Cyberbullying warning for teachers who use personal emails

7th January 2011 at 00:00

Teachers who use their personal email addresses to offer online support to pupils lay themselves open to cyberbullying, the Scottish Secondary Teachers' Association has warned.

Following a spate of complaints about the problem, the union's general secretary, Ann Ballinger, said online bullying of teachers had increased towards the end of last term when bad weather had forced them to work from home.

In many cases, their only means of contacting students, especially those preparing for exams this year, had been to use personal email as they did not have access to an intranet system offering secure contact with pupils.

The rise in complaints made it all the more necessary for every teacher to have access to the schools intranet system Glow both at school and at home, she said.

A spokesman for the Scottish Government urged all teachers to follow local advice and guidance on the use of home email accounts for work purposes.

"In terms of Glow, its use has now reached record levels, with a quarter of a million hits from more than 54,000 unique users for the week beginning December 13, showing that Glow and distance learning are being carried out across the board. We continue to work with local authorities to ensure that the full potential of Glow in learning and teaching is maximised and that includes ensuring all teachers have access to Glow."

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