ASK BRENDA: A Charter for safe internet use

Written by: HTU | Published:

QUESTION: What are the key aspects of internet safety that we should tackle with our pupils?

QUESTION: What are the key aspects of internet safety that we should tackle with our pupils?

At my last school, we created a document specifically for pupils and asked each parent to go through it carefully with their child before signing it. We gave every parent a copy to pin-up at home as a reminder. I am not suggesting this charter is definitive, but it may be a good place to start. Perhaps a working group of teachers, parents and children could put something together which is appropriate for their school. A summary of the Charter is as follows:

  • I will only use the internet when supervised by a teacher or adult.

  • I will never tell anyone I meet on the internet my home address, telephone number or my school’s name, unless my teacher says it is okay.

  • I will never send anyone my picture without permission from my teacher/parents/carer.

  • I will never give my password to anyone, even my best friend, and I will log-off when I have finished using the computer.

  • I will never arrange to meet anyone in person.

  • If someone says or writes something, not just on the computer but also through texts, which makes me feel uncomfortable or worried I will always report it to a teacher or a parent.

  • I will never respond to unpleasant, suggestive or bullying emails or bulletin boards and I will always report it to a teacher or a parent.

  • I will not look for bad language or distasteful images while I’m online and I will report these to a teacher/parent if I come across them accidentally.

  • I will always be myself and will not pretend to be anyone or anything I am not.

  • I know that my teacher and the internet provider will check the sites I have visited.

  • I understand that I can access only sites and material relevant to my work in school and that I will not be able to use the internet if I deliberately hack into the school’s or other systems.

  • I know that the posting of anonymous messages and the forwarding of chain messages is not allowed.

  • I know that the contents of my email messages will be monitored by the network manager. 

  • I may not download software from the internet (including screensavers, games, video clips, audio clips, .exe files).

  • I know that information on the internet may not always be reliable and sources may need checking. Websites may be sponsored by advertisers.

  • I will not use email to send or encourage material which is pornographic, illegal, offensive or annoying or invades people’s privacy. I will always work with an adult to check sites when I am doing my research. 

  • I will not upload any material onto the school system unless my teacher specifically allows me to.

  • When using the school’s remote access platform I will ensure that I keep passwords confidential and safe at all times. 

  • Abuse of the system in any way will mean that I lose the privilege of ICT at school.

Also worth noting is Safer Internet Day, which promotes safer and more responsible use of online technology and mobile phones, especially among children. It next takes place on February 10 and resources and ideas are available. Visit


Brenda Bigland CBE is an education consultant, trainer and coach and a former primary school headteacher. Visit
 If you have a question that you would like Brenda to advise on, email Headteacher Update at

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