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Digitally Empowering Young People set out to explore how we can decrease children and young people’s vulnerabilities online.

Key Aims

We sought to understand what provisions exist to support children and young people’s digital lives, what are the current risks and opportunities online, and strengths and limitations of the online safety education within the home and at school


We found:

  • Online safety education included little acknowledgement of the opportunities the Internet has to offer.

  • Developing and maintaining healthy and positive relationships is integral to keeping children and young people safe online.

  • Historical approaches and language used within online safety education has served to enhance vulnerabilities and reinforce a culture of victim blaming.

  • There is a need for “educational change”.


Latest Publication
Digitally Un/Free: the everyday impact of social media on the lives of young people

​This article offers an original contribution to the crucial question of how digital media impacts children and young people’s everyday lives. Focus groups with young people aged 11–21 years, and interviews with teachers in schools in England revealed digital media can be a source of contention between young people and their parents or carers. Our research revealed that children and young people have a paradoxical relationship with the Internet because they feel both free and unfree online. They reported the Internet offered a ‘safe haven’ and form of ‘escape’, and at the same time they were also concerned about how their data was being used and described feeling the need to conceal their online activities.

Policy Brief

Read the policy brief

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