Govt announce internet safety lessons for kids

Children as young as five are set to receive internet safety lessons as part of the national curriculum.

The Government has unveiled what is being hailed as the “Green Cross Code” for the internet, under the campaign slogan “zip it, block it, flag it”.

The campaign will urge children not to share their personal information, to block contacts from people they don’t know and to flag up any suspicious people or website to the relevant authorities.

The “Click Clever, Click Safe” campaign plans were drawn up by the UK Council for Child Internet Safety (UKCCIS) following a report by Professor Tanya Byron into inappropriate material on the internet and in computer games.

Google, Microsoft and Facebook support the campaign.

Gordon Brown said: “Today we are launching our online version of the green cross code.

“We hope that ‘zip it, block it, flag it’ will become as familiar to this generation as ‘stop, look, listen’ did to the last.”

Recent research by Ofcom, the media regulator, revealed that a fifth of children aged five to seven surf the internet without an adult in the room raising fears about children accessing adult materials and being groomed by paedophiles.

An EU wide study found that 40 per cent of teenagers had been exposed to pornography online and 20 per cent had been bullied.

Currently only secondary school pupils are taught about online safety.

Under the Government’s proposals online safety would be taught to all pupils in England from five-years-old as part of Personal, Social, Health and Economic education (PSHE).

Many schools currently teach PSHE, which includes Sex and Relationships Education, though it is not yet compulsory.

The government wants PSHE to be compulsory from 2011.

Last month the Children’s Secretary Ed Balls announced that Sex and Relationship Education will start at the age of five with children learning about civil partnerships and body parts from the age of seven.

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