AACOSS Covid-19 Information and Guidance
In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, members of AACOSS have put together a series of information and guidance:
Schools – a video and resource links to highlight support and guidance for remote learning and live streaming, click HERE.
Parents/carers – a video and resource links to simplify and help with online safety advice and guidance, click HERE.
Other organizations such as charities, youth and community groups, adoption services – a video to give some advice and guidance related to engaging with service users remotely, click HERE.
Why do we exist?
There are a number of reasons why we exist, the following details the primary reasons:
Online safety is a vast area; we believe there is no such thing as an ‘expert’. Whilst consultants have a good overview of all of the main subject areas, some also have specific expertise in particular areas, e.g. specific year groups, topics, research etc.
This is why we call ourselves specialists, and by coming together we all benefit from shared experience, advice and individual specialisms so that we can all work to a common set of core criteria whilst keeping learner-focussed.
There is continual recognition at government level which tends to concentrate on a small number of charities and organizations, however there are also many individual consultants and specialists, usually very small companies, that are collectively doing the significant amount of awareness-raising work around the UK and are at the frontline of support to schools.
Collectively we are a stakeholder group in order to collaborate and deliver high quality advice and support individually and with these organisations
How do we define online safety?
The primary focus of any specialist will always be safeguarding, however there are many different and broad contexts in which safeguarding education and awareness can be delivered, for example:
Within those areas above, some individuals will choose to only specialise in distinct aspects, for example:
Therefore online safety in this context is defined as the continuing education, awareness raising and empowering of children, young people and adults (e.g. professionals that work with children, parents etc.) in order to maximise the opportunities that the use of technology brings by raising awareness, increasing resilience and learning key skills to recognise, understand and mitigate risk.
The Association of Adult and Child Online Safety Specialists is brand new (August 2018), and as such membership is currently being restricted within a narrow scope. There are two levels of membership: AACOSS Member and AACOSS Affiliate Member
Prerequisites: there are minimum prerequisites that all members must meet, including a code of conduct. The prerequisites are detailed in the application forms and the code of conduct can be seen HERE
Once a person becomes a member, their name, biography and specialisations will be hosted on the AACOSS website. Members will be able to use the AACOSS logo and actively contribute to discussions.
- A professional, who may be part of a larger organization, but whose main professional role is to physically visit schools and other organizations in order to deliver online safety education, advice and guidance to children, young people, staff, governing bodies and parents at a minimum.
- For the purposes of this Association an organization refers to a limited company registered with Companies House in the United Kingdom, however the individual is the Association Member, not the company.
- A professional, who may be part of a larger organization (including commercial organizations) and have a significant role within online safety and/or a specialisation that directly relates to online safety. Examples of this would include:
- Local authority safeguarding and online safety officers.
- Headteachers, teachers and Safeguarding/Child Protection leads.
- Independent safeguarding consultants.
- Others as agreed on a case-by-case basis by Founding Members.
How do new members join?
Application only takes a few minutes and simply requires you to fill out an application form and send it back. From there, the Founding Members will consider your application and reply to you within 28 days. On occasion, further clarification or evidence may be required.
To request an application form simply contact us via the Get In Touch button below.