YHGfL has recently appointed Andy Brookes as full time eSafety Manager. YHGfL is only the second RBC in the country to recognise eSafety as a key priority for schools by employing a full-time eSafety Manager. Andy, who originally started at the organisation two days a week in September 2008, will take on his role full-time from June 2009.
Andy has a background in both teaching and eLearning and has previously created many digital resources including interactive eSafety resources. Andy has already set up a Regional eSafety Group open to all 15 authorities in the region. The remit of this group is to share common issues and good practice. With the help of the group, YHGfL are able to respond strategically to the identified needs of the region.
Andy said: “Everyone at YHGfL can now really focus on delivering support to local authorities, schools, staff and young people in the region. We aim to ensure that they are really getting the most out of the internet and the ever-increasing mobile technology available to them. Our role is not to scare people away from digital technology, but to make sure everyone is aware of the potential risks and provide advice on how they can best use these fantastic learning opportunities in a safe and appropriate way.
“One of our aims is support local authority Local Safeguarding Children Boards (LSCB) to help them get the eSafety message out to young people, parents and staff in their locality. There is an awful lot of good practice to be seen in the Yorkshire and Humber region, and YHGfL are ideally placed to ensure this is effectively shared.”
Andy is a member of the National Education Network eSafeguarding Group and is also on the Education Advisory Board for the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP).
YHGfL works collaboratively with schools, pupils and local authorities and provides a range of free at the point of use, innovative eLearning services and resources that deliver creative and effective support for teaching and learning. Part of its offering is providing filtering services to schools and safe monitoring for the internet, as well as having systems that alert staff if an incident occurs online. It also runs workshops for teachers and schools on eSafety, led by Andy, plus workshops on various aspects of eLearning.
YHGfL’s Chief Executive, Phil Moore, said: “Our aim is to become a centre of excellence and innovation for eLearning in Yorkshire and Humber. We want to support schools in the effective integration of technology into teaching and learning and add value and tangible benefits to the education of every child in the Yorkshire and Humber region. A major part of that is eSafety, making sure that schools and children in our region are safe online, which is why we employed Andy last year to concentrate solely on that area. However, it soon became clear that we needed Andy’s expertise on a full-time basis to increase our resources and to enable him to put all of his attention on making sure people in our region are able to use the internet in a safe and appropriate way.”
For more information on the Yorkshire and Humber Grid for Learning go to www.yhgfl.net