FREE training sessions have been launched for people who want to help make the internet safer for Oxfordshire’s youngsters.

The announcement was made as part of National Safer Internet Day on Tuesday, which saw schools across the county taking part in an e-safety survey to help build up a picture of young people’s experiences on the internet and identify issues that need to be tackled.

Information and digital resource packs have also been made available for schools to hold lessons and workshops on the subject of internet safety, and Oxfordshire’s libraries will also help to promote the campaign.

Jo Brown, the county council’s anti-bullying co-ordinator, said: “We should all take responsibility for helping make the internet a kinder and more respectful place for people to enjoy the positive opportunities that it brings.

“We want to stress the benefits of seeking positive and safe opportunities to engage and share online, but also to empower young people to know how to keep safe and where to turn to if they are worried about something.”

The county council is working with schools, Thames Valley Police and the Oxfordshire Safeguarding Children’s Board (OSCB) to promote responsible use of online technology and help protect children from becoming victims of cyber bullying or being exploited online.

Safer Internet Day is organised by the UK Safer Internet Centre to promote the safe and responsible use of online technology and mobile phones for children and young people.

Kim Dugmore, safer schools officer in Oxford for Thames Valley Police said: “We have been working closely with Oxfordshire County Council in looking at ways to protect children and young people from the dangers that can be posed online.

“Information and resources of this nature are a great way of raising awareness about internet safety and an opportunity for people to get answers to some of the questions they may have.”

A spokesman for OSCB said: “Parents and other adults also have an important role both in supporting children’s use of the internet and understanding some of the risks associated with inappropriate or illegal internet use.

“Many adults may be less confident using the internet than today’s children and the best way to get involved is to share an interest and support and learn together.”

The free sessions will be held on Monday, March 24, at the Didcot Early Intervention Hub between 9.30am and 4.30pm and on Wednesday, June 18, at County Hall in Oxford between 9.30am and 4.30pm.