Byron Review pushes skills for poorer parents up digi-agenda

ICT and internet skills for parents - particularly those at a social or financial disadvantage - must go up the government's digital agenda in the wake of yesterday's Byron Review.

The call for action comes from UK online centres, today welcoming Tanya Byron's report into children's use of new technologies.

The organisation, which runs a network of computer access and support centres across England, contributed information and research to the review. They found that while three quarters of parents from lower socio-economic groups know their children use the internet regularly, half don't have the skills to assist or supervise with surfing.

Managing Director of UK online centres, Helen Milner, explains: "Being a 21st Century parent increasingly requires new parenting skills. It's not just about looking after your children in the real world - you've got to look after them in the virtual world too. The Byron Review by-passes the emotive elements of internet safety and video game violence to make practical recommendations that put parents at the heart of the debate. By empowering parents with information and skills, families can make the most of the benefits of technology, without falling foul of its pitfalls.

She also added that "Byron has shaped a cross-sector, cross-departmental response to support parents and children to live happy digital lives. If we can work together to get it right, the results for families could be both cross cutting and far reaching."