Teachersto seize phones in 'sexting' battle
Teachers are being told to confiscate pupils' mobile phones and search devices for pornography as part of a new clampdown on "sexting".
Guidance issued to schools in England this week urges teachers to use tough new powers to seize devices suspected of being used to share explicit photos or videos.
Schools should consider informing the police over any extreme material found on pupils' phones and ensure that images are taken off social networking websites.The document also tells schools to offer counselling to pupils featured in images and contact parents "so that they can keep a watchful eye over their child".
A study by the UK's National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children last year reported that up to 40pc of young people had been involved in "sexting", with teenage girls in particular facing pressure from classmates to provide sexually explicit pictures of themselves.
Welcoming the brochures, teachers' representative Russell Hobby said: "(Sexting) exemplifies the way technology blurs the boundaries between school life and the wider world."
The brochure – titled 'Sexting in schools: advice and support around self-generated images' – urges schools to use the Education Act 2011, which gives teachers in England more powers to search pupils for inappropriate material and seize property deemed to be causing a disruption.
The brochure also makes it clear that pupils may require considerable support if their own picture has been distributed around the school, with teachers being put on "high alert" if they are bullied by other children. (© Daily Telegraph, London)