In many of the secondary schools I visit, a number of social networking sites and apps are becoming increasingly problematic.

Beyond the more obvious sites like Facebook, there have been numerous instances of students being targeted or approached on apps like Instagram and Snapchat because students haven’t updated their privacy settings, as well as video chat app ooVoo and - most alarmingly - the adult dating app, Tinder, which is being used by students as young as 11.

Conversely, there are growing issues in primary schools resulting from children as young as five being given inappropriate Xbox games to play with a certificate age of 15.

Grand Theft Auto and Call of Duty both carry extremely visual representations of people dying and being killed, which can obviously have a detrimental impact on that child’s behaviour.

But a particularly worrying trend is that adults are increasingly using online versions of Xbox to groom children. Stranger danger exists in the virtual world and can continue into the home, so in addition to making students and parents aware of the threats, they should be encouraged to report these issues straight away.

It’s about having open communication within schools and a clear protocol in place, so students know exactly who to go to and that they won’t get into trouble.

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