New app launched to help worried parents

WITH FERMANAGH schools closed, meaning children and young people are at home and spending much more time on phones and tablets, it is important parents can know they are safe and protected online. 
To that end a new safeguarding app has been launched so parents and carers can access advice and information on the various social media platforms their children are using. The ‘Safer Schools’ app, which has been developed by the Department of Education and the iNEQE Safeguarding Group, will have a range of resources and up-to-date information, and is also available for school staff. 
“As our children and young people have more free time it is only natural they will spend more time online,” said Education Minister Peter Weir. “We want to make sure that teachers, parents and carers have all the knowledge they need to keep children safe online.”
Thanking the schools that are still open, for vulnerable children and the children of key workers, Minister Weir added: “I want to encourage all schools, parents and carers, to use this app.  
“Keeping our children safe and ensuring their mental health and wellbeing is looked after has never been more important.”
Chief executive of the iNEQE Safeguarding Group, Jim Gamble, said the app would be beneficial to all parents, carers and educators: “Whether Zooming, chatting on WhatsApp groups or playing games on HouseParty, everyone, young and old seems to be going online and to be clear I am in no doubt that if done safely that’s a good thing.  
“Technology can play a key part in making sure that social distancing doesn’t compound the pressures many face by making them feel socially isolated.”

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