Over the last week it has come to teachers' attention that several children have, and are using, various social media accounts. Social media websites such as Twitter, Facebook and Google Plus require you to be at least 13 years old - principally because the adverts used on these websites are aimed for people aged 13 and over.
It is worth noting that:
- These companies, or their partner companies, can use any content you put onto these websites at anytime and anywhere in the world.
- Any content that is shared with other users can be very difficult to have removed from the internet even if you delete your account at a later date.
- These websites have often been used by children and adults to cause considerable harm to others.
- It is considered by the websites themselves and worldwide governments that children under the age of 13 are not mature enough to evaluate the potential risks that these websites can pose and therefore they are not allowed to use them.
You may not be aware that your child has one of these accounts, but please do check with them immediately because of the potential risks to their safety. We have found photographs of some of the children and comments they have made online and they are easily accessible to anyone who wants to see them. It is recommended that you should always be overseeing your children’s use of the internet and if you cannot commit to this then you should consider whether they should be allowed to use the internet at all.
After half term there will be a whole school assembly on internet safety, and every class will have an age-appropriate lesson on e-safety. If any child is still found to have one of these accounts, after half term, then I will invite the parents to discuss with me the reasons for this and will write to the websites in question with a view to having these accounts closed.
We thank all parents for their co-operation in this matter.