Use of Social Media and chatting apps
It has been brought to my attention that a number of children in Key Sage 2 have access to social media, namely TikTok, WhatsApp and Snapchat. Whilst this is primarily a home matter and a parental decision, I do feel that it is necessary for me to inform you that this does cause us some concerns in school.
I understand that the messaging itself takes place out of school hours and therefore we would expect parents to closely monitor the activity of any groups set up. I have also been made aware that there are a number of Y5 WhatsApp groups circulating. I need to inform you that the school does reserve the right to take action in relation to events out of school hours where they involve a child’s membership of the school community (examples would be cyber-bullying, use of images or personal information). I also need to remind you that the minimum age to be active on any social media is thirteen. This is to comply with the children’s online privacy protection act.
All children learn about Internet Safety as part of our Computing and PSHE curriculum and it also a timely reminder that it is in fact internet safety week. I have asked all KS2 teachers to spend some time discussing with the children the need to be very careful as to what they say on social media or chat groups. They need to understand that comments can easily be misinterpreted and that only things that they would be happy to say to someone face-to-face, should be said. I would ask that parents, who make the decision to allow their children to have social medial access, reinforce this message at home.
Finally, the online safety newsletter, online-safety-newsletter-primary-february-2024_embsay_02-02-2024.pdf , that I will be sharing monthly, contains information about setting up parent controls on your child’s mobile phone. I am also setting out below how to change privacy settings in WhatsApp which has kindly been shared by a parent in school.
Change group privacy settings
- Go to WhatsApp Settings.
- Tap Privacy > Groups.
- Select one of the following options:
- Everyone: Everyone, including people outside of your phone's address book contacts, can add you to groups without your approval.
- My Contacts: Only contacts in your phone's address book can add you to groups without your approval. If a group admin who's not in your phone's address book tries to add you to a group, they'll get a pop-up that says they can't add you and will be prompted to tap Invite to Group or press Continue, followed by the send button, to send a private group invite through an individual chat. You'll have three days to accept the invite before it expires.
- My Contacts Except...: Only contacts in your phone’s address book, except those you exclude, can add you to groups without your approval. After selecting My Contacts Except… you can search for or select contacts to exclude. If a group admin you exclude tries to add you to a group, they’ll get a pop-up that says they can’t add you and will be prompted to tap Invite to Group followed by the send button to send a private group invite through an individual chat. You'll have three days to accept the invite before it expires.
- If prompted, tap Done.
If you have any questions or would like to discuss this further, please do not hesitate to get in touch!
Thank you for your support in this matter