This page will be updated regularly to include tips, advice and resources to help keep your child safe online.
We want to support you, as you support your child in being outstanding Digital Citizens, who use the internet safely, securely and responsibly.
Is Tik Tok safe for my child?
Dear Parents & Carers
Our children are part of the digital age. The internet is the most wonderful resource we have ever had. At the click of button we can find out about anything we want. It also is a point of vulnerability for children if they don’t use it safely. We cannot prevent our children living in this modern, technological-driven world, therefore we need to teach our children how to safely navigate their way through it. This needs to start from the minute they’re engaging with technology, in an age appropriate way. At school we talk to the children a lot about staying safe online – this starts from the Early Years & continues right the way through to Year 6.
One of the issues children (particularly our older pupils) have to come to terms with is the use of social media. Whether primary age children are meant to be using these apps is irrelevant – we know they are so we have to help them stay safe. Currently, TikTok is causing problems in school with some of our children in Year 5 and 6. We are dealing with issues raised by this app on an almost weekly basis.
We wholeheartedly agree that, social media can be a wonderful addition to our lives but if used inappropriately it can be harmful to your children’s well-being or actually place them in dangerous situations. You should be 13 years old to have a TikTok account, but we are aware that a substantial number of our KS2 children are posting on this app. We are aware that many of our children use their account under their parents supervision however, because of the problems being caused at present in school, we believe it is our job to ensure that our children are using TikTok, or any social media platform, as sensibly & safely as possible.
Over the past few weeks we have had children using TikTok in an unacceptable manner: writing abusive messages aimed at children in their class; sharing videos that are not appropriate for their age; posting unacceptable content that would land an adult in an awful lot of trouble.
I am not sure that parents are fully aware of their children’s use of TikTok; we have heard on the grapevine, that some of our children had a ‘secret’ TikTok account. so their parents were none the wiser of the content they were posting on this account.
If some of our children are posting inappropriate content this is obviously concerning and obviously needs to stop. However our main concern is the content that is being viewed (the app has a 12+ rating for a reason - even this with adult guidance). Follow this link for a guide to Social Media age ratings https://www.openvieweducation.co.uk/social-media-age-ratings/
A great deal of content on TikTok is not suitable for primary age children. TikTok’s algorithm works in such a way that if you watch a video all the way through to the end (you don’t even have to ‘like’ it) the app will show you more videos of a similar nature.
Please watch the BBC Panorama programme ‘Is TikTok Safe?’ which sets out the very real dangers of children using TikTok. The programme is only 29 minutes long & is available to watch on BBC iPlayer (link below).
Ideally, none of your children should be on TikTok. However, we are not naïve enough to think this will happen therefore we need ensure that our children are using TikTok safely and as this is used outside of school, it is ultimately your responsibility as parents and guardians to monitor your child's use of not only TikTok, but all social media apps. At Holy Spirit, e-safety is integral to our excellent computing curriculum – we are confident our children are aware of how to stay safe online, unfortunately, too many of them are not putting their knowledge into practice.
We have sent out to all our Year 5 and 6 parents this Parents and Carers Guide to TikTok.
We are here to discuss any concerns you may have regarding your child's online life..
https://www.commonsensemedia.org/movie-reviews - Is that game your child is telling you "everyone else has got", really age appropriate? Find reviews of video games, movies, books, apps, TV shows, websites, and music. Common Sense Media has a 'library' of more than 20,000 reviews by age, entertainment type, learning rating, genre, and more using the filters. 'Grand Theft Auto' is NOT "just a driving game" and has a PEGI rating of 18 for a reason.
https://www.virtual-college.co.uk/resources/free-courses Virtual College has produced a range of free online training courses in subjects such as Safeguarding Children, Health and Well-Being and Careers Advice. They offer free online learning courses with certificates.
https://parentzone.org.uk/article/parenting-digital-age ParentZone is dedicated to helping families make the most of their online worlds, they help you to support your children to be confident and capable online and to make the most of what technology has to offer – while being aware of the risks and harms they will also find online.
In this section, you will find information leaflets to inform and support your understanding of the common apps and social media sites our children are using.