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PSHE education must incorporate online safety, says Lords report

Schools should teach learners about using the internet responsibly and staying safe online as part of a mandatory, Ofsted-inspected PSHE education.

A report from the House of Lords Select Committee on Communications said a ‘worrying rise’ in the number of unhappy and anxious children was emerging alongside the upward trend of childhood internet use.

It said a mandatory PSHE curriculum in all schools should be designed to look broadly at the issues young people are concerned about online, including compulsive use, data gathering and body image.

ASDAN’s PSHE Short Course contains challenges aimed at helping young people use the internet responsibly and stay safe online. The Social Relationships module asks learners to explore how social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram have changed how people interact and communicate and how this can lead to trolling and cyberbullying.

A challenge in the PSHE Short Course Intimate Relationships module involves learners investigating the laws on sex and young people, including online pornographic material and revenge pornography. Students produce a poster based on their findings to help inform others.

In another challenge, learners conduct research before summarising how to stay safe when meeting people online and using online dating.

The flexible, multi-level PSHE Short Course accredits 10-60 hours of activities and is aimed at learners aged mainly 13-19.

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