Business online safety

UKCCIS Summit today

UKCCIS was launched last year by the Government following the Byron Report and to an excited fanfare. Today sees the first UKCCIS annual summit and on the BBC news this morning is the announcement that lessons in using the internet safely are set to become a compulsory part of the curriculum for primary school children in England from 2011.

There’s nothing on the UKCCIS website as yet but I’m sure it will emerge during the day. We should watch these proceedings carefully because this committee represents an important step in the evolution of how our society copes with the move away from the streets and onto the internet.

There has been a concern that during its first year of operation progress has been very slow and dominated more by the desire of Government to be seen to get quick PR wins rather than achieving anything of substance.  This would be a huge shame as this is important work.

Lets see what the day brings.

Business internet security

Ed Balls Starts UKCCIS Rolling

The first UKCCIS Executive Board meeting took place in December chaired by Ed Balls, DCSF Secretary of State and Alan Campbell, Parliamentary Under-Secretary for crime reduction at the Home Office. The fact that this Board is being chaired by such high profile politicians is an indication of the seriousness with which the Government is taking the safety of children when using the internet.

Set up to implement the recommendations of the Byron Report, the committee has initially prioritised a number of areas of concern and is in the process of setting up working groups to move the activity on.

The first four working groups will focus on the following areas: 

Industry Standards (title subject to change)
Aim: To develop clearer common standards (in the form of codes of practice or other guidelines) that are adopted, monitored and consistent with EU partners and are widely recognised as good practice. This should cover the areas identified in the Byron report but, over time, should also look at new issues that arise as technology and user habits move on.

Better Education
Aim: To ensure that children, families and the childrens workforce have access to consistent and comprehensive support and information that improves their knowledge, skills and understanding of internet safety.

Public Information and Awareness
Aim: To develop a comprehensive and joined-up public awareness campaign on internet safety for children and families based on consistent messages that form the basis of the one stop shop for all aspects of internet safety.

Video Games
Aim: To ensure that children and young people have a safer gaming experience and parents are aware of the issues and support mechanisms around gaming.

With the continually changing nature of the internet this is always going to be a work in process but at least a start is being made.

Business internet

Child Internet Safety

Dr Tanya Byron was at the Parliament and Internet conference yesterday. I was very impressed with her. Her report on child internet safety was published earlier this year and resulted in the setting up of the UK Council for Child Internet Safety already commented on in this blog.

The work that needs doing in this field has only just started really.

At an educational conference earlier this year at which she presented her report a senior educationalist in the audience asked here where he could get hold of a copy. After telling him it was on a website she was asked if she could send him a hard copy as “he didn’t do websites”!

It brings into sharp relief the size of the mountain to be climbed.