What Does the Guidance Say About the Online World?

With 99% of young people having access to a smartphone it is important to teach about the online world....here are some handy tips on how.

The online world is directly addressed in the new guidance. Here at Loudmouth we acknowledge that technology is becoming an increasing part of young peoples’ lives, and therefore needs to be addressed in their education.

Let’s see what the guidance says and what that means for you…

So, what does the guidance say?

The online world is highlighted as a key issue within the new guidelines for ALL students, including primary and secondary!

Schools should be aware that for many young people the distinction between the online world and other aspects of life is less obvious than for some adults.

Students should be aware that:

  • Some platforms attract large numbers of users with sometimes extreme views
  • Social media users are sometimes prepared to say things in more extreme, unkind, exaggerated or idealised ways online than offline
  • Certain websites may share users’ data for commercial purposes
  • Criminals can often operate online scams
  • Online safety and appropriate behaviour online should be key areas of learning, as well as where to go for help and support.

What should schools be teaching in primary schools?

The focus for primary schools is positive relationships, online safety and appropriate behaviour online.

So…what does that mean??

As you know, some people might pretend to be someone they’re not online. But that isn’t the only problem! Sometimes people just behave differently online. Young people need to understand that they should treat online relationships just like face-to-face relationships.

Young people should have the knowledge and confidence to report any abuse that they may suffer including emotional, physical and sexual. It should be made clear that it is never the fault of the child who is abused online and why victim blaming is wrong and can stop victims from speaking out.

What should secondary schools be teaching?

The guidance says that by secondary school age some young people are likely to be spending a substantial amount of time online. You might know a young person that springs to mind…or several. Therefore, education around the online world is really important.

Internet safety should be addressed in secondary schools. Young people should be taught the principles for keeping safe online and how to recognise risks, harmful content and who to contact for support. There should be a focus on healthy relationships and how to manage relationships online.

But how do we do that?

Young people should be informed about how material they put online has the potential to be widely shared and the difficulty of removing it. It is important to let young people know about compromising material that can be placed online and the importance of not providing that material or sharing it further and the impact the material can have on the victim.

Alongside this young people should have knowledge on the law for online behaviours including image and information sharing.

Mental wellbeing should be a focus and young people taught about the benefits of rationing time spent online and the risks of excessive use of electronic devises: encourage them to step away from their devices and take a break!

How can Loudmouth help?

Here at Loudmouth we love talking about the online world! Take a look at our programmes to see how we are helping….


Our Bully 4 U Primary programme has been running since 2011. This interactive program is aimed at key stage 2 (7-11) around the different types of bullying and its impact. It also gives young people the tools to deal with cyber-bullying and other forms of bullying. Young people are taught the rules and principles for keeping safe online, how to recognise risks and how to report harmful content. The programme also give tools and tips for Mental Wellbeing.

Helping Hands is our safeguarding programme for Key Stage 2 (9-11) that highlights child sexual exploitation, abuse, domestic abuse and online safety. The programme is a montage of characters that is an exciting way for young people to learn about safe relationships and where to get support. The programme emphasises the need to speak up about online issues, and to be able to recognise grooming.


Talking Heads is our new secondary programme launched in 2019 aimed at Key Stage 3 (11-14). It is our mental wellbeing programme that looks at social media and its impact on body image and the ways to wellbeing. This program highlights the impact of unhealthy or obsessive comparison with others online.

In 2011 Bully 4 U Secondary was launched and is aimed at Key Stage 3 (11+). It is our secondary bullying programme which uses a variety of scenes and characters to portray different types of bullying, including a character who is subject to revenge porn. The guidance says that young people should not provide material to others that they would not want shared further and not to share personal material that is sent to them, which this programme highlights as well as provides information on support for victims.

Extra Tips/Facts/Ideas

Did you know? 99% of young people in the UK have access to a smartphone

When teaching about the digital world, young people should have knowledge on who/where to go to for help and support. This is crucial so that if a young person ever did find themselves in a situation online, they can reach out quickly and get help.

It is important to remember that the digital world is not all bad. It has many positive benefits that should be considered as well for example; reaching out to relatives who live far away, keeping in contact with old friends, online activism, information sharing etc.

Below are some useful links if you would like more information on the digital world.

Think U Know is a website that gives advice and support to young people on how to stay safe online and where to go for help and support.

Childnet is also doing great work for young people, parents and teachers on how to stay safe online.

You can find more help and support by signing up to our Loudmouth E-Newsletter where we will be emailing PSHE news, lesson plans, tools and techniques to help you prepare for statutory RE, RSE and Health Education.

Still want more information? Well you’re in luck! Loudmouth still have lots of information that we are excited to share with you, concerning RE, RSE and Health Education! Just head to our website to find out more.

Finally, make sure you check out our information on the Roadmap to Statutory RSE, created by the Sex Education Forum and PSHE Association.