11 April 2014, The Tablet

Primary school's fears over 18-rated computer games

Catholic teachers and church educationists have expressed concerns over pupils playing adult-rated, violent computer games at home while parents are left ignorant about their children’s activities.

St Mary’s Catholic primary school in Whitstable, Kent, has conducted a questionnaire with pupils on internet safety which revealed that at least seven children were playing games meant for those aged over 18. The school is hosting an internet safety event on 29 April aimed at providing expert advice to parents.

The Church has repeatedly urged the Government to tighten “filters” on computers and mobile phones for children using the internet. But the fresh concerns revolve around games such as Call of Duty, which is a war game, and Grand Theft Auto, which includes sexual scenes as well as violence. The games can be accessed through, and bought on the internet.

The issue made national headlines in February when Morian Morgan, head-teacher at Coed-y-Brain Primary School, in Llanbradach, South Wales said that teachers had witnessed children as young as six re-enacting violent and sexually explicit scenes from the games.

St Mary’s Deputy Head Chris White said parents often do not know what their children are accessing on their computers. “The ratings are very clear and parents have to set their own guidance,” he said. “Where we feel we can help is in raising awareness through the online aspect of playing games. It’s an area where the children know more about it than the adults. We hope to provide information for parents to reflect on and make decisions.”

A spokeswoman for the Catholic Education Service (CES) said: “The CES shares the concerns of a great many parents and teachers about the safety of children when they access the internet.”

  Loading ...
Get Instant Access
Subscribe to The Tablet for just £7.99

Subscribe today to take advantage of our introductory offers and enjoy 30 days' access for just £7.99