Social Media Age Ranges

Social Media Age Ranges 

Dear Parents/Carers,

I feel that I need to bring to your attention the issues that we are currently having at school over the group use of social media apps outside of school hours.

Almost every week, we are informed with an issue where one or more children are bullying another child on social media about events that have happened in school. Although this bullying activity is not happening on the school site, it then affects behaviour, anxiety and subsequently lesson time and the learning of pupils in school.

We cannot regulate the online access that pupils have outside school, but if an issue of cyberbullying is report to us, we have a duty of care to inform the parents of the children involved.

There is clear guidance on the appropriate age ranges for certain online apps and I would like to draw your attention to these below:

  • WhatsApp have just announced a change to their terms and conditions for users based in Europe. Users will now need to be 16 to use WhatsApp.
  • Nearly all other social media services require users to be at least 13 years of age to access and use their services. This includes Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter, Instagram, Tik Tok, and Skype.
  • Whilst there is no age restriction for watching videos on YouTube, users need to be 13 or older to have their own YouTube account (enabling them to subscribe to other channels, like videos, post comments, share their own content and flag inappropriate content).
    The online world is a minefield for children and the situation has changed significantly in the last 10-15 years, as a whole range of unlimited content, both good and bad is a few clicks away. Once something has been posted on social media, it is very hard to get rid of.
    I would like to signpost an excellent resource that is available to parents on Purple Mash, called “parenting in a digital world”. This is on the parents and home support section of their website and I would encourage all of you to take the time to read it.
    Yours Sincerely  

    Simon Langley



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