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government finally takes action against Littlegossip

23 December 2011

This time last year schools and other children’s organisations were up in arms over Littlegossip website – a site that lets users anonymously post gossip about educational institutions. It has been reported that comments posted on the site included threats, racial slurs, sexual abuse and other forms of abuse.

The effect of the uproar in 2010? The site closed for 24 hours only to reopen with a tick-box for users to confirm they were over 18. This was meant to appease critics. Fast-forward one year and whilst the DfE has promised it is taking steps to have the site shut down, schools cannot sit back and rest easy.

Cyber-bullying is a deepening issue. Schools need to take reasonable steps to protect staff and pupils from cyber-bullying. As a minimum, schools should have a clear e-safety policy, regular dialogue with parents and pupils on the risks of social-media sites and signed acceptable-use-policies. The DfE are stepping in, but schools need to keep up their good work too.

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