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Rutland county councillor Tony Mathias, Parentzone deputy CEO Sophie Linington and High Sheriff Dr Sarah Furness
Rutland county councillor Tony Mathias, Parentzone deputy CEO Sophie Linington and High Sheriff Dr Sarah Furness

A group of Rutland safeguarding professionals have undergone specialist training so they can help parents to keep their children safe in the digital world.

About 30 representatives from primary and secondary schools and Rutland County Council were put through the Digital Parenting training at Oakham Enterprise Park.

Digital Parenting training is for anyone who works with families teaching them how to pass on specialist knowledge to parents and carers, arming them with the skills and resources they need to protect their children online.

The course was organised by Rutland County Council and delivered by Parentzone, which has successfully trained more than 1,000 teachers, social workers and other safeguarding professionals.

Sophie Linington, Deputy CEO of Parentzone, ran the day-long session at OEP and said: “This is about working with a range of professionals to help them engage more effectively with parents about their children’s online world.

“The aim is to improve their understanding of online risks and help them convey what they’ve learned to parents in a positive, effective way.

“We don’t want to scare parents. We want to give them the information and encouragement they need to make informed decisions about their children’s online behaviour. This means taking basic offline parenting skills – the things we do every day – and applying them to situations online; asking questions like ‘where are you going?’, ‘what are you doing?’ and ‘who are you talking to?’, rather than simply dictating what they should and shouldn’t do.”

The Digital Parenting training was funded by Voluntary Action Rutland and organised by the council as part of its ongoing commitment to protect children and young people living in Rutland.

Deputy leader and portfolio holder for community safety Tony Mathias (Con) said: “This training is invaluable in today’s world and has been offered to all school safeguarding leads in the county so they can deliver their own internet safety sessions.

“We want children to learn about online safety from an early age and for parents and carers to be fully aware of how best to teach them.”

For more information about Digital Parenting training, visit: parentzone.org.uk

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