The David Ross Education Trust

David Ross Education Trust schools create a rich and exciting learning environment that inspires students to become their confident, academic best.

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Thomas Middlecott Academy

Thomas Middlecott Academy seeks to broaden the horizons of each and every student, helping them to achieve at the highest level both academically and through their talents outside the classroom.

Safeguarding Alert: ‘The Blue Whale Challenge’ and Netflix Production ’13 Reasons Why’

We write to you to draw your attention to a dangerous online game called The Blue Whale Challenge (online app). Some of our students have seen this on ‘Tic Toc’.

The Blue Whale Challenge is an internet based game that has resulted in many deaths in many countries. The Challenge is believed to be spreading across Europe with an increasing number of incidents of self-harm and suicide reported.

The administrator/curator of The Challenge targets children and vulnerable adults and gives them 50 challenges to complete over a period of weeks culminating in suicide (challenge number 50).

The majority of the challenges involve self-harm followed by sending a picture to the curator as proof. A tell-tale sign is challenge number 11: “carve a whale on your hand with a razor and send a photo to the curator”

Other examples of challenges that children and young people are urged to follow:

• Use a knife or razor to make the shape of a whale on their wrist or leg
• Get up at 4:20am and watch scary videos
• Sacrifice your hand, cut your lips
• Day 26: You will get your date of death
• Day 28: Don’t talk to anyone
• Day 50: Jump from the roof or hang yourself

You should talk to your child/ren if you are concerned about them or notice a change in their behaviour. We would encourage you to inform the school of your concerns.

You can also seek additional support from the NSPCC on 0808 808 5002 to provide help on how to keep children safe online. Please report abuse of children to CEOP (

If you have safeguarding concerns you can seek advice from Mrs Dunbar or Mr Pinder. The LSCB can also be contacted online or via telephone. As always, if you feel your child is at immediate risk please dial 999 and ask for the appropriate emergency services.