A different approach is being taken this year with the cybersurvey. The aim was to make it easier for more young people and vulnerable adults to share how they use the internet and social media, and the experiences they have had - whether positive or negative.
We have carried out three targeted surveys:
- a survey for children in mainstream education from year 6 upwards
- a survey for children with special educational needs and disabilities developed in partnership with the Priory School
- a survey for vulnerable adults developed in partnership with Realise Futures and the Adult Safeguarding Board.
Results for the 2016 survey for children in mainstream education are below.
2016 Suffolk Cybersurvey results
3142 young people responded to the survey for those in mainstream education and further education.
The sample is 48% male, 46% female while 6% of respondents chose ‘prefer not to say’. The largest cohort were 12 years old with two other large groups aged 11 and 13 years.
Key findings from the cybersurvey include:
- 83% of 10-11 year olds in Suffolk now have access to either a smartphone or tablet.
- But only 58% of 10 year olds say they have been taught to stay safe online by a parent or carer.
- Schools in Suffolk are delivering online safety education to fewer young people declining from 93% to 80% over four years.
- Posting photos or videos rises sharply in one year from 39% of 11 year olds to half of 12 year olds and two thirds of 15 year olds.
- 14 year olds are the group most likely to say they have experienced threats to harm, homophobic bullying/aggression.
- 64% of 11 year olds learnt about online safety from parents and carers - by age 15 this drops to 44%.
- Young people are using the internet to relax after school (78%), and taking part in a range of creative and fun activities; almost two thirds say the internet made it possible for them to do exciting things; 43% believe it helped them make friends.
- Children and young people are supporting each other if problems occur; 62% of our respondents said they have often been able to look after themselves online, and a further 25% have done so once or twice.
I gave them some advice that I had learnt from the past and that they should not just tell me but tell older people like teachers that they trust and their parents if they have not told them yet.
Since 2014 in a number of key areas the rates have declined, which is great progress for Suffolk but we recognise that there is still more that can be done - working with our partners:
- 4% reduction in cyberbullying.
- 9% reduction in those spending 5 or more hours online each day.
- 21% reduction in false solicitation (encounters with people who do not turn out to be who they said they were).
- 37% reduction in content seen encouraging self-harm or suicide.
- Sexting rates remain the same as 2015, at 4% of survey respondents.
This year’s results continue to reflect a link between emotional health and online behaviour, a trend first picked up in 2014’s cyber survey and backed up by national research. Feelings of depression can double the risk of engaging in harmful behaviour online. The survey found that depression can lead someone to be:
- Twice as likely to meet up with someone only known online
- Three times as likely to use the internet to ‘find new friends or talk to new people
- Twice as likely to visit websites encouraging anorexia
- More than twice as likely to spend more than 5 hours a day online.
Read the full cybersurvey for more detailed analysis of all the responses including quotes from young people.
- 2016 Cybersurvey infographic - highlights some of the key trends within the research report
- Download 2016 cybersurvey executive summary
- Download 2016 cybersurvey complete research report
Working in partnership
The data from the cybersurveys is being successively used to support research and evidence-based practice across Suffolk. A recent example is the Multi-agency E-Safety Crime Prevention (MESCP) initiative.
In December 2016 the Better Policing Collaboration - led by Suffolk Constabulary and Suffolk Police & Crime Commissioner, commissioned the University of Suffolk to undertake a rapid evidence assessment (REA) and focus group research with teachers, parents, children, police, professionals and online safety experts. The aim was to look at an inclusive approach to online safety, which takes into account the role of parents, schools and other professionals, as well as children themselves in promoting a community-based, early-intervention collaborative approach to safeguarding children online. Three years of data from the Cybersurvey, which is administered by Youthworks Consulting, was analysed as part of the rapid evidence assessment.
2015 cybersurvey report - administered and analysed by Youthworks Consulting Ltd
2014 cybersurvey report - administered and analysed by Youthworks Consulting Ltd
2013 cybersurvey report - administered and analysed by Youthworks Consulting Ltd
2012 cybersurvey report - administered by Youthworks Consulting Ltd, analysed by UCS