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7 July 2017
By Rebecca Avery

Secondary Schools and Colleges: Help shape research into sexting among young people

Sexting is the act of young people sending sexually explicit imagery, primarily between mobile devices, amongst peers.  Much of the attention to date from the media and policy makers regarding sexting, has focussed on the extent of incidents and trying to quantify the various aspects of sexting. SWGfL, as part of its work as a partner in the UK Safer Internet Centre, and Plymouth University are undertaking a research project to gain a better understanding of sexting among young people in the UK. As such, they are conducting two surveys; one for schools, and one for 11 to 18 year olds and are asking for schools to take part and have their say. These short, anonymous research surveys aim to better understand:
  • The influences and pressures that drive behaviour, the impact of these practices, and the support being asked for by young people.
  • The frequency and capability that schools and colleges have to respond effectively to incidents.
To help inform schools and colleges and improve their understanding and ability to manage sexting incidents, specific responses will be reflected back to those that take part. Schools may wish to take part in either or both surveys.  Any data collected in the surveys will be used solely for the research project. Data is held entirely anonymously and there is no way to identify individuals. The data will not be accessed by anyone other than the research team at the Plymouth University.

Schools survey 

  • Questions are focused on the frequency of issues, together with the reporting opportunities offered by the school and the capability and confidence of staff to recognise, respond and resolve issues.
  • Take the Schools survey here

11-18 year olds survey

  • Questions focus on young people's exposure to and experience of sexting. Some young people might find some of these questions uncomfortable. The survey is voluntary and completely anonymous; participants should not share any personal details.
  • Access  the 11-18s survey to share with young people here


Professor Andy Phippen is Professor of Social Responsibility in IT at Plymouth University, currently exploring issues in the use of technology in relationshipsSWGfL/UK Safer Internet Centre and Plymouth University have published a number of reports to better understand the ways young people use mobile and Internet technologies to share personal images among friends. These include:For futher information place access the UK Safer Internet Centre blog.