Recently, our school community discussed the risks associated with allowing children under 16 to use social media platforms like WhatsApp. We strongly advise parents to prevent their children from accessing this app on their phones. At Ashurst Wood, we prioritize the well-being and safety of our students. We understand the significance of teaching responsible online communication through Personal, Social, Health, and Economic (PSHE) lessons. By incorporating these lessons into our curriculum, we aim to equip students with the necessary knowledge and skills to navigate the digital world in a safe and respectful manner.
WhatsApp, a widely used messaging app, poses potential dangers to young users. Unrestricted communication can expose children to individuals with harmful intentions, leading to cyberbullying, grooming and exposure to inappropriate content. The lack of age verification on the platform further increases their vulnerability to unsuitable content.
Numerous studies highlight the negative impacts of early social media exposure on children's mental health, self-esteem and social development. Instead, we encourage age-appropriate activities, face-to-face interactions, and supervised online communities for social engagement, promoting healthier and more balanced growth.
As a school community, we share the responsibility of ensuring our students' safety and guiding them in their online experiences. By disallowing access to WhatsApp and monitoring their online activities on other platforms, we can better protect their well-being. Additionally, we would like to inform you that a local secondary school has also recently sent out a similar communication, advising parents to implement the same measures regarding children's access to WhatsApp.
We appreciate your understanding and cooperation in implementing this measure. If you have any questions or need further information, please do not hesitate to contact us. Together, let's create a safer online environment for our children and support their growth both online and offline.