Five ways the Digital Leaders Programme can benefit your school
Published: 24th June 2021
Childnet Digital Leaders is a youth leadership training programme which empowers young people to educate their peers about online safety.
Groups of Digital Leaders complete training on an interactive, informative, and fun gamified platform. They work through online modules, equipping them with the skills they need to educate and support their peers.
Using the findings from the Digital Leaders 2020 Impact Report, we highlight five ways the programme could help embed online safety in your school:
It can benefit your whole school
The Digital Leaders Programme isn’t ‘only’ about online safety – 95% of teachers asked said the programme has impacted on a whole-school level. And the Digital Leaders themselves agree, with 84% feeling they can ‘make a difference’ in their school.
“There has been a greater awareness of online safety around school and there is a feeling that everyone is involved,” commented one Digital Leader teacher.
There are individual benefits for the pupils too – with 100% of teachers saying that the programme prepares young people to be peer educators, while almost eight in ten teachers said Digital Leaders have improved wellbeing.
It enhances online safety
The core aim of the Digital Leaders programme is to help young people stay safe online – and it certainly does that, with 100% of Digital Leaders saying the training made them more knowledgeable about online safety.
Almost nine in ten Digital Leaders said the training covered the key issues faced by young people online, while 81% of teachers noticed safer online behaviours from young people due to the programme.
It helps schools fulfil safeguarding duties
“The programme has an impact on the students… they have matured and are in a stronger position to peer lead. Being part of the programme has enhanced our safeguarding ethos,” said a Digital Leader teacher.
Meeting safeguarding requirements is vital for all schools, and once again Digital Leaders can contribute to this, with 81% of teachers saying the programme has helped their school staff fulfil safeguarding duties.
It increases pupils’ confidence
We know wellbeing can be positively impacted by the programme, but so to can confidence levels – 93% of Digital Leaders said the training made them feel more confident about educating pupils in their school. Meanwhile, 83% of teachers said Digital Leaders are more confident due to the programme.
“I enjoy the Digital Leaders Programme because I would really like to help make a change to young people’s lives,” remarked one secondary school Digital Leader.
It can even help to educate parents
The benefits of the Digital Leaders programme extend beyond the school gates – and back to pupils’ homes. An impressive 98% of Digital Leaders said they can help parents understand the issues young people face online.
Interestingly, 94% of Digital Leaders also said young people should have a say about how internet safety is taught in their school.
“Being a Digital Champion has been such an amazing lesson in how to handle responsibility and organisational pressures,” said Bella, a Childnet Digital Champion.