To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps her Department is taking to prevent sexting by schoolchildren and to monitor trends in the level of that activity.
24 April 2017
Keeping children safe in education is statutory safeguarding guidance for schools and colleges. The guidance sets out that all schools and colleges should have a child protection policy. The child protection policy should reflect the school or college’s approach to sexting.
To support schools and colleges the UK Council for Child Internet Safety Education Group has recently published advice for schools and colleges. The advice supports them in tackling the range of issues which sexting presents, including responding to disclosures, handling devices and imagery, risk assessing situations and involving other agencies. The advice also contains information about preventative education, working with parents and reporting imagery to providers.
High quality personal, social, health and economic education and Sex and Relationships Education are a vital part of preparing young people for life in modern Britain - helping young people make informed decisions, manage risks, stay safe and learn to respect themselves and others. Schools have the autonomy to tailor their programmes to reflect the needs of their pupils, and they are free to include teaching to support pupils to manage issues such as sexting.
The Government has produced advice for schools on searching, screening and confiscation which makes clear that school staff can search pupils for items that have been or could be used to cause harm or break the law, teachers can also search for items banned by the school rules such as mobile phones.