Nine in ten parents want online porn automatically blocked by the Government
- Calls for default blocking setting on computers and smartphones
- Two-fifths are so worried about how easily it is found – often by mistake
- Half thought advice should be given to children from age of 13
By Andrea Levy
PUBLISHED: 00:05, 20 May 2013 | UPDATED: 07:53, 20 May 2013 Mail
Parents overwhelmingly support calls for the Government to impose an automatic block on online pornography, headteachers have revealed.
The National Association of Headteachers (NAHT) found nine out of ten parents want a default setting on computers and smartphones which prevents the viewing of adult material.
The dramatic survey figures reveal 90 per cent of parents wanted the default block on porn sites.
Two-fifths are so worried about the ease with which it can be found – often by mistake – that they want children as young as five to have guidance in classes.
Parents overwhelmingly support calls for the Government to impose an automatic block on online pornography, headteachers have revealed (stock)
Half thought advice should be given to children once they reach the age of 13.
Only 7 per cent thought it was never appropriate to discuss the issue in class.
And just one in eight parents felt they were able to sufficiently educate their children about the dangers of what they can find online without the help of teachers and support from schools.
The strength of feeling among mothers and fathers follows the Daily Mail’s long-running campaign to protect children from online porn.
David Cameron has pledged that all new computers will be fitted with web filters that can be removed only by parents. However he has yet to announce a timetable for implementing the measure.
The National Association of Headteachers (NAHT) found nine out of ten parents want a default setting on computers and smartphones which prevents the viewing of adult material
And it will apply to only new purchases, meaning existing computers, tablets and smartphones will not be covered.
The concerns come amid widespread evidence of children coming into contact with pornography at increasingly young ages.
Many are displaying disturbingly sexualised behaviour as a result, including sex attacks on other children, using coarser language and hankering after unobtainable body shapes.
NAHT general secretary Russell Hobby said the union had been looking at ways to tackle the ‘modern phenomenon’ of easy access to graphic images.
NAHT has repeatedly said that young people must be protected from pornography and children should receive appropriate guidance as part of relationship and sex education,’ he said.
‘We would also like to see improved advice for schools to help them manage these issues most effectively.
‘There is no place for explicit materials in the classroom of school, even in the course of teaching about their dangers.
‘But many young people are exposed to such materials on the internet and phones. In the face of this, young people need to know how to cope with and avoid these distorted views of relationships.’
Research has shown that 90 per cent of children aged eight to 16 have viewed porn online, often unintentionally.
The average age a child first sees inappropriate images is 11 and around 80 per cent of teenagers regularly access porn.
Younger children are also at risk, as studies have shown that they now typically start using the internet when they are three.
Lib Dem peer Floella Benjamin, who used to be a children’s television presenter, attacked the ‘epidemic’ of violent online adult material.
She said children are ‘being led on a seemingly unstoppable march into a moral wasteland’.