Sexting is now a ‘major issue’ in schools

Written by: Emma Lee-Potter | Published:
Image: iStock

Secondary teachers in Nottinghamshire have become the first in England to receive the latest training on how to deal with sexting incidents in school.

The training aims to support schools in managing sexting cases and gives guidance on when to refer them to external agencies, such as the police or social care.

Nottinghamshire County Council already works closely with schools to deliver e-safety training and support but is the first county to roll-out the new training.

“This is a first for Nottinghamshire and will put our teaching professionals at the forefront of knowledge for this important area,” said Lorna Naylor, Nottinghamshire County Council’s anti-bullying co-ordinator.

“We know that sexting – exchanging self-generated sexually explicit images and messages over text, social media or webcam – is a major issue in probably all our secondary schools and is creeping into primary schools too, which is clearly worrying.

“From our own schools cyber-survey last year we know that many of those involved in sexting were blackmailed or pressured into doing it once or twice, while some said this happened to them more often.

“Schools need to be armed with increasingly more effective strategies for preventing and managing incidents.”

Charlotte Aynsley, director of E-Safety Training and Consultancy, has delivered the training to more than 50 Nottinghamshire teachers.

She explained: “The training is turning the national advice into something practical for teachers in schools so they are able to apply it to their local context. This in turn will give them the confidence to deal with incidents in-house, if appropriate, or refer them out to local police.”

The government’s revised guidance, Sexting in Schools and Colleges: Responding to incidents and safeguarding young people, was published in August 2016.

It was produced on behalf of the UK Council for Child Internet Safety (UKCCIS), a group of more than 200 organisations working in partnership to help keep children safe online.

It highlights a 2016 NSPCC/Office of the Children’s Commissioner England study which found that 13 per cent of boys and girls had taken topless pictures of themselves and three per cent had taken fully naked pictures.

Of those who had taken sexual images, 55 per cent had shared them with others while 31 per cent had also shared the image with someone that they did not know.

The government advice covers responding to disclosures, handling devices and imagery, risk-assessing situations, involving other agencies (including escalation to the police and children’s social care), recording incidents, involving parents, and preventative education.

To download Sexting in Schools and Colleges: Responding to incidents and safeguarding young people, go to


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