Professionals Online Safety Helpline Release Annual Report 2021

The Professionals Online Safety Helpline has released analysis of 2020-2021 data exploring the problems professionals faced in tackling online issues affecting young people. POSH provides signposting, advice and mediation to resolve online safety issues staff face about themselves, such as protecting professional identity and online harassment, or problems affecting young people, for example cyber-bullying or sexting issues.

The helpline has been in operation for 10 years and during this time the helpline has handled over 10,000 contacts and helped with over 7000 online safeguarding issues. As part of the UK Safer Internet centre, the helpline is operated by SWGfL.

Top Trends and Insights

In this latest annual report, the helpline finds out what the effects of lockdown were as well as the types of reports that were received from professionals. Some of the top trends that were seen included: 

  • 43% of cases involved problems relating to content posted on social media platforms
  • Significant trend of fake online accounts made impersonating teachers and schools often containing abusive comments directed at staff, potentially affecting the reputation of schools and their staff
  • The majority of concerns from school settings during lockdown related to the use of online platforms for delivery of lessons and professional/safeguarding risk when using these.
  • Media concerns around the perceived prevalence of grooming during lockdown do not correlate with the case data from the helpline; little difference has been seen in cases relating to grooming pre and during the pandemic.

 To download the full report, you can access it below or alternatively, you can check out our media page that has social media content and graphics to use.

Download Report Access Media Page 

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