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Safeguarding Spotlight - online gaming

Fortnite is an online video game

where players compete to be the

last man standing in a post- apocalyptic world.



To play, the age recommendation is 12 and above due to ‘mild violence’.


What are the concerns?

You may have seen news reports or heard concerns raised about the:

  • Communication between players: a chat function allows players to talk to each other either over a headset and microphone, or using messaging. Children could use it to speak to strangers, or it could put them at risk of cyberbullying
  • In-app purchases: players can build up large bills on their parents’ accounts by buying cosmetic items like outfits for your character and better-looking weapons (otherwise known as ‘skins’)
  • Addictive nature of the game: anecdotal stories tell of children staying up all night to play, or falling asleep in lessons after playing for too long. Some commentators attribute this to the communal feel of the game – you can play with your friends – and the game is different every time you play, keeping it fresh.


What steps can you take to safeguard your child?

* Do not create a username that could give away any personal details.

* Fortnite offers three levels of privacy settings: Public, - anyone can enter your child’s online party; Friends—where only friends can join a party; and Private—which means that no one can enter your child’s party without being invited by the child themselves.

* Fortnite also allows for Voice-Chat to be disabled.

* Speak to your child about unwanted contact and tell them what to do if someone speaks to them in a nasty or inappropriate way, or asks them for personal information. Ask them to come to you if they are unsure about unwanted contact or have be exposed to something inappropriate.


What else can I do?

Further tips


  • Download and play the game to help you understand it
  • Talk to your child about what they’re doing online, and make sure they know they can talk to you about anything that has upset them
  • Check your bank statements and gaming system account balance regularly to look for in-app purchases you’re not happy with, and to make sure your child isn’t getting around any passwords you’ve set up

More sources of support



  • The NSPCC has also teamed up with O2 to offer advice to parents. You can call their free helpline on 0808 800 5002, or make an appointment with an O2 Guru in an O2 store.


Fortnite – all you need to know: about-

Here at St Michael’s we encourage and promote the use of technology inside and outside of school. However, we are aware that there can be many risks associated with its use.  We educate our children on the safe and responsible use of technology in lessons, clubs and at home.

Safeguarding Team

Alyson Rigby Headteacher
Nicola Birch Designated Safeguarding Lead
Kevin Ronan Deputy Safeguarding Lead
Meg Buckley Safeguarding Governor

Safe Search Engines for Children


With no search engine being completely safe here are some useful links to sites that allow 'safer' searching.

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Useful Links for Parents


To be successful in keeping children safe online, we need to work with parents to improve safety online at home. It is important that parents speak to their children about how they can keep safe and behave appropriately online. Here are some useful links to help keep your children safe online.

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Questions and Answers

Parental Controls

Children are gaining access to and owning their own devices from a ever younger age. Devices can be great for learning and development, however parents should be aware of the content available online and the chance of your child seeing something they shouldn’t when online.

Pre-installed parental controls are available for most devices, laptops and consoles and are part of the system when you buy them. You can often download e-safety apps and software to supplement these controls. But the most important thing is to set the controls on the device itself.

See Safeguarding page for more information