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Virtual Reality Headsets

Dear Parents and Carers,

We would like to introduce to you a new regular feature of our newsletters looking at the use of technology and how we can work together to keep our children safe.

The world our children inhabit is exciting and full of opportunities especially where technology is concerned, sadly alongside this comes increased and new opportunities for them to be at risk.

We hope this new feature in our parental newsletter will help you to keep your children safe whilst enabling them to safely access all that the digital world has to offer.

Our first article is from the NSPCC report into the use of VR Technology (or virtual technology headsets)

Virtual Reality (VR)  Headsets

VR headsets are a way of immersing the wearer into a digital world, sometimes fully, sometimes in a mix with the real world.

They are used for gaming, having fun, for experiencing things not always possible in the real world and as well as for entertainment can be a valuable tool for education and learning.

The main different headsets are:

  • those which have to be physically connected to a computer (or PlayStation) by cables, such as the Sony PlayStation VR and HTC Vive Pro
  • headsets which can work on their own and do not need to be connected, like the Meta Quest 2
  • ones which use your mobile phone as part of the headset, by simply clipping it into a slot, like the Samsung VR.

Sadly the report from the NPSCC Shows that over 75% of people believe children are at significant risk of sexual abuse when using VR technology

The NSPCC commissioned a YouGov Poll of 1723 adults about children’s online safety  which found

  • 75% of people believe 6-12 year olds are at major or significant risk of sexual abuse in VR immersive spaces
  • 80% of people believe 13-16 year olds are at major or significant risk of sexual abuse in VR immersive spaces

As parents and carers, we need to ensure we teach our children to be resilient in both the digital and real world. Talking to your child about both the benefits and risks of the technology, especially the new technology that is becoming more commonplace and for us as adults to monitor how this technology is being used.

The NSPCC has published information to support parents with keeping their children safe whilst they enjoy all the experiences a VR headset can give them access to. It can be found by clicking on the link below:

As a school we are committed to working with parents to keep children safe online. If you have any questions relating to staying safe online please contact Helen Kerr, Deputy Head and Designated Safeguarding Lead or John Roberts, Director of Learning for Computing and Business and strategic lead for the use of ICT in school.