21 March 2019
Mrs Heather Trim, Deputy Head of Portsmouth High School and Mr Paul Marshallsay, Headmaster of the Prep School, were the proud recipients of an award from the High Sheriff of Hampshire for the school’s Cyber Ambassadors scheme.
Portsmouth High School has been part of a pilot scheme to promote online security, led by the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Youth Commission. The Commission, set up by the Hampshire Police and Crime Commissioner, was to help young people be part of the solution to tackling crime and improving policing. The main aim of the scheme is to skill-up pupils on key online safety issues. These pupils then pass on their learning offering helpful support to their peers.
When approached by the Commission PHS quickly identified the need to take the lead in training pupils and to act as a centre for training for other schools. The dynamic and ever changing nature of cyber safety means that education has to be current and on-going and young people are best placed to identify current trends. The training was specific to the area and tailored to local trends. The Commission asked thousands of young people across Hampshire, the Isle of Wight, Portsmouth and Southampton about their concerns. Over a third of the young people who took part identified cyber safety as their top priority. As a result a set of recommendations were developed. These emphasised the importance of education and support in schools and included the introduction of Cyber Ambassadors. The accessibility and reliance of the www means that increasingly young people are able to have a much bigger presence online. The school is now in its second year of training pupils.
Accompanying Portsmouth High School was Lynne Meechan, Youth Commission Project Officer from the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Hampshire.
‘We were honoured to be amongst such prestigious organisations and people across Hampshire,’ said Mrs Trim. ‘From Police Constable Andrew Reid to Aurora New Dawn and the National Probation Service, we felt very humbled to be recipients of the High Sheriff Awards for 2019.’