Department for Education
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Dr Tanya Byron asks children and young people about the internet and video games

Dr Tanya Byron asks children and young people about the internet and video games

DEPARTMENT FOR CHILDREN, SCHOOLS AND FAMILIES News Release (2007/0196) issued by The Government News Network on 24 October 2007

Issued by The Government News Network on behalf of The Department for Children, Schools and Families

Dr Tanya Byron is today asking children and young people under the age of 18 to come forward with their opinions on the internet and video games.

The Children and Young People's call for evidence is for those children and young people who use the internet and video games for fun, socialising and education. It is part of the independent review which Dr Byron has been asked to conduct by the Prime Minister and the two Secretaries of State for the Department for Children, Schools and Families and Department for Culture Media and Sport.

All children and young people who come forward with their opinions will be helping Dr Tanya Byron to gather information for the Review, which is looking at the benefits of new technology but also the risks to children and young people of potentially harmful or inappropriate material on the internet and in video games.

We know the internet is an increasingly crucial part of children and young peoples' lives. This call for evidence asks children and young people:

- what they see as the benefits of the internet,

- whether they think there are any dangers or risks involved in using the internet

- whether and how their internet use is controlled

- how well they think those controls work

- whether they think anything else might be done to keep children safe online.

Children and young people will also be asked similar questions on video games.

These responses will shape the direction that the review takes over the forthcoming months and will help Dr Tanya Byron decide what children and young people think the benefits and opportunities are as well as the risks.

Dr Tanya Byron said:

"I really want to encourage children and young people to have their say about the internet and video games - what they love about them, what they think the risks might be and their ideas for the future."

"Because this review is about them it is essential that children and young people, with their knowledge and expertise help me think about the important issues relating to them enjoying using the internet and playing video games. "

"And if children and young people can use this opportunity to discuss these questions with each-other, and with their parents and carers, that can only be a good thing, not only for this review but also for getting the generations talking. " Ed Balls Secretary of State for Children's Schools and Families said:

"Children and young people are at the very heart of this review and that's why asking for their opinions is just as important as asking adults. Many children and young people use the internet and video games on almost a daily basis and their perspective is needed so Dr Tanya Byron is able to respond to their views.

"I want young people to tell Dr Byron all the positive aspects of the Internet and video games, but at the same time tell her your experiences and thoughts about the possible risks."

Culture Secretary James Purnell said:

"Children and young people are experts when it comes to the internet and video games - their opinions on the opportunities and risks will help shape Dr Byron's review.

"This is a review about children's access to games and the internet so it's only right that they get the chance to feed into it."

NOTES TO EDITORS

1. The call for evidence targeted specifically at children and young people can be found at http://www.dcsf.gov.uk/byronreview/yoursay there will be a range of questions for them to answer on the internet and video games. The deadline for responses is 17 December.

2. The call for evidence open to everyone can be found at http://www.dcsf.gov.uk/byronreview . This was launched on 9 October and the closing date in 30 November.

3. Dr Byron will produce her final report and recommendations in March 2008.

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