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GIVE OUR CHILDREN THEIR REAL LIVES BACK! Digital platform TotallyTween teams with leading education specialists to highlight dangers of social media for pre-teens

Press Release   •   Dec 15, 2015 14:25 GMT

London, 15 December 2015: Clare Fletcher, Headteacher of two primary schools in Norfolk has teamed up with the founders of www.totallytween.co.uka safe, digital platform for pre-teens, to highlight the dangers of social media to children.

The media is currently awash with stories about the dangers and repercussions of social media use amongst the young. Research carried out by TotallyTween, in collaboration with Sherbert Research, highlights the fact that many pre-teens are becoming hooked on using social media daily. After successfully launching in March 2015, TotallyTween was keen to take a temperature check on its audience and their habits, so it carried out research via focus groups over the summer. Following qualitative research with fifty 8-12 year olds, TotallyTween was able to highlight the prevalence of social media networking use amongst this pre-teen group. Instagram is their number one option, despite guidance in its Privacy Policy stating that it does not knowingly allow anyone under the age of 13 to register for the service. All fifty interviewed said that they use social media “every day”.

Commenting on its findings and passion for tackling this growing problem, TotallyTween co-founder Clare Vincent said, “I was horrified when I found my 8-year old daughter in a chatroom on a social media site, supposedly talking to a 14-year old boy. The fact that an 8-year old can actually get into this situation so quickly and easily is a wake-up call to all parents and guardians. Which is why there are no chatrooms or private messaging on TotallyTween”. As a mother of two girls, I was further shocked to read two particular articles featured in The Huffington Post and BBC News”.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/lauren-galley/inside-the-mind-of-a-teen_b_6501312.html

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-australia-34707116

Clare Fletcher is an accredited OFSTED inspector, she also mentors other head teachers and is currently Executive Headteacher of North Walsham Junior, Infant School and Nursery Federation. She is credited with turning around two struggling schools to gain ‘outstanding’ and ‘good’ Ofsted judgements. Clare has teamed with TotallyTween to advise on the growing danger of social media and is collaborating on a call to action for parents to participate in a survey to highlight the use of social media amongst children. “Who would have imagined children would be more at risk and less safe in their own homes on their phones and tablets, than they might be on the street? I think we really need to help parents understand the potential problems as the repercussions for young people can be far-reaching and long term”.

TotallyTween Ltd and Clare Fletcher will work in conjunction with Sherbert Research, an established and respected agency specialising in research with children.

Joe Sparks is Co-Head of School at The Green Room in Windsor, Berkshire, an Independent school accommodating pupils aged 12 - 16 who can no longer access mainstream education. Joe says, “When things go wrong for our pupils, you can guarantee social media has played a part. There are so many ways for young people to communicate online it’s almost impossible to prevent a knock on effect in school. We need to wise up and realise the impact it’s having on an entire generation. I fully support this initiative for early intervention. Social media, if used positively, can enhance self-awareness and confidence”.

TotallyTween was launched by mothers and businesswomen, Clare Vincent and Gina Walter, following a year of research into the habits and safety of pre-teens online. The digital platform is a source of information and healthy interaction. Co-founder Gina Walter says, “More has to be done, not just regarding the potential of grooming and cyber bullying, but about the deeper, non-visible emotional and psychological damage social media could be having on our children. We simply wish to offer www.totallytween.co.uk as a safe alternative, and we have exciting plans in the pipeline to develop our first App”.

To support this initiative, TotallyTween is asking parents and guardians to take just two minutes to fill out a brief online survey comprising of 11 simple questions on the social media habits of their children aged 8-12.

CLICK ON LINK BELOW TO TAKE PART IN THE SURVEY:

https://www.totallytween.co.uk/mag/2015/december/survey/

“These responses will help us raise awareness amongst key figures of a) the need to tighten up guidelines around age restrictions b) to provide greater resources to primary schools to help educate children and c) to ensure that parents are equipped with the necessary resources and right information for them to make informed decisions about their children’s online habits” said TotallyTween.

-ends-

NOTES TO EDITORS:

Clare Fletcher has been Headteacher of North Walsham Infant School and Nursery since 2002. It gained an Ofsted judgement of ‘outstanding’ in 2008, which it has retained since. In 2012 she also took charge of neighbouring North Walsham Junior School and in July 2015 this school was graded ‘good’ overall by Ofsted with an ‘outstanding’ grade for pupils’ behaviour and safety. Clare also works for HMI/Ofsted as an Ofsted Inspector of primary schools in the Eastern region.

Clare Vincent

Director

07915 607775

NOTES TO EDITORS:

Totally Tween Ltd is the company behind www.totallytween.co.uk a digital platform with a potential audience of 2.5 million Tween girls. Its founders are Berkshire-based businesswomen and parents, Clare Vincent, a former BBC Worldwide SVP of Programme Marketing and Gina Walter, a former London Stock Exchange marketing executive.The platform is a safe, secure online environment for pre-teens to discover, discuss and share and is designed with direct input from a team of Tweens.

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