Internet safety and cyberbullying

Guidance and resources to help you tackle cyberbullying and promote e-safety


In 2018 Oxfordshire received funding from the Police and Crime Commissioner to commission AlterEgo Creative Solutions (creators of Chelsea’s Choice) to provide a play suitable for children in Year’s 5 & 6 to help them learn about online risk and healthy online behaviour and relationships. It showed in Primary Schools across the Thames Valley and is now available from Alter-Ego alongside their other dramas. An e-safety toolkit was produced for schools as part of the work. You can view the toolkit and the evaluation report of the project below

Safer Internet Day - 11 February 2020

The UK Safer Internet Centre runs Safer Internet Day. Information and resources linked to the latest Safer Internet Day.

Preview and download the Oxfordshire Inclusion and Digital Safeguarding Schools and Settings Pack (pdf format, 886Kb).

Guidance and information

The current Ofsted framework highlights that safeguarding relates to “broader aspects of care and education, including online safety and related issues” There is emphasis on the safe use of technology and protecting children from online bullying. The following briefing document for inspectors from the 2013 framework still provides very useful guidance on what’s expected from schools.

Statutory guidance from the DfE (September 2016) 'Keeping Children Safe in Education emphasised the importance of tackling bullying (including cyberbullying), teaching children to stay safe online, and ensuring they don’t access inappropriate material.  The guidance stated that peer on peer abuse, including 'sexting', should be reflected in the schools’ child protection policies.

The update guidance (September 2018) Keeping Children Safe in Education emphasised that peer on peer abuse is a safeguarding issue and includes bullying and harassment. It also highlighted that sexual violence or sexual harassment should not be passed off as ‘banter’ or ‘part of growing up’ or ‘having a laugh’. There is an increased emphasis on online safety and cyberbullying as issues to be tackled including sexting and schools need to include in their policies how children may be accessing the internet on phones in school. It also highlights that children with SEND are more likely to be bullied and may not show this in their behaviour and that emotional bullying should be seen as part of emotional abuse that needs to be addressed to safeguarding children.

Referring to resources and guidance on this page will help you to meet these requirements.

Online safety checklist based on SWGfL 360 Online Safety tool (doc format, 19Kb) – this is a good starting point for self-assessment and identifying actions needed.

For a comprehensive overview of E-safety and cyberbullying and links to all key resources please see:

Sexting/youth-produced sexualised imagery

Oxfordshire County Council, the OSCB and Thames Valley Police all recommend that schools and settings refer to Sexting in Schools and Colleges, guidance from the UK Council for Child Internet Safety (2016) to support them with preventing and managing sexting.

Please see Oxfordshire’s Sexting Resource Pack 2019 (pdf format, 354Kb) for further links and resources to support you with managing sexting.

Oxfordshire cyber-survey

The survey is currently under review. Please e-mail to find out if it is available.

Key national guidance and links

The DfE provides cyberbullying guidance along with cyberbullying guidance for parents and carers. There is also some information about dealing with cyberbullying in the general “preventing and tackling bullying” guidance which are all available here

Oxfordshire resources 

Assemblies/lessons/group activities

Involving parents and carers

Children and young people could also visit the youth website pages on cyberbullying and staying safe on the internet.

Further links and information to support your online safety work


National and international

  • Action Fraud  - for reporting fraud or online scams or viruses to Action Fraud – the UK’s national fraud reporting centre
  • Childnet International - a non-profit organisation working with others to 'help make the internet a great and safe place for children'.
  • Get Safe Online  provides advice on how people can use the internet confidently, safely and securely. 
  • NSPCC - regularly updated guidance from the NSPCC on social networking sites that children and young people are using (for parents/carers and professionals)
  • NSPCC Share Aware  
  • Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) is the UK Safer Internet Centre's hotline for reporting three specific types of online criminal content: child sexual abuse content (hosted globally) ; obscene adult content (hosted only in the UK); non-photographic images of child sexual abuse (such as computer-generated images) (hosted only in the UK)
  • Online Compass This site provides an e-safety audit tool for youth settings. This site is provided by the Safer Internet Centre 
  • UK council for Child Internet Safety  This is a voluntary organisation that brings together over 200 organisations including the Department for Education, CEOP, Childnet, etc. 
  • UK Safer Internet Centre   provides e-safety tips, advice and resources to help children and young people stay safe on the internet. 
  • UK Safer Internet Centre professional helpline 0844 381 4772   Support with all aspects of digital and online issues such as social networking sites, cyber-bullying, sexting, online gaming and child protection online. The helpline aims to resolve issues professionals face about themselves, such as protecting professional identity and reputation, as well as young people in relation to online safety.