Sexting letter for parents

Dear Parent/Guardian

It has come to our attention that a number of photographs have been taken and shared amongst a small group of young people within South Tyneside. These photographs are inappropriate. We would ask that you speak with your child regarding the inappropriate use of mobile phones and social media and the risks of sharing images of themselves via text and social media.

You will be aware the internet hosts many exciting opportunities for education. The online world is a wonderful place for young people to explore, with unprecedented opportunities for learning and creativity, but just like the real world there are risks and dangers. As adults we need to sure that our children are aware of potential danger and how to ‘stay safe’ online. As a school we encourage the use of technology as an important part of our students’ development but always want them to spend their time online safely. As a parent/carer you can play a significant part in ensuring their safety.

With just a few simple steps, you can help keep them safe and give young people the awareness to know what to do if they feel uncomfortable about anything they encounter while on the internet.

If you do not wish for your child to be able to access any inappropriate content online, please ensure that their computers, laptops and other devices with internet access are all fitted with parental controls.

You can find free downloadable versions online or you can contact your internet service provider (such as BT, Talk Talk, Sky etc.) for more information.

As a minimum, we strongly advise you to set parental controls on your search engines, YouTube account and the mobile phone your child uses.

One of the most popular search engines in the world is Google. You can visit Google’s informative safety centre for simple step by step guides – www.google.com/familysafety/tools

Below are a few options available to you which are simple to set.

Visit the Google home page – www.google.co.uk and click on the ‘search setting’ tab in the top right hand corner.
Scroll down the page and change the filtering options to suit your family’s needs. Make sure you lock the safe search; otherwise these settings can easily be changed without your knowledge.
You can also set this on your child’s smart phone.

Please be aware that no filter is 100% accurate. The Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP) advises that you talk to your child about the sites they use and that you let them know that you understand that situations happen online and that seeing ‘adult’ material can make them feel uncomfortable.

If you have any concerns regarding this please contact the school and we will be able to support you further.

Yours sincerely

Mrs E M Hayes
Head Teacher