Schools urged to combat online dangers for pupils

A survey of 24,000 youngsters for Safer Internet Day has revealed that they are afraid of online bullying and cruel comments. Campaigners are warning of an ‘e-safety time bomb’ and the NSPCC is calling for lessons in all schools about internet safety.

Figures from the charity Childline demonstrate the dangers children face when using the internet. Last year its helpline took over 3,700 calls about abuse via the internet and mobile phones from 12 to 15 year-olds and 250 were being groomed for sex online, the BBC reports. There were 641 calls about online pornography – a 70% increase – and some callers were just 11 years old.

With the Child Exploitation Group warning that paedophiles are increasingly forcing children to carry out sexual acts online, the NSPCC is warning that online abuse is one of the biggest child protection issues: “Young people tell us they are experiencing all sorts of abuse on a scale never before seen,” said its Claire Lilley. The NSPCC is calling on schools to teach internet safety for pupils as young as five, and give parents advice on how to talk to their children about the issue.

Have your pupils complained about being bullied online? Would you feel able to teach internet safety, especially to very young pupils? Share your views and experiences with us!

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