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BT and Unicef UK deliver 300 internet safety workshops reaching over 7,000 children, parents and teachers nationwide

Press release   •   Mar 30, 2016 15:36 BST

90 per cent of parents say they will talk to their children more about internet safety, following the workshops

BT and Unicef UK, are today holding their 300th workshop on internet safety in schools, as part of their three year partnership, ‘The Right Click: Internet Safety Matters’. The programme is designed to help children and their families and teachers to use the internet safely.

So far, 7,378 children, parents and teachers have taken part in the sessions at Unicef UK’s Rights Respecting Schools, which put the UN Convention on the Right of the Child (UNCRC) at the heart of their policies and practice. As a result, nine in ten (90 per cent) parents say they will talk to their child more about online safety.

The programme aims to empower children to become confident digital citizens – enabling them to safely enjoy the benefits of the internet, in an online world that continues to rapidly evolve.

It also works to equip teachers and parents with the skills needed to help children to use the internet safely. They are shown the value of parental controls and the ease with which they can be set up and used, and are encouraged to discuss online safety openly with children.

In line with the aims of the programme, 91 per cent of parents who attended a workshop said they will now discuss with their child what action to take if a problem occurs.

The workshops are also valued by children, with 83 per cent saying they found them helpful and almost nine in ten (88 per cent) saying they would now tell an adult they trusted if something upset them online.

Since the launch of the BT and Unicef UK partnership in March 2014, 80 schools in disadvantaged areas have also been invited to join Unicef UK’s Rights Respecting School programme, as a direct result of BT funding. These schools - selected from areas across the UK including Glasgow,Kent,Liverpool, Merthyr Tydfil and Stockton-On-Tees - are provided with training, support visits and teaching resources, to help them embed children’s rights into their schools’ ethos and culture.

Pete Oliver, commercial and marketing director, BT Consumer, says: “The internet is an amazing place, especially for children, not only at school but also when continuing their learning at home. But online safety can often be a grey area for parents, teachers and children and in some instances it can result in parents being unsure how to best help their children to use the internet positively. The workshops are about enabling them to be digitally savvy, so that they can get the most out of the internet, while making smart choices so that potential dangers are managed.”

Catherine Cottrell, Unicef UK Deputy Executive Director, says: “The workshops have been a fantastic success. This partnership has been set up using what we believe is the best possible approach to online safety – involving parents, teachers and children and we are thrilled that 300 workshops have been delivered in Unicef UK Rights Respecting Schools.”

Actress Keeley Hawes, Unicef UK Supporter andlong-time supporter of ‘The Right Click Internet Safety Matters’ programme, says:“As a parent, I know how important these issues are and how wary parents and caregivers feel when it comes to setting guidelines and giving advice to children. I think these workshops are brilliant – they get to the heart of the issues we face. I have certainly learnt a lot from my involvement and regularly put this to use when talking to my own children about their use of online and social media platforms.”

Ends

Notes to editors

Figures shown in the release are based on an attendance from 247 workshops up to and including February 2016.

About BT

BT’s purpose is to use the power of communications to make a better world. It is one of the world’s leading providers of communications services and solutions, serving customers in more than 170 countries. Its principal activities include the provision of networked IT services globally; local, national and international telecommunications services to its customers for use at home, at work and on the move; broadband, TV and internet products and services; and converged fixed-mobile products and services. Following the acquisition of EE on 29 January 2016, BT consists principally of six customer-facing lines of business: BT Global Services, BT Business, BT Consumer, EE, BT Wholesale and Openreach.

For the year ended 31 March 2015, BT Group’s reported revenue was £17,979m with reported profit before taxation of £2,645m.

British Telecommunications plc (BT) is a wholly-owned subsidiary of BT Group plc and encompasses virtually all businesses and assets of the BT Group. BT Group plc is listed on stock exchanges in London and New York.

For more information, visit www.btplc.com.

About Unicef


Unicef is the world’s leading organisation for children, promoting the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.
Unicef UK raises funds to protect children in danger, transform their lives and build a safer world for tomorrow’s children. As a registered charity we raise funds through donations from individuals, organisations and companies and we lobby and campaign to keep children safe. Unicef UK also runs programmes in schools, hospitals and with local authorities in the UK

The Rights Respecting Schools Award (RRSA) supports schools across the UK to embed children’s rights in their ethos and culture. The award recognises achievement in putting the UN Convention on the Right of the Child (UNCRC) at the heart of a school’s policy and practice. It is based on principles of equality, dignity, respect, non-discrimination and participation. For more information please visitunicef.org.uk