It is hard to underestimate the impact that social media and mobile phones have had on the lives of young people and their parents. The impact on mental health, family relationship and neurology is only now being studied and some of the research points to negative side effects for children and their parents (click here for research).

Regulating online use has become the modern parental challenge. The impact for us as a school is found mainly in the problems that it brings for our students in their relationships with each other and their relationship with the real, physical world. We have a total ban on mobile devices at school, but most of the major issues and conflicts that we deal with emerge through spats on social media sites like SnapChat (click here for article).

Parents need to vigilant in tracking, controlling and interrogating the social media behaviour of their child; an assumption that what teenagers are doing online is safe, is never a safe assumption to make. It is for this reason that we are launching a new way that children, or their parents can report to us any concerns from outside school or online that they think may compromise the welfare of students at the school.

We are aware that the best way to prevent a young person from being harmed is to have the correct information so that we can react quickly. Moor Park is a safe, caring place to learn and we understand that as our students’ lives change, we have to change. We will be publicising this with our students and parents after Easter.