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About the programme

About the programme

The Childnet Digital Leaders Programme empowers children and young people to educate their peers, parents and teachers about staying safe online. Throughout the programme Digital Leaders are given the tools they need to champion digital citizenship in their educational setting and community, helping them and their peers to make the most of their time online.

The programme offers young people structured online training and ongoing support from Childnet’s expert team. The gamified platform makes online safety learning fun and effective. It also helps educational settings work towards an outstanding approach to keeping everyone safe online.

The programme connects young people with other Digital Leader teams from across the UK and wider. Throughout the programme there are opportunities for young people to engage with top tech companies, government, and policy makers, to have a say in creating a better internet for the future.

The Childnet Digital Leaders Programme is…

  • Youth-led: Young people educate their peers, making online safety learning relevant, fun and effective
  • Empowering: Championing youth voice and giving young people opportunities to be role models
  • Practical: Digital Leaders gain key skills such as leadership, communication, and teamwork
  • Impactful: Digital Leaders embed safer online behaviours and spread online safety knowledge
  • Engaging: Involving young people, parents and staff by harnessing young people’s expertise and experiences
  • Relevant: With new modules each term, the programme reflects the latest issues in young people’s online lives
  • Collaborative: Connect with other Digital Leader schools across the UK and wider
  • Evidence led: Showcase how your school’s online safety practice is youth-led, useful for Ofsted inspections

Who are we and why did we begin the programme?

At Childnet, we work directly with children and young people from the ages of 3 to 18 on a daily basis, finding out about their real experiences online as well as sharing advice, top tips and information. We also work with parents, carers, teachers, and professionals from across the UK.

Since 1995, Childnet has sought to keep children and young people at the heart of all that we do. In all our work we seek to respond to the risks that children and young people may encounter online. Our aim is to make the internet a great and safe place for children and young people.

The Childnet Digital Leaders Programme began in 2014, engaging young people in online safety education in a new and innovative way. Young people told us that they found online safety education more valuable and relevant when it came from people their own age. By directly consulting with young people, teachers and educational settings we created the programme to help make online safety education impactful.

Find out more about Childnet and the work that we do.


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2 years

What your year ahead will look like

Our history

September 2014

Pilot scheme is launched in seven secondary schools

September 2015

The Childnet Digital Leaders Programme for secondary schools officially launches

September 2016

The Childnet Digital Leaders Programme for primary schools officially launches

May 2020

The Childnet Digital Leaders Programme has now reached over 1000 schools in the UK and worldwide!

June 2022

The new Childnet Digital Leaders platform is launched with updated content and a more engaging user experience.

Try out the platform for yourself with a guest login

Help us work towards an outstanding whole school community approach to online safety.

Register your interest

Meet the team

Get to know the team behind the Digital Leaders Programme and how their different roles contribute to the running of the programme

Go to meet the team

Frequently Asked Questions

Whether you are a school, parent or carer, we can answer your questions about the programme.

Go to FAQs