Westminster Education Forum

Young people and digital technology - safety and resilience, enhancing learning, and next steps for policy

Morning, Wednesday, 7th November 2018

Central London


This timely seminar will examine the latest thinking on the relationship between young people and digital technology - looking at empowerment, digital literacy and online safety.

It takes place with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport and Home Office preparing to publish its white paper on Internet Safety.

The seminar will bring out latest thinking on empowering young people online and developing their digital literacy, resilience and advanced skills - and the further steps that can be taken to support this by policymakers, schools and technology providers.

Discussion will also draw on examples of best practice in using technology to aid learning in the classroom.

Delegates will consider possible next steps for the development of a digital charter, following the Government’s response to its consultation on its Green Paper on Internet Safety Strategy - with a particular focus on the responsibilities of media organisations, and key issues around young people’s use of social media.

Overall, areas for discussion include:

  • The development of media use and attitudes of children online - latest findings from Ofcom, following their A decade of digital dependency report;
  • The Internet Safety Strategy - key policy themes, and what is needed from stakeholders - the view from the DCMS;
  • Opportunities for building on ‘Growing up Digital’ and ‘Life in Likes’ - with a speaker from the Children’s Commissioner’s Office;
  • Discussion on ensuring children are secure, confident and resilient online, and addressing mental health concerns;
  • Providing children with the tools to critically and successfully use digital resources; and
  • Empowering children to succeed, developing online literacy and fostering advanced digital skills.



Guests of Honour

Josie Fraser

Head of Social Technology, Security and Online Harms Directorate, DCMS

Senior speaker confirmed from Ofcom

Guests of Honour

Senior speaker confirmed from Ofcom

Josie Fraser

Head of Social Technology, Security and Online Harms Directorate, DCMS

Keynote Speakers

Alex Stepney

Senior Policy & Public Affairs Manager, Virgin Media

Jessica Rees

Senior Market Research Manager, Ofcom

Simone Vibert

Policy and Public Affairs Analyst, The Children's Commissioner's Office

Speaker confirmed from the Children’s Commissioner’s Office


Lord Black of Brentwood

Executive Director, Telegraph Media Group

James Frith MP

Member, House of Commons Education Select Committee


Julian Coles

Digital Media Policy Consultant

Councillor Cyndi Hughes

Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, Darlington Borough Council

Vicki Shotbolt

Founder and Chief Executive, Parent Zone

Will Gardner

Chief Executive, Childnet International

Sharon Hague

Senior Vice President, Pearson Qualification Services and Senior Responsible Officer, Pearson

Alice Webb

Director, BBC Children and BBC North, BBC

David Wetherall

Senior Child Safety Online Manager, NSPCC

Senior speaker confirmed from Virgin Media

Susan Avis

Headteacher, Cam Everlands Primary School, Gloucestershire

Professor Victor Lally

Professor, Interdisciplinary Learning Education Technology and Society, University of Glasgow