Teaching union NASUWT has released the findings from its latest survey into social media abuse and misuse within schools. The survey looked at social media use within the last 12 months.
Social media policy
Of the 1507 respondents of the survey, 83% said that their school had a social media policy in place, over two-thirds (68%) said these contained no reference to supporting their own staff should they become victims of online abuse.
When abuse was reported, no follow-up action was taken in nearly half (45%) of cases, with one in three teachers (38%) feeling it necessary to stop using personal social media accounts over potential privacy and abuse concerns.
Whilst it is great that so many schools had a social media policy in place it is vital that this policy has measures in place to support staff. Partners in the UK Safer Internet Centre, SWGfL provide a range of support to help schools improve in this area. Schools can contact the helpline for teachers, access free events around the UK, use the free self-assessment tool and see template e-safety policies that can help you to build your own tailored e-safety policy, outlining what should be included and areas that each school or organisation can challenge, consider and debate.
48% said parents were using social media to make public allegations or complaints about a school, including to bodies such as Ofsted, without going through formal channels.
Although you can’t always control what other people post online, managing a schools online reputation is key. This guide created by the LGfL working together with the UK Safer Interne Centre, explains more about what online reputation is, why it’s important and how your school can ensure they are managing their reputation in the best way possible.
62% of respondents to the survey reported pupils viewing/sharing online sexual content, with one in six (16%) of these children of primary school age.
It is illegal for people under 18 to take, send or store nude images of themselves or another young person under the age of 18, however it’s important to remember that the police take a common sense approach to sexting incidents. On the UKSIC blog, Alan Earl, a police officer working with the UK Safer Internet Centre, looks at the latest advice from the National Police Chiefs’ Council in regards to dealing with sexting incidents.
Childnet’s sexting hot topics covers all the most frequently asked questions about sexting: www.childnet.com/parents-and-carers/hot-topics/sexting
The UK Safer Internet Centre has a range of resource for teachers and professionals.
The ‘So you got naked online? leaflet’ helps explore various issues relating to sexting, including what a young person can do if they have shared an explicit image/video, and thinking about the potential consequences.