The BBC News Technology Team have released an article by Jane Wakefield asking: “Is social media causing childhood depression ?”

The Friary School’s ban on mobile phone usage during the school day has led to a massive decrease in online social media problems but they still crop up when unsupervised usage in non-school time breeds difficulties. There is no doubt in the minds of school governors, senior leaders and pastoral leaders at the school that online activities causes a myriad of challenges and problems for our young people.

The article includes a string of examples, issues and concerns but also includes clear guidance to parents to help them safeguarding their own child’s well-being, as well as that of others who are affected by another child online behaviour:

1. Keep an eye on how much time children spend online and ensure it is not interfering with activities such as socialising, exercising, eating and sleeping
2. Consider bans on devices at mealtimes and take them away an hour before bedtime. Do not let children charge devices in their rooms
3. Talk regularly to children about what they do online, what posts they have made that day, who they are friends with and how it is affecting their mood
4. With younger children, have access to passwords to regularly check content
5. Remember, Facebook, Twitter or Instagram officially bar children under 13 from having accounts
6. Encourage children to use the internet for creative things – helping with homework, making their own content


The full article can be read at:

Matt Allman, Headteacher, said: “Student and parent online activity can certainly take up a great deal of time at school and, whilst every child and adult we talk to voices their awareness of social media pitfalls and maturity, knowing and doing can sometimes be very different things. We are recognised as an ‘outstanding’ school for our E-Safety work, having both national awards and speaking at national conference, and we would ask all parents to support us in our work to prevent our students becoming victims of the problems outlined in the BBC article. Social media can be fun and worthwhile when used appropriately, but it can also be dangerous and damaging. It is the job of all of us to protect one another so that the former outshines the latter.”