Sexting 

I would be most grateful if you could remind everyone in your school or setting, both children and adults, (in age appropriate sessions) about the dangers of Sexting.

I deliberately use the term children, as under English Law you are a child until you attain the age of 18.

Some people view Sexting as harmless, but creating or sharing explicit images of a child is illegal, even if the person doing it is a child.

A young person is breaking the law if they:

• take an explicit photo or video of themselves or a friend

• share an explicit image or video of a child, even if it’s shared between children of the same age

• possess, download or store an explicit image or video of a child, even if the child gave their permission for it to be created.

I would encourage members of your school’s Safeguarding Team to familiarise themselves with the following documents…

Both documents are available at tinyurl.com/OnlineSafetyHTs

I would also remind school staff about paragraphs 41 and 42 in Keeping Children Safe in Education in relation to Sexting…

41. All staff should have an awareness of safeguarding issues - some of which are listed below. Staff should be aware that behaviours linked to the likes of drug taking, alcohol abuse, truanting and sexting put children in danger.

42. All staff should be aware safeguarding issues can manifest themselves via peer on peer abuse. This is most likely to include, but not limited to: bullying (including cyber bullying), gender based violence/sexual assaults and sexting. Staff should be clear as to the school or college’s policy and procedures with regards to peer on peer abuse.

There are lots of useful websites that provide further information about this issue but the one I would recommend is https://www.nspcc.org.uk/preventing-abuse/keeping-children-safe/sexting/

Remember, too, that if you have any online safety concerns about children, young people or yourself, then you can contact the UK Safer Internet Centre’s Professional Online Safety Helpline (POSH) on 0344 381 4772 or email helpline@saferinternet.org.uk

https://www.saferinternet.org.uk/professionals-online-safety-helpline