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Year 6 are most likely to view porn

Children in the final year of primary school are more likely than secondary students to be caught visiting pornographic websites and plagiarising work from the internet.

The finding comes from a report for the British Educational Communications Technology Agency (Becta) which has urged all schools to assign a staff member in charge of "e-safety".

Researchers at Central Lancashire university surveyed 444 schools in England to find out which pupils misused computers and mobile phones and how.

Internet plagiarism peaked for pupils in Year 6 of primary school, where 84 per cent of teachers said it occurred. It then dropped sharply for pupils starting secondary school, only reaching 69 then 80 per cent of teachers reporting it in Years 10 and 11.

A similar pattern could be found for pupils who intentionally visited unsuitable websites, such as those containing pornographic, violent or terrorist material.

Internet plagiarism occurred regularly in just 13 per cent of schools, while cases where pupils visited unsuitable websites at least once a month could be found in 29 per cent.

Pupils who attempted to view unsuitable websites, but were blocked by internet filters, were included in the figures.

Charlotte Barrow, one of the report's authors, said Year 6 children might misbehave more because they were the "top dogs" in their schools.

Analysis 18 "E-safety: the experience in English educational establishments" is at http:becta.org.uk

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