Supporting SEND Pupils Online

Online Safety for Children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND)

Technology and the internet are an influential part of a young person’s life. They are tools used to engage in all aspects of social lives and these platforms and methods for young people to communicate are constantly evolving. Technology and the internet are also a fundamental feature of school life and learning at home. Due to the increased opportunities and importance to their lives, young people are spending more time online.

As young people spend more time online there is an increased risk that they may place themselves in danger. It’s crucial that young people understand how to protect themselves from any risks associated with technology and the internet.

The internet can feel like a safe place for all young people to communicate and socialise. Unfortunately, some children with SEND are increasingly more likely than their peers to be exposed to new risks associated with online safety such as cyberbullying, grooming and exploitation.

It is important that families and schools empower children with SEND to identify the related risks and develop a resilience to use technology safely.

Five basic safety rules all young people should know:

• Keep all of your accounts private and never let anybody know your password.

• Check the privacy settings of all sites and apps you use.

• Don’t post any personal information online.

• NEVER speak to anyone you do not know online or accept gifts from people you don’t know.

• If you are unsure, need advice or support – speak to a parent/carer or teacher.

All children need regular reminders of safety rules. Young people with SEND must understand why clear boundaries and expectations for appropriate internet use are needed and the consequences which may happen if they don’t respect them. Some young people with SEND may intentionally disregard boundaries and the rules so it’s important that they are reminded of possible repercussions.

Talking regularly with young people about the rules and potential repercussions is important. Some may need regular reminders that the internet can have dangerous consequences and online safety rules are important for a reason: to keep children safe.

For any queries or to discuss this further please contact school.

Designated Safeguarding Lead – Mr Joe Maguire
Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead – Mrs Faith Bell
SENDCO – Mrs Aimee Turrell

More advice and support can be found below:

This CBBC Newsround short film is an engaging and informative e-safety story which can be watched by parents, carers and young people together.
Internet safety: Caught in the Web – a Newsround Special – CBBC Newsround


Learning Disabilities, Autism and Internet Safety: A Guide for Parents – Mencap



A guide and links to advice for supporting young people with SEND online – Childnet International.
Supporting young people with SEND online – Childnet


Watch John’s e-safety story on BBC Bitesize
eSafety – KS3 PSHE and Citizenship – BBC Bitesize