Research published this week by the UK media regulator Ofcom, has revealed the extent of social media bullying on young people with 11% of 12- to 15-year-olds stating they had been bullied online and 40% of parents of online 5- to 15-year-olds claiming to be very or fairly concerned about cyberbullying. Online platform The Collate Loop is tackling these issues by harnessing the positive aspects of the digital world in a ‘safe space’, which allows school age children to be taught social media etiquette in schools.
A safe space
The Collate Loop offers a digital platform where students (as well as parents, teachers, school leaders and governors) can communicate online in open, closed or private groups, each monitored by an approved administrator within the school.
Nefarious activates such as cyberbullying are protected against as all user profiles have the ability to be vetted by stakeholders of the school. They are then able to flag any potential issues, such as trolling, safeguarding concerns or inappropriate use of the platform through the correct channels.
Martyn Allan the director of The Collate Loop says: ‘Technology is the great enabler of the 21st century, but it is not without its costs. Today’s children are among the first to grow up surrounded by social media, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We must take steps within our education system to provide the tools to promote positive mental health in safe spaces. The Collate Loop provides these tools and harnesses the wonders of modern technology to help nurture and develop the wellbeing of our children’.
Wellbeing and mental health provisions within schools have recently gained attention via championing of the cause by the Duchess of Cambridge, who visited a primary school to mark Children’s Mental Health Week. The Collate Loop supports this cause by encouraging pupils to communicate openly about their feelings and worries in a protected sphere.
The private, safe, monitored and easy-to-use Collate Loop software allows pupils to discuss serious issues away from mainstream social media in its ‘groups’ feature from the comfort of their smart phone and protected from harm. This feature can be used to introduce best practices, on behalf of both the school and third parties such as an external mental health nurse or occupational therapist, thus helping to tackle mental health issues.