New resources available from the Professionals Online Safety Helpline

15 Sep 2023 UK SIC

The Professionals Online Safety Helpline has introduced new resources to aid educators and professionals working with young people. These resources aim to support common queries the Helpline receives, including how to report on social media, impersonation, and sexting advice.

Online Impersonation Guidance

The Helpline has seen an increase in cases where teachers and schools have faced impersonation on social media platforms. This distressing trend can impact an individual’s or an organisation’s online reputation, and it often proves challenging to address within school environments.

In 2022, the Helpline reported a 75% rise in online reputation cases compared to 2020, with many requiring the Helpline’s assistance to report social media impersonation content that could potentially harm a school’s reputation. The new guidance provides support for professionals dealing with concerns about their online reputation due to impersonation, by outlining specific reporting options and preventive measures.

Reporting via Social Media

Given the widespread use of various social media platforms in educational settings, pinpointing where to report issues can be challenging. In 2022, the Helpline handled over 3,000 cases related to social networks, aiding in the reporting of thousands of accounts for professionals working with children. To simplify the reporting process, the Helpline has developed new guidance signposting to social media community guidelines and reporting options.

New Guidance on Sexting

Education establishments frequently contact the Helpline seeking support over responding to sexting incidents. The Helpline’s latest guidance advises both Designated Safeguarding Leads (DSLs) and non-DSLs on appropriate government guidance, whilst offering insights into responding to sexting incidents, considering safeguarding and reporting aspects. This latest guidance provides resources and services to support teachers, parents, and young individuals.

To access the latest Professionals Online Safety Helpline resources, you can visit the SWGfL website

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