We encourage students to make use of their digital devices to support their learning. However, there are occasions when they can be used inappropriately and there have been incidents of cyberbullying that have been brought to our attention.
The minimum age to open an account on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr, Kik, and Snapchat is 13.
For Vine, Tinder and Yik Yak it's 17. YouTube requires account holders to be 18, although a 13 year-old can signup with a parent's permission. But according to The Social Age Study by knowthenet.org.uk, approximately 59% of children have already used a social network by the time they are 10.
As a school we have a duty to safeguard our students and while we cannot police their social networking we can try to encourage responsible use. Support from parents and guardians is essential to our success in keeping our students safe, and we know it can sometimes seem an uphill task to keep up with the expansion of social networking.
The following are very useful sites for every one who has the interests of young peoples’ online safety at heart, and we would encourage you to take some time to explore them:
- support.twitter.com/.../tips-for- parents
- internetmatters.org/online- reputation
Parent Info provides high quality information to parents and carers about their children's wellbeing and resilience.
Parents may also wish to take advantage of www.parentsprotect.co.uk
It is a comprehensive resource designed to raise awareness about safeguarding children, answer questions and give information, advice and support with particular reference to child sexual abuse and internet safety. Anyone working with or looking after children will find topics covered very helpful.
The children's charity, NSPCC and mobile 'phone service provider, O2 have created a useful up-to-date reference for parents and carers.
The website lists all the social networks popular with children along with the results of surveys and advice.