Social Media: Young People:Written question - HL3002

Asked by Lord Greaves
Asked on: 07 November 2017
Department for Education
Social Media: Young People
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking, independently of any input from the main providers of social media, to educate young people on (1) the potential dangers of social media, and (2) the appropriate and potentially socially beneficial use of social media.
Answered by: Lord Agnew of Oulton
Answered on: 21 November 2017

The new computing curriculum, introduced in September 2014, sets the expectation that children in England are taught how to use technology safely, responsibly and securely.

From key stage 1 onwards, children in maintained schools are taught how to keep personal information private, and where to go for help and support when they have concerns about content or contact on the internet or other online technologies such as social media apps. From key stage 2, this includes how to recognise acceptable or unacceptable behaviour. Additionally from key stage 2, children in maintained schools are taught how to be discerning in evaluating digital content.

Central to the aims of the computing curriculum is that pupils become digitally literate and are able to use, express themselves and develop their ideas, through information and communication technology. The curriculum sets the expectation that children understand computer networks, about the opportunities they offer for communication and collaboration; and to recognise common uses of information technology beyond school.

Furthermore, as provided in the Children and Social Work Act 2017, the Department for Education is progressing work on making Relationships Education for all primary schools, and Relationships and Sex Education for all secondary schools, mandatory through regulations. We have begun a process of engagement with stakeholders to determine the right, age-appropriate content for these subjects. We will consult on draft regulations and guidance next year. The guidance for both subjects will consider safe online relationships.

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