Jan 09 - School makes controversial change to internet rules

The Royal Alexandra and Albert School has taken the controversial step of lifting a ban on pupils using social networking sites on school computers. This goes against the approach still adopted at many schools in the UK.

Davina Stansfield, Head of ICT says “I believe that simply banning access to websites like Bebo and Facebook doesn’t work, and what’s more it can make matters worse. Pupils can find many other ways of getting on to these websites for example via their mobile phones so the emphasis should be on education. That’s why we now allow access to these sites but at the same time we teach students about how to use them safely.”

In fact the school goes one step further by supporting parents. Many parents have no idea about how their children use the internet so the school will be teaching parents how to try and ensure their children use the internet safely.

Ms Stansfield continues “As a boarding school we recognise the need for students to communicate with friends and family through these sites so we believe our approach is in the best interests of all concerned.”

Ms Stansfield will be speaking on the subject of internet security at BETT (the world’s largest educational technology event), this Saturday alongside Ruth Hammond, a representative of BECTA (an organisation that influences government education policy).

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