Topics for this month:

Digital Resilience

Why is it important to know about digital resilience? 

The use of the internet has undergone rapid expansion with the growing use of social media platforms and the increased use of mobile technologies. Smartphone and tablet ownership has risen sharply and young people have greater independence than ever before to explore their own online world, bringing both opportunities and risks.

By 2010, the vast majority of 9-16-year olds in the UK (96 per cent) reported going online at least weekly. Just over half of teenagers surveyed in a recent study reported using the internet without parental supervision.

The COVID-19 pandemic has drastically changed the use of the internet to more than ever before, where many people are using technology as a way of life.

A person’s resilience is their ability to cope with ups and downs and bounce back from the challenges that life can throw at them. Resilient people are better able to make sense of the world around them, build strong relationships, and seek out support when they experience unprecedented change.

Opportunities online – the online world brings a lot of advantages where people can seek and access advice, support, undertake teaching and learning, give self-expression, connect with real friends and family around the world, enjoy entertainment and engage in their community.

However, with this there also brings online risk and vulnerabilities, including cyberbullying, online grooming, sexting, self-harm and suicide contagion, exposure to pornography, radicalisation as well as harmful excessive screen time.

Online vulnerability can often mirror wider causes or issues, this is particularly apparent where online behaviours are influenced by the psychological effects of abusive relationships, childhood trauma or family breakdown; manifesting in low self-confidence, impulsivity, and a propensity to seek out risky scenarios.

It is therefore crucially important to be vigilant and always look out for any signs where a person, particularly a young person or someone with learning difficulties is vulnerable or at risk.

Professionals working with learners online, should always look out for any changes in the learner. Such as changes in character, behaviour, arriving late for remote sessions, being unusually absent, differences in appearance, possible concerns with background noise around them that must be recognised and followed up to safeguard the learner.

Practice must remain relevant and needs to be recalibrated and pulled through to the online context from what it was when face to face before the pandemic with

  • Recognise, respond, record, report, refer

Good practice in digital resilience

  • Preventing and reducing exposure to risk whenever possible
  • Focusing on resources that help foster resilience (e.g. online safety)
  • An alert button on digital platforms such as zoom to be able to send a message of ‘help’
  • Record zoom and any other team meetings for safeguarding purposes
  • Ask the question, how are you?
  • Strengthen cyber security
  • Professional conduct and staff engagement

Discover how to have a healthy digital life and avoid the more negative elements…

  • Avoid the internet’s negativity
  • Recognise fake news and scams
  • Protect your digital identity and reputation
  • Avoid upsetting people – and what to do if you do
  • Overcome digital addiction
  • Never share personal information with strangers or anyone you do not know
  • Ask for help and tell someone if you feel at risk, such as a Teacher, professional or family member

For further information please visit:

Can you recognise these 10 signs of bullying?

Bullying is best understood as a set of harmful behaviours directed at one person or a group. It can include verbal, physical, psychological or socially harmful behaviours that can inflict harm, stress and injury.

Early Warning Signs

The difficulty of knowing if a child is being bullied, is one that worries parents, teachers, Assessors and carers. One or more changes in a child’s mood, physical appearance and behaviours could be an indicator that a child in your care is being bullied.

It can be helpful to have supportive conversations with children and young people in your care to establish what they would do and who they would tell if they had a problem that was worrying them.

Recognising the warning signs early means you can take action to stop bullying, but be aware that not all children show these signs and these signs could also be a sign of other issues in a young person’s life.

Ineqe Safeguarding Group have put together 10 indicators you need to look out for:

  1. A change in sleeping patterns and frequent nightmares.
  2. Not wanting to attend school/college – making up excuses as to why they don’t want to go.
  3. Returning home from school/college with ripped clothing or broken/missing belongings.
  4. Unexplained bruises, cuts and scratches on their body.
  5. Frequent headaches, sore stomach pains and possible fabrication of an illness.
  6. Irregular eating patterns, skipping meals, loss of appetite or returning from school/college hungrier than usual.
  7. A noticeable decline in standards of work.
  8. A nervous reluctance to use their mobile phones/internet.
  9. Unexplained avoidance of regular social activities with usual friendship groups.
  10. Showing unusual aggression, being disruptive or unreasonable.

If you are worried because you are witnessing these behaviours – it’s a sign you should take action. Talk to the child/young person open and honestly, this will help you identify a problem early. Bullying is very rarely a complete secret.

Young people might not use the word bullying when telling you about things that made them sad, upset or worried at school. If a child in your care confides in you or you suspect something is wrong at school/college, having a gentle well-planned conversation can help.

Further support:

PREVENT: New Counter-Terrorism website ACT Early
Between 1st January 2019 and 30th June 2020, 17 children were arrested in relation to terrorism offences. Some were as young as 14 years old and nearly all were radicalised entirely online.

In the same time period, more than 1500 children under the age of 15 were referred to the Prevent programme to help them choose a different path, away from hatred and violence.

The impact of Covid-19, social isolation and a rise in hateful extremism online has created a ‘perfect storm’ which is making more young people vulnerable to radicalisation and other forms of grooming.

With this in mind, Counter-Terrorism Policing have developed a new website called ACT Early. The website emphasises early detection and is aimed at family and friends and are encouraged to call the Prevent advice line on 0800 011 3764.

You can also find advice on the website around staying safe online and also tips for talking to friends or relatives if you think you’ve spotted worrying behaviour.

The website can be found here:

Depression Booklet – Mind Charity

Mind Charity have published a booklet that focuses on what depression is and information about depression, its symptoms and possible causes, and how you can access treatment and support. Includes tips on caring for yourself, and guidance for friends and family.

We have attached the booklet to access.

Click here for the Mind booklet

Coronavirus: Help to stay safe and well for young people and adults with learning disabilities (Mencap)

Mencap have a series of easy-to-read to help communicate clear messages about keeping safe from coronavirus. The information covers:

  • Shielding
  • Self-isolating
  • Social distancing
  • Face coverings
  • Keeping safe
  • Public transport
  • Going to work and working from home
  • Test and trace
  • Food shopping
  • Befriending
  • Scams
  • Keeping clean and handwashing
  • About coronavirus
  • Government guidance

Please visit Mencap’s website to access the information:

7 Minute Briefings:

Attached is a 7 minute briefing from Knowsley Safeguarding Children Partnership focusing on ‘Contextual Safeguarding’.

Click here for the 7 minute briefings

UK Safer Internet Centre:

The UK Safer Internet Centre have published an infographic that focuses on ‘Covid-19: Expectations and effects on children online’.

The infographic explores digital migration, increased demand for content, warnings and predictions, health and wellbeing, and possible impacts such as child sexual exploitation.

Please access the attached infographic for more information.

COVID-19 Alert Levels

When the national lockdown is lifted, areas will be put into different tiers. The list of local restriction tiers by area, from Wednesday 2 December 2020 are below.

COVID alert level: very high (TIER 3)

North West

  • Blackburn with Darwen
  • Blackpool
  • Greater Manchester
  • Lancashire

East Midlands

  • Derby and Derbyshire
  • Leicester and Leicestershire
  • Lincolnshire
  • Nottingham and Nottinghamshire

North East

  • North East Combined Authority:
    • County Durham
    • Gateshead
    • South Tyneside
    • Sunderland
  • North of Tyne Combined Authority:
    • Newcastle upon Tyne
    • North Tyneside
    • Northumberland
  • Tees Valley Combined Authority:
    • Darlington
    • Hartlepool
    • Middlesbrough
    • Redcar and Cleveland
    • Stockton-on-Tees

South East

  • Kent and Medway
  • Slough (remainder of Berkshire is tier 2: High alert)

South West

  • Bristol
  • North Somerset
  • South Gloucestershire

West Midlands

  • Birmingham, Dudley, Sandwell, Walsall and Wolverhampton
  • Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent
  • Warwickshire, Coventry and Solihull

Yorkshire and The Humber

  • East Riding of Yorkshire
  • Kingston upon Hull/Hull
  • North East Lincolnshire
  • North Lincolnshire
  • South Yorkshire
  • West Yorkshire

COVID alert level: high (TIER 2)

North West

  • Cumbria
  • Liverpool City Region
  • Warrington and Cheshire

East of England

  • Bedfordshire and Milton Keynes
  • Cambridgeshire, including Peterborough
  • Essex, Thurrock and Southend on Sea
  • Hertfordshire
  • Norfolk
  • Suffolk

East Midlands

  • Northamptonshire
  • Rutland


  • all 32 boroughs plus the City of London

South East

  • Bracknell Forest
  • Brighton and Hove
  • Buckinghamshire
  • East Sussex
  • Hampshire, including Portsmouth and Southampton
  • Oxfordshire
  • Reading
  • Surrey
  • West Berkshire
  • West Sussex
  • Windsor and Maidenhead
  • Wokingham

South West

  • Bath and North East Somerset
  • Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole
  • Devon, including Plymouth and Torbay
  • Dorset
  • Gloucestershire (Cheltenham, Cotswold, Forest of Dean, Gloucester, Stroud and Tewkesbury)
  • Somerset (South Somerset, Somerset West and Taunton, Mendip and Sedgemoor)
  • Wiltshire and Swindon

West Midlands

  • Herefordshire
  • Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin
  • Worcestershire


  • City of York
  • North Yorkshire

COVID alert level: medium

South East

  • Isle of Wight

South West

  • Cornwall
  • Isles of Scilly

You can find out the coronavirus restrictions in a local area by visiting: