Many children taking risks online

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Online bullying is prevalent and more than half of UK 11 to 16 year-olds have acted in an  anti-social manner online, new research reveals.

A survey of almost 7,500 pupils has revealed that almost a fifth of them admit to cyber bullying, with teenage boys more likely be a bully than girls, the Telegraph reports.

Launched to coincide with Safer Internet Day on 10th February, the survey from the charity Tablets for Schools asked pupils about their typical internet behaviour. Three in 10 of secondary school pupils and over a quarter of primary pupils said they had experienced something online that concerned, upset or frightened them. Nearly a quarter of teenagers do not tell anyone if they have a negative experience online. The research also revealed that only 56% of parents use internet filters to moderate content, although half of teenagers communicate with strangers through social media.

Separate research from Action for Children revealed that 60% of those who admitted to online bullying did it to fit in with a social group and 43% said they bullied others to prevent themselves from being bullied. Deanna Neilson from Action for Children said: “It’s shocking that online bullying is so prevalent, but we must not lose sight of the fact that many of these children bully because of something going wrong in their own lives, or being driven to it through fear of being bullied or socially shunned themselves.”

Children and Families Minister Edward Timpson said: “Thousands fewer pupils are being bullied than a decade ago thanks to the hard work of teachers, parents and families. From this term, children from the age of five are learning how to stay safe online as part of the new curriculum.”

What’s the solution to risky behaviour online and cyberbullying amongst pupils? Share your ideas with the Eteach community!

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