PRIMARY headteachers have said they are seeing an increasing number of friendship issues because of children’s social media interactions outside of school hours.
They have said despite sites such as Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, Snapchat and Twitter having a 13-plus age limit on them, youngsters are still using them which is causing problems.
It comes as police warn parents about the implications of signing up children as young as eight to social media sites.
Officers warn that although it is not illegal they should bear in mind if an eight-year-old was signed up five-years-ago but gave their age as 13 they will now appear as an 18-year-old on the site.
A spokesman said: “If an adult tries to groom your now 13-year-old via social media, they will be able to argue that they thought they were talking to another adult.
“Remember to update their details, check their privacy settings and talk to them about which pictures they use for their profile so they are safe online.”
In a letter to parents, Nerys Ditchburn Hughes, headteacher of Rosewood Primary School in Burnley, said: “We are seeing an increasing number of friendship issues in school because of the children’s interactions outside of school on social media and messaging platforms.
“It is really hard being a child in this day and age as it is difficult to manage these communications and interactions, things get said and children’s feelings get hurt.
Andrea Gray, headteacher at St Oswald’s RC and Nursery School in Accrington, said although children are not using social media sites in school it can have an impact.
She said: “It is very difficult for us to do anything about it. You cannot police it but you can advise parents when things do come to light.
“We do not see what is on there or who is involved but it does cause problems.
“The things that are shared are sometimes inappropriate."