CyberMentorPLUS was founded by Mubina Asaria, Head of Online Safety at Greenford High School, in 2014.
Head of Online Safety
Greenford High School
Mubina originally developed and piloted the CyberMentor programme at Greenford High School, while completing her Master of Research degree on cyberbullying at Kings College. The findings of this research have fundamentally informed the programme, which included:
- Young people are more likely to seek support from and open up to their peers, rather than their parents or other adults, when it comes to issues around technology.
- Bystanders – anyone who is witnessing behaviour online – can play a crucial role in challenging negative behaviour online.
With these findings, Mubina knew that in order to be at its most effective, the programme must focus on harnessing the positive role of the bystander through peer-mentoring.
For the last eight years, Mubina has been developing the programme to share best practice in online safety through a whole school approach. Thanks to funding from John Lyon's Charity, she has been able to replicate this model and cascade training across Ealing. Her work includes supporting schools and the local authority to safeguard young people from online risks such as cyberbullying, grooming and sexual exploitation. Mubina recently completed a secondment with Ealing Council as their Prevent Schools Advisor. Here, she developed the Ealing Prevent Toolkit, to support schools implementing the Prevent Duty.
Today, over 18 primary and secondary schools have signed up to the programme. Her ambition now is to include more schools across London and around the UK.
Awards and Recognition
The CyberMentorPLUS programme was commended when Greenford High School was awarded the Online Safety Mark by 360 degree safe in 2015.
Mubina is regularly invited to speak at national conferences on the topic of best practice in online safety, and the benefits of a whole school approach. She is also an accredited School Online Safety Assessor for the South West Grid for Learning, and a member of the Safeguarding board for London Grid for Learning and the Ealing Learning Partnership. Additionally, she has been invited to Google HQ to stream a live session with the CyberMentors on Safer Internet Day, across schools. And, the programme has been featured on the BBC’s Panorama.