Third of 15-year-olds indulge in extreme internet use linked to mental ill health, study shows

The Tes reports that new research suggests, those who spend at least six hours a day online are more likely to be bullied than those who use the internet in moderation.

More than a third of 15-year-olds can be classed as extreme internet users, with online habits that could have harmful effects on their wellbeing, a new report claims.

But restricting which websites children and teenagers are allowed to visit could prevent them from developing the ability to handle risk, the study from the Education Policy Institute (EPI) argues.

The report concludes that it is vital that pupils are equipped with sufficient digital skills to help them navigate the internet. In fact, the evidence indicated that restricting children’s access to the internet in order to keep them safe may be counterproductive – it could inhibit them from developing the skills they need to handle online risk.

Russell Hobby, general secretary of the NAHT heads’ union, said: “With internet usage above the OECD average, children in the UK face more of the challenges that using social media can bring.

“It is important that schools can provide students with safe access to the internet for learning. The benefits of easy access for pupils are clear – but so are the dangers. The responsibilities on teachers and schools leaders in this area are huge, and it is a duty schools take very seriously.

Read more Third of 15-year-olds indulge in extreme internet use linked to mental ill health, study shows

What are your thoughts around internet safety? Do your students feel safe? If you need extra resources around internet safety contact us as we can help to find lots of organisations to help and also have a wellbeing survey that allows you to see how safe students feel online. ~ Mercedes

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