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PostPosted: Wed Sep 23, 2009 2:03 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 02, 2009 4:57 pm
Posts: 31
Location: Kent
I have just seen the article on the new Parents' School Network launched yesterday and decided to check it out.

http://www.netmums.com/olderchild/Parents_School_Networks.3466/

This is an initiative which Ed Balls has launched and funded to the tune of £50,000. Every secondary school in the country is on it.

If you access the site in question and choose a school you will see that each school has its own forum area which has a few questions already posted (yes the posts are all from the same Co-ordinator and are the same for every school in the country - they are obviously trying to encourage parents to start posting replies).
What astounded me was the nature of some of the questions:
1) Do you give your child money each day?
5) Extra Curricular Activities - Which ones do yours do? (and which have they started and quit)
As a parent of a DD newly started at secondary school I would be most concerned that another parent might (albeit unwittingly) give out information on the above in a public domain which clearly identifies the school in question.
Having read the online safety thread in this section it's clear that there are some undesirable characters out there who are extremely clever at using online resources and who could potentially gain a lot of information by posing as an existing or potential parent (you only need to give first name, last name, postcode and email address to register). In fact the forum actively encourages parents to disclose whether children at their school carry money every day! I'm pretty sure this is something none of us, as parents, would wish to be seen in the public domain. And it's all identifiable by school location, all on one website.
Someone has already posted a response on another school's area of the forum which happens to be close to ours. She has identified her DD's year group (y7) and also said which shop she frequents after school!

I'm all for education forums (as a member of this one :D ) but they generally have a good degree of privacy in that you don't have to disclose school or region. Our DD's school is incredibly careful about what gets posted in the public domain which could impact on safety of the girls, e.g. after school clubs which are never posted on the website for safety reasons and I'd hate this to be compromised.
Of course this could be another of Mr. Balls' initiatives which disappear in a puff of smoke and I am getting worked up over nothing.
:shock: What do other forum members think?


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 23, 2009 2:06 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jun 18, 2007 2:32 pm
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Location: East Kent
Quote:
This is an initiative which Ed Balls has launched


says it all really..

I never trust the 'i' word


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 23, 2009 2:17 pm 
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Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 5:27 pm
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Location: london
Ha! A Balls initiative indeed

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 23, 2009 2:19 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 02, 2009 4:57 pm
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Hi Yoyo123, well the "i" word was a polite euphamism for the word I would like to have used, but that would have breached the rules of this forum :oops:


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 23, 2009 2:31 pm 
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The link you've posted doesn't work Samba, but it's not hard to find when Googled.

I'm surprised to find this was done in connection with netmums!

I really don't like the questions they are asking, it comes across as a bit Big Brotherish, is the intention to use the information in some way?

I mean, this one: On inset days, when is it ok to leave your child home alone? - are they trying to find out who's being irresponsible leaving their children alone when they're under age??? Am I being just a tad over-anxious about this???

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 23, 2009 2:34 pm 
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Never heard of it - but thought I'd look it up.

Only one of the schools my children attend is listed, other can't be found. However a school that closed in July is listed :!:


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 23, 2009 2:38 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 02, 2009 4:57 pm
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Location: Kent
Hi Snowdrops, the news item is on the "News" section of this forum, that's how I found it. Sorry if the link didn't work, possibly operator error?
I hadn't thought about the home alone "Big Brother" angle. As the government has paid for the forum I guess they could access all the postcodes so could check up on us.
It's not a comfortable thought..........


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 23, 2009 2:44 pm 
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Ditto Mad? and yoyo123

...and now have to go and calm myself and not think about about yet more waste of tax payers money that could be spent on better things.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 04, 2009 8:50 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 7:10 pm
Posts: 8199
Location: Buckinghamshire
The initiative has been launched as a joint venture with NetMums, who might hopefully have a few Moderators watching. This is the correct link, and I have posted it instead of the broken link in your post Samba.

http://www.netmums.com/olderchild/Parents_School_Networks.3466/

Utter Balls, IMHO.


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