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Marking an Online Safety Live milestone

A version of this article was first published by SWGfL, one of three partners in the UK Safer Internet Centre.

We are delighted to announce that we have officially delivered Online Safety Live training sessions to 20,000 professionals.

Accomplishing this jaw-dropping milestone took over 450 sessions and six years. It’s something we’re very proud of and is a landmark moment in our mission to make the internet a better place for children and young people.

What is Online Safety Live?

Online Safety Live is a free training programme for the children’s workforce, made up of two-hour training sessions that cover the latest trends in the digital world, delivered by SWGfL – one of three partners in the UK Safer Internet Centre.

Some people attend to learn about topics they’ve never considered before and others use OSLs (as we affectionately know them) as the perfect refresher to the in-depth online safety training delivered by SWGfL.

OSLs tour the country and stay up-to-date with the latest online trends, but one thing that is guaranteed is that they are always free to all attendees and always delivered by our expert consultants.

It is our belief that a confident and empowered children’s workforce is the starting point for safe and secure digital generations. We also know that attendees find lots of useful information for their own digital presence!

'The best online safety training for teachers'

“Superb course. The two presenters were slick, knowledgeable and delivered the 2-hour session with humour and lots of interesting stats and info. Best I've attended on online safety.”

We have delivered OSLs everywhere in the UK from Truro to Inverness and - if the reported numbers are correct – 20,000 people represents almost 4% of the 500,000 teachers in the UK.

But OSLs aren’t just for teachers!

We’ve delivered training to those working in public services, fostering and adoption agencies, local governments, health and social care, youth workers, safeguarding professionals, and many more.

If you work with young people, attending an Online Safety Live will build your confidence and effectiveness in solving problems related to technology and the internet.

A world in constant evolution

Online safety changes weekly (okay, fine, daily!) and this means that we can never rest on our laurels.

One week of training the children’s workforce is never the same as the next, with new apps, games, and trends being released in an unrelenting wave of new content (and fears that come with it).

Thankfully, some key principles we impart in Online Safety Live sessions remain the same.

Positivity trumps scaremongering

Creating a culture of fear and suspicion around young people’s online activity is a recipe for disaster. Seeing the positives in our increasingly-digital world will put you on the right footing to maximise its benefits for yourself and the young people with whom you work.

There’s always time to talk

Approaching online safety issues with a level head and openness will produce the best results. Making sure everyone has a voice in the conversation and feels safe to express themselves will help you find a mutually-agreeable solution.

Have a look at our conversation starters and the Family Agreement produced by Childnet, another partner in the UKSIC, if you’re wondering where to start.

Know where to look for help

It can feel pretty lonely trying to solve an online safety issue if you don’t know all the details or feel unequipped. There are platforms, tools, and services that you can turn to if you need assistance.

Report Harmful Content helps everyone report content that breaks community guidelines and our UKSIC helpline, the Professionals Online Safety Helpline, exists to help any professional working with young people with online safety issues.

20,000 down, how many thousands more to go?

Having trained 20,000 people – arming them with the very best in online safety education, readying them to defeat digital demons with tools and techniques – we aren’t stopping there.

The OSL train rolls on and our schedule shows plenty more stops ahead of us. The first quarter of 2020 is already booked up and there are plenty more sessions in the pipeline.

If you think an OSL sounds like what you need, then you can book your free tickets by visiting our Online Safety Live page. We travel across the UK to deliver these sessions, so if you can’t see your region on the list – don’t worry! We’ll be with you soon.

Here’s to 2020 and another 20,000 (but hopefully not all of them in one year).