Safeguarding and social media in schools

Many parents looked to schools for help when Andrew Tate’s profile blew up on social media which spread dangerous and misogynistic messages to children, particularly across the social media platform, TikTok. 

Andrew Tate was banned from TikTok, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube following his recent arrest but the impact on schools has been significant. Some schools have reported verbal harassment of female students and staff, with some pupils mirroring the actions of Andrew Tate, and one pupil at a school in London reportedly writing “make me a sandwich” at the bottom of his work to a female teacher. There has also been an increase in the number of cases being referred to Prevent; a government organisation set up to safeguard people from extremism and radicalisation. 

Influencers who become well known for portraying harmful messages are challenging, especially given how quickly they can become viral. It is important for schools to discuss such behaviour with parents and pupils and consider online safety within safeguarding and child protection policies. 

KCSIE reminds schools of the importance of these policies so appropriate action can be taken in a timely manner to safeguard and promote children’s welfare. All school staff should have an awareness of safeguarding issues that put children at the risk of harm which could include harm from online sources such as social media.. 

It seems that TikTok is also aware of its impact on young people, recently announcing that users under 18 years old will have a 60-minute daily screen limit, although this time limit can be extended with a passcode. 

How Moore Barlow can help

If schools would like support with safeguarding issues, or with updating existing safeguarding and child protection policies, please contact one of our independent schools’ lawyers today. 

We consider it an enormous privilege to work in the sector and we greatly value the relationships we have with schools, the associations and other professional advisers in the sector. 

We have offices in LondonRichmondSouthamptonGuildfordLymington and Woking.