By Ken Skates AM / Latest News / 0 Comments

AM Ken Skates praises ‘eCadets’ after visit to Ysgol Acrefair, near Wrexham

Three internet-savvy schoolchildren have produced a film aimed at keeping their classmates safe online.

The efforts of pupils Jamie Bolton, Diana Silva and Nathan Wright, from Ysgol Acrefair, earned praise from Clwyd South AM Ken Skates, who is also the Welsh Government’s Deputy Minister for Skills and Technology.

Their film project was part of the ‘eCadet’ initiative devised by the award-winning internet experts at eTreble9, from Hawarden in Flintshire.

Ken Skates AM with eCadets Jamie and Diana and Danielle and Henry Platten.

Jamie, and Diana, both 10, and nine-year-old Nathan, have trained as eCadets to advise fellow students how to protect themselves when browsing the internet, using social media or playing online games. The short film was shown for the first time during a recent visit to the school by Mr Skates.

He said: “The eCadets are absolutely fantastic. There’s no better way no teaching young people how to be safe on the internet and they are  doing a wonderful job. The eCadets here at Acrefair are incredibly enthusiastic, and very knowledgeable. The film made by Jamie and Diana was a really incredible achievement.”

Jamie said: “It’s important to be safe and it’s important you don’t speak to people you don’t know online, and you don’t use your real name.” Diana added: “We’re taught not to give away personal information because people can take that and use it. I have really enjoyed the eCadet course and helping people.”

The scheme was the brainchild of Henry and Danielle Platten, who already run a successful company advising about online security for businesses and individuals.

Mr Platten, a former police sergeant, said: “The response following the launch has been absolutely fantastic. It’s really spreading across the whole of Wales and into England. It’s shown the need which we always felt was out there and we’re delighted by the positive impact it’s making in the schools.

“Our approach is not to frighten them, just to show them how to use the internet safely. Ysgol Acrefair was the first school in Wrexham to have the eCadets scheme, and they’ve really gone for it full throttle.”

Headteacher Lisa Roberts added: “If the children have a question or a problem they go to the eCadets, who then email eTreble9 and get an immediate response they can feed back. It gives the pupils a safety net and I think they feel more comfortable going to talk to fellow pupils rather than adults.

“The scheme has opened our eyes as to what the dangers are and how to protect yourselves, and our eCadets are brilliant.”