Does your eight-year-old have a Facebook account?

Newport Community School Primary Academy head Andy Cotton has written to parents about the dangers o

Newport Community School Primary Academy head Andy Cotton has written to parents about the dangers of young people using Facebook. - Credit: Archant

Primary school head writes to parents after online dispute ‘spills over’.

Facebook

Facebook - Credit: Archant

A PRIMARY school headteacher is urging parents to ban their children from using social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter.

Newport Community School Primary Academy head Andy Cotton wrote to parents on Friday after a straw poll at the school revealed a “significant” number of children aged 11 and under had opened social networking accounts.

Users of Facebook must be at least 13 years old, but Mr Cotton said children as young as eight had admitted creating online profiles.

He told the Gazette: “Like many, many other schools in the country we have had some incidents with relationship issues where people have said things on Facebook and they have spilt over into school life.

“Responding to a local problem that happened between two children, we became aware of a number of children with their own accounts.

“It was also apparent that a lot of children had no privacy settings in place.

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“We want to make our position clear to parents that children should not have access to these sites for their own protection.

“Facebook and other sites are adult tools and have no place in a primary school.

“We don’t police the internet and we are not going to reprimand – our role is to educate and talk to parents where we see problems happening. We have an advisory role in supporting the protection of children.”

Mr Cotton said that within 24 hours of sending the letter to parents, he had received nine emails in support.

He said the school would be holding information and advice meetings for parents, as well as educating children about using the internet safely.

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