A one-day conference for education practitioners and professionals in Wales

These one-day conferences which took place in Llandudno and Cardiff in March 2023 aimed to distil key information about digital resilience and offer some suggestions about how online safety can best be implemented in schools.

The events, which were funded by the Welsh Government, were designed to benefit education practitioners and professionals including teachers, safeguarding leads in local authorities and members of the regional education consortia.

In case you missed the conferences, below is a summary of the activity with links to relevant resources to support you in these key areas.

UK Safer Internet Centre - Will Gardner and David Wright (Directors)

Will and David provided an update on the current landscape of online safety across the UK. They highlighted the key online issues currently affecting children and young people and emphasised the extreme impact they can have. They also signposted delegates to support that is available for them as practitioners and for children and young people themselves, including Step Up Speak Up, Just a joke, 360 Safe Cymru, Report Remove, Test Filtering, Report Harmful Content and the Professionals Online Safety Helpline.

Estyn - Assistant Director, Dyfrig Ellis

Dyfrig highlighted the importance of creating the right culture to support schools’ approaches to keeping learners safe and allowing children and young people to speak out when they need support. Estyn research from 2021 found that 50% of the 1,300 young people they interviewed in schools across Wales had experienced some sort of peer on peer sexual harassment. Dyfrig provided an overview of Estyn’s recommendations for schools, including relevant professional learning for teachers, the need to create a safe and comfortable environment for children and young people and the importance of improving the way schools record and act on cases.

Ofcom - Principal of Regulatory Affairs, Elinor Williams

Elinor provided an update on the forthcoming UK Government Online Safety Bill and in particular the enhanced protections this will afford children and young people in the online world. As the appointed regulator Elinor outlined how Ofcom plan to take forward their new role and the impact that their codes of conduct will have on making the internet a safer place for all. There was also an opportunity to hear about Ofcom’s approach to media literacy and their Making Sense of Media programme to help improve the online skills, knowledge and understanding of UK adults and children.

National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC)

The NCSC, part of GCHQ, is the UK’s lead authority in cyber security. In a recent audit, 78% of schools in the UK that took part said they have experienced a cyber security incident. The NCSC’s academia team highlighted that schools are increasingly becoming a target for cybercriminals due the sensitive data they hold and financial transactions they undertake. This emphasises the importance of cyber resilience for schools. The team highlighted the support available to schools including the collaborative work with Hwb to produce bilingual guidance and training including the recently launched Cyber Security Awareness Training for school staff.


  • Cyberfirst

    This session provided a brief overview of the CyberFirst programme of opportunities that gives young people an introduction to cyber security. The session highlighted the benefits of becoming a CyberFirst school, giving examples of the activities your learners could take part in and explaining the difference between bronze, silver and gold standards. 

    Find out more about Cyberfirst opportunities.


  • Childnet

    This session provided some context on the issue of online sexual harassment among children and young people and an overview of the training, guidance and classroom resources available through Hwb that can support you with understanding, preventing and responding to incidents within your setting.


  • Tarian

    This session provided a brief overview of the importance of cyber resilience for schools. The session explored how schools can strengthen their planning and management policies to effectively prevent and respond to cyber incidents. It also highlighted the training opportunities available for schools and staff.



    This session provided ideas, insights and resources that you can use to help young people develop their critical thinking skills, values and digital resilience to manage online risks and use the internet positively. Using scenarios, it highlighted the digital competence and the skills learners need to be ‘street smart’ online.


  • Ysgol Nantgwyn

    Led by a secondary school teacher, this session offered some practical suggestions of ways you can engage learners in online safety. By taking part in competitions and activities related to events such as Safer Internet Day, you can raise awareness of topics and stimulate discussion in a fun and creative way.

    Take a look at Ysgol Nantgwyn’s winning Safer Internet Day film competition entries from 2020 and 2023.


  • Digital Resilience in Education

    The ‘Keeping safe online’ area of Hwb provides children and young people, families, education practitioners, professionals and governors with the latest resources, information, training and guidance. This session provided a high-level ‘walkthrough’ of what’s available both for you in your role and to help you signpost parents and carers and learners to relevant resources.  


  • Praesidio Safeguarding

    This session covered the complexity of social media platforms, the positives and negatives of their use and the potential risks associated with them. The session also offered advice on how you can support parents and carers with their understanding of social media and the role it plays in young people’s lives. 

    App guides for families are available on Keeping Safe Online.


  • Common Sense Education

    This session provided an overview of the Common Sense Education digital citizenship curriculum, which is tailored for primary and secondary school learners of all ages. Information was provided on the six key digital citizenship themes, which have been developed to help learners to make smart choices in all aspects of their online lives.

    The Common Sense Education digital citizenship curriculum is available bilingually on Keeping Safe Online.


  • National Crime Agency Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre

    This session highlighted resources that can support conversations with learners about healthy relationships and the importance of consent in a range of online contexts. The session also provided information on issues such as non-consensual image sharing and the practical steps that you can take to support young people who are worried about an image they’ve shared.

    CEOP teaching and learning resources are available bilingually on Keeping Safe Online.


  • Promo Cymru

    This session highlighted what support, advice and guidance is available for children and young people in Wales including Meic, a bilingual helpline service. The session also provided an overview of Hwb’s ‘online issues and worries’ advice for young people, which offers guidance on what to do if they are worried about something online.


  • SWGfL

    This session highlighted the support available to you from the Professionals Online Safety Helpline (POSH). The helpline and email service can provide support and advice on any issue relating to your own online safety – such as online abuse and professional reputation. The session covered some examples of how the helpline can help you.


  • FullFact

    This session offered ways to support learners to understand what misinformation is, recognise the different forms it can take and the impact it can have. It also gave an overview of the recently launched online training module which aims to give practitioners a breadth of knowledge about how to tackle misinformation.


  • SchoolBeat

    This session aimed to help you to understand online radicalisation and extremism and the signs that a learner is becoming radicalised. The session highlighted the support available to you if you think this is happening in your school and also provided tips to engage young people on this highly emotive topic.


  • Welsh Rugby Union

    This session offered some practical ways that sport can be used to reinforce online safety messaging. The session demonstrated how topics such as digital footprint and consent can be explored when you’re discussing sporting role models and learners’ aspirations. The session also offered advice on how you can help to engage parents and carers.