To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to include social media awareness and training in the national curriculum.
28 June 2021
The department is committed to supporting schools to deliver high quality teaching of Relationships, Sex Education and Health Education (RSHE), which includes teaching about online safety and social media awareness and is compulsory in all state-funded schools in England.
Health Education includes specific content about online safety and pupils should be taught rules and principles for keeping safe online. This will include how to recognise risks, harmful content and contact, how to report issues and who to report them to. Pupils should have a strong understanding of how data is generated, collected, shared and used online, for example, how personal data is captured on social media or understanding the way that businesses may exploit the data available to them.
As with all curriculum teaching, schools have the flexibility to tailor their teaching to specific cohorts and to the needs of their pupils. A full breakdown of content can be found in the RSHE statutory guidance and can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/relationships-education-relationships-and-sex-education-rse-and-health-education.
To further support this, the department has published ‘teaching online safety in school’ which highlights potentials harms and risks and suggests how they might be addressed through the curriculum. This guidance is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/teaching-online-safety-in-schools.
Guidance is available for parents and carers of primary and secondary age pupils. Schools and parents can use to help them with teaching about relationships and health education. This guidance can be found here: www.gov.uk/government/publications/relationships-sex-and-health-education-guides-for-schools.
The new RSHE subjects complement the embedded computing curriculum which covers the principles of online safety at all key stages, including teaching on how to use technology safely, responsibly, respectfully and securely, how to keep personal information private, and where to go for help and support, where pupils have concerns about content or contact on the internet or other online technologies.