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First CyberChampion School in Ireland

Posted by Schooldays Newshound, on 18/11/2022. First CyberChampion School in IrelandTags: Parenting

St. Finian's National School, Dillonstown in Co. Louth is the first school in Ireland to receive ‘CyberChampion’ status from CyberSafeKids. Created and developed by CyberSafeKids, the CyberSafe Tool for Schools enables primary schools to self-evaluate their school's level of cybersafety against best practice.

The first solution of its kind here, St. Finian's National School successfully completed the CyberSafe Tool for Schools online assessment in order to get a clear snapshot of where their school stands on its online safety journey, measured against standards of best practice.

Recipient of the school's award, Pádraig Mc Eneany, Principal, St. Finian's NS said, "We are absolutely delighted to have our school recognised as the first CyberChampion School in Ireland. I would highly recommend primary schools to complete the CyberSafe Tool for Schools assessment to give you some peace of mind on where your school is on its online safety path. This achievement highlights our commitment to online safety, which is so important against an ever changing technology landscape."

Philip Arneill, Head of Education & Innovation, CyberSafeKids added, "We've had a wonderful response to our CyberSafe Tool for Schools so far with over 180 schools signed up throughout the country. It's so important that schools have an awareness of cyber safety for their pupils, parents and staff. We have 3 levels of award for schools depending on the results of the survey: CyberAware, CyberSmart and CyberChampion.

St. Finian's NS is leading the way in terms of cyber safety as the first school to achieve a ‘CyberChampion’ award. They have robust policies in place around the safe use of the internet/online world and are comprehensively meeting their responsibilities when it comes to online safety and digital literacy education, and its promotion across their school community. This project was completed in collaboration with a number of local CYPSCs (Children & Young People's Services Committees) and thanks to support from Rethink Ireland Digital Solutions."

Louth CYPSC Coordinator, Joanne Murphy said, "On behalf of Louth CYPSC, we would like to congratulate St. Finians NS in Dillonstown for becoming the first school to achieve 'CyberChampion' status with the CyberSafe Tool for Schools. We are delighted to support this initiative as a valuable online safety training tool for schools. We would like to thank all the children and school personnel who took part in this initiative, and thank CyberSafeKids for collaborating with Louth CYPSC on this innovative piece of work, which helps primary schools obtain the highest level of CyberSafety possible.”

The CyberSafe Tool for Schools was developed to help primary schools;

  • Understand how cybersafe their school community is, including their strengths & weaknesses

  • Be ready when online safety issues arise in their school

  • Start to understand how to reduce the number of online safety issues in their school

  • Publicly demonstrate their commitment to online safety and be involved in a unique initiative in Irish primary schools

  • Educate their school community so they can be smart and safe online

CyberSafeKids recommends that schools;

  • Regularly monitor and review all online safety-related policies in place within the school.

  • Ensure that online safety and digital literacy plays an integral role in staff meetings and continuing professional development opportunities.

  • Encourage all staff and parents to use free resource sites such as Common Sense Media, PEGI & Webwise to keep abreast of new popular games, apps, websites and trends in the online world.

  • Assign selected teaching staff as ‘digital champions’ to actively promote digital literacy and online safety throughout the school community.

Schools that complete the CyberSafe Tool for Schools will receive a digital award badge of best practice (CyberAware, CyberSmart or CyberChampion).

CyberSafe Tool for Schools is free for all schools. For more information and/or to register your school by email, visit


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