Head teacher appointed internet safety ambassador

Richard Follett, headmaster of Vinehall School near Robertsbridge, has recently been made an Ambassador for CEOP, the Child Exploitation and Online Protection centre.
Richard Follett, headmaster of Vinehall School near Robertsbridge, has recently been made an Ambassador for CEOP, the Child Exploitation and Online Protection centre.

A HEADMASTER from Rother has become an Ambassador for Internet Safety.

Richard Follett, headmaster of Vinehall School near Robertsbridge, has recently been made an Ambassador for CEOP, the Child Exploitation and Online Protection centre.

CEOP is part of the Serious Organised Crime Agency with the Metropolitan Police, and as part of his role, Mr Follett will provide free training and education to local schools, teachers and parents.

Following this training, teachers will be able to deliver the materials developed by CEOP for children and help them to avoid the perils of the internet.

Mr Follett said: “The online world has changed beyond recognition from even ten years ago and will continue to do so.

“Our children are growing up in an increasingly technological society, and it is vital that we as parents and teachers equip them with the basic skills to protect themselves.

“I am very pleased to be involved with such a worthwhile organisation, which we all hope will make children safer and allow them to grow up maintaining their childhood innocence for as long as possible.”

Nearly half of all teenagers own mobile smartphones, a much larger percentage than their parents, and use social media such as Facebook, Twitter and BBM (Blackberry’s free messaging service) on a daily basis.

Whilst the perception of internet danger is that of a middle-aged male predator befriending a young girl online and then arranging a meeting in real life, the reality is somewhat broader than this.

Mr Follett’s free presentations and training sessions cover topics including cyberbullying, mobile phones, searching the internet, Facebook and social networking, as well as less obvious topics such as online gaming and overuse of technology.

These can be tailored for primary or secondary schools, with the sessions especially suitable for parents of children between the ages of four and 16 years.

Any school wishing to arrange a free presentation for parents or teacher training session should contact Richard Follett via the Vinehall School office on 01580 880413 or email office@vinehallschool.com