 4 children have experienced something upsetting on a social networking site.

E-Safety has therefore increasingly become a hot topic of conversation amongst education professionals as an integral part of their roles to help teach the safe and responsible use of technology and the internet to young people.

Parents/carers, organisations and their workforce have a general obligation to safeguard vulnerable groups; online environments are no different. This responsibility isn’t just up to the parents and Ofsted are emphasising this across their clearer guidelines towards Safeguarding and Prevention.

It is becoming more apparent that If you can add value for your learners by using qualifications such as E-Safety, Ofsted are seeing it as a step in the right direction to meeting your safeguarding requirements.

Gateway Qualifications developed their E-Safety qualifications to enable IT users to make safe and responsible use of technology both professionally and personally. Successful completion of such a qualification will allow learners to indicate that they can undertake a specific role in the workplace and that they may be relied upon by employers to safeguard themselves and others when using online technologies. It will also enable you to demonstrate during an audit or inspection that your learners have received training in and, crucially, demonstrated their understanding of the necessary concepts and actions to safeguard themselves and others online.

The single unit Awards at Entry 3, Levels 1, 2 and 3 have been designed to support short courses. With only 3 credits and only 30 hours of guided learning, they fit as a perfect option to give your learners an extra qualification to take away in their final term or as a vital part of the learner’s induction process.

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