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2017: the year of digital resilience

Parent Zone's 2017 achievements in numbers

This year we’ve reached out to thousands of parents, teachers and young people, welcomed new members to our ever-growing team and planned and delivered some amazing projects. Parent Zone writer Marjun Ziarati looks at some of 2017's highlights

The Christmas tree is up, there’s an endless supply of cake circulating the office and Teddy the office dog is sat chewing happily on a Santa hat. Christmas is fast-approaching, and Team PZ is getting into the festive spirit, while also preparing to launch some of our biggest and most exciting projects to date, which we can't wait to share with you in the new year. 

But now let's take a moment to reflect on the year that's drawing to a close and look at some of Parent Zone's achievements in 2017. 

And the winner is...

In February we had our annual Digital Schools Awards which celebrates the achievements of two of our outstanding members, who took a whole school community approach to online safety and digital resilience.

Read more about the winners.

Parent Zone in the news

Our CEO, Vicki Shotbolt, made a number of appearances on news programmes and offered expert comments for various news articles this year. Vicki was invited on the Victoria Derbyshire show on BBC2 to talk about allegations that Facebook failed to remove sexualised images of children.

Our work with the Home Office

We launched the Home Office Resilient Families Programme in April, working with 11 prevent duty teams across the country. We've been delivering assemblies, staff training and parent sessions, all with the aim of raising children’s and families’ resilience to online radicalisation and extremism, as well as upskilling staff and governors in online safeguarding and digital resilience.


Image: Parent Zone training session at a school with deputy CEO Sophie Linington

Digital Parenting magazine

By June this year we had distributed 1.5 million copies of the very popular Digital Parenting magazine that we produce with Vodafone. We're currently on the sixth edition and have already distributed 800,000 copies to around 2,300 schools. The magazine is packed with advice from teachers, parents and online safety experts on subjects ranging from virtual reality, to body image and live-streaming. We have received amazing feedback from readers who appreciate its valuable tips. You can view the online version here. 



Being an Internet Legend

Throughout the year we've been working with Google on a project to help deliver their Internet Legends assemblies across primary schools. Young people enjoy a special, interactive assembly to learn about the four pillars of internet safety. Parent Zone has been busy arranging for MPs to attend these informative assemblies too. Take a look at Home Secretary Amber Rudd's visit here.

'The Internet Legends tour is a great initiative, and I'm pleased it has visited Christ Church to help teach children about this issue in a fun and engaging way.'

Amber Rudd - Conservative MP for Hastings and Rye and Home Secretary


Kids telling us how it is

It’s not easy being a ‘Digital Parent’. In October, we released our latest research, 'Parenting in the Digital Age – how are we doing?'. We asked children how they think parents are coping with bringing up children in a digital age. We love the candid responses young people gave and we thought that the research findings were both reassuring and eye-opening.

Digital Families '17

October also saw our Digital Families 2017 conference. The specific focus of the day was digital resilience and we were delighted with the feedback about our expert speakers. This year’s conference marked our first joint conference with CEOP, celebrating Parent Info - our free digital parenting news feed with expert information to help parents keep young people safer online. There's a full round up of the day here.  Don't worry if you missed it, we’ve already started planning Digital Families 2018 and tickets are available now!

Parent Zone in Scotland 

In November, Parent Zone facilitated the Scottish Government’s 2017 Internet Safety Summit with sponsorship by Vodafone. The event was free to attend and the focus of the summit was the Internet Safety Strategy outlined by the Scottish Government. Parent Zone lined up a variety of inspiring experts in the field who talked about how to support young people to effectively navigate the online world.

Image: Marie Smith from CEOP talking at the summit 


In December, CEO Vicki Shotbolt was a keynote speaker at the Harm Minimisation Conference talking about the rise of gambling and its effect on young people. Parent Zone is going to be taking an in depth look at gambling and its effect on young people in the new year and we would love to hear your thoughts.

We hope you enjoyed our highlights and we’d also like to take this opportunity to wish you a very happy Christmas and all the very best for 2018!