Letter to The Times: Parents must help end sexting

The Times, 26.07.16, HMC member Kathy Crewe-Read, Head of leading independent Wolverhampton Grammar School responds to a recent survey by YouGov for the PSHE association (Personal, Social, Health and Economic Education), reporting that UK parents worry more about sexting than smoking or drinking.

Sir, You report (July 21) that parents think schools should do more to teach pupils about the dangers of sexting, but most good schools are already addressing this issue in comprehensive PSHE programmes, as well as taking every chance to encourage pupils to regard their own bodies, and the bodies of others, with dignity. In our experience, and without exception, intimate images are taken and exchanged by children in the privacy of homes, not while they are at school. A major part of persuading the young to avoid such behaviour must therefore be entrusted to parents, who must guide and supervise their own children’s use of mobile devices out of school hours. Education is not a matter just for schools. We are surely best able to influence the outcomes for our young people when parents and schools work in partnership.

Kathy Crewe-Read
Wolverhampton Grammar School