‘Give pupils access to social media sites’ - Education Minister
5:00pm Thursday 7th March 2013 in News
SCHOOLS should allow pupils to access social media sites, Education Minister Leighton Andrews said yesterday.
Mr Andrews called for local authorities to allow youngsters greater access to such sites on a supervised basis.
In 2006 local authorities were asked to block social media websites in schools, but the Welsh Government will now write to all councils to ask them to take a more positive view on their use in young people’s education.
Wales was the first country in the UK to introduce the teaching of safe and responsible internet use into both the primary and secondary school curriculum.
The principle was that it is important to firstly teach children to use the internet safely under supervision, and then help them to develop the skills and understanding they need to manage their own risk as they use the internet independently.
Mr Andrews said social networking sites had become integral to the day-to-day use of the internet, and as young people wanted to use them it made sense to teach them about how to do so safely.
He said the Welsh Government’s digital learning platform, Hwb, would enable schools to access the tools and resources needed to be used creatively and constructively in education.
He will now work with local authorities to find the best ways of implementing this new approach.