App guidance to be issued

Aberdeenshire East MSP Gillian Martin
Aberdeenshire East MSP Gillian Martin

Guidance will be issued to schools across Aberdeenshire after a new social media app feature was introduced which enables users to show their exact locations.

The move comes after MSP Gillian Martin wrote to Police Scotland, the director of education at Aberdeenshire Council and the Scottish Government’s Minster for Childcare and Early Years Mark McDonald.

The new ‘snap map’ is automatically put on, enabling the feature, when someone updates their phone.

The minimum age to sign up for Snapchat is 13, but reports have emerged of a number of children using it.

Now the local authority’s director of education and children’s services, Maria Walker, has informed of plans to protect pupils.

In a letter to Ms Martin she said: “The issue was raised by a Head Teacher of Aberdeenshire Council before the holidays. Since then I have asked for our officers to look at issuing guidance after the summer recess.”

Ms Martin said: “I am relieved to hear that council officers will be issuing guidance on this for all schools across the local authority.

“The snap map is a feature which many people will still be unaware of and it’s really important we continue to encourage dialogue with parents and teenagers alike.

“I’m delighted Maria Walker and staff are tackling this issue head-on and I look forward to seeing how the new guidance is implemented.”