ASCL comment on Labour’s plan to tackle online misogyny and sexual harassment

Margaret Mulholland, Inclusion Specialist at the Association of School and College Leaders, responds to Labour’s announcement on its plans for new digital literacy and safeguarding measures in order to tackle online misogyny and sexual harassment.
“The rise in the amount of misogynistic material online, and the impact this can have on young people, is absolutely horrifying and of serious concern to school and college leaders. Social media can and does have a huge influence on pupils, and it is clear that the algorithms which drive the selection of personalised content on these platforms are responsible for amplifying harmful content.
“Schools and colleges have an important role to play in helping young people to navigate the digital world and already teach the importance of respectful relationships as part of Relationships and Sex Education. It’s important that young people, particularly boys, are involved in the conversation to combat this problem and feel empowered to make good decisions and form healthy relationships. However, support from politicians and external agencies is also welcome, as schools cannot fight this battle alone, and we are pleased to see Labour devote attention to this important issue.
“Schools must have the resources they need to tackle online hate and misinformation. And social media companies must take responsibility for policing their platforms and preventing the dissemination of harmful material to children.”