Cymraeg

5. Research

Supporting research into the use of the internet by children and young people so that we stay up to date with the evolving threats and continue to inform policy development and actions needed to promote online safety.


  • The Welsh Government will explore current screen time usage by young children in Wales to inform policy development in this area.

    Through our ‘Parenting. Give it time.’ campaign we have published a ‘balancing screen time’ information resource and top tips providing advice on:

    • how much is too much screen time
    • signs of too much screen time and how to reduce it
    • being a role model when it comes to screen time

    The resource is hosted on the Parenting. Give it time website and has been promoted through social media channels.

    We have recently (Nov 21) expanded ‘Parenting. Give it time.’ to include information, advice and support to parents with children and young people up to the age of 18. We will continue to keep in view the current research published for appropriate screen time for children and young people, as well as continuing to work closely with professionals in the relevant fields to support the expansion.

    Our ‘Parenting. Give it Time.’ campaign published an information on Creating a balance between ‘Family Time’ and ‘Screen Time’ which details how to balance children’s (up to the age of five) use of technology with access to family time and interaction. A survey, previously undertaken with parents and carers with children under five, found their child’s use of technology was one of their concerns. Experts recommend limiting young children’s daily screen time. This is because of the potential impacts on their physical health, particularly their vision and posture, and also their language and social skills. They recommend that:

    • infants aged 18 months and younger should not be exposed to any digital media
    • screen time should be limited to one hour per day for children aged two to five
    • children of any age (and adults) should avoid screen time before bed as the light emitted can make it harder to fall asleep.

    We will be expanding ‘Parenting. Give it time.’ to include children and young people up to the age of 18 during 2021. We will continue to keep in view the current research published for appropriate screen time for children, as well as work closely with the professionals in the relevant fields to support the expansion.

    We are also looking at creating a ‘Parenting. Give it time.’ expert ‘screen time’ film by December 2020, hosted on the ‘Parenting, Give it time.’ website and promoted via our social media channels.

    We are not planning a survey of screen time usage by children in Wales, but we have included an element of social listening in our contract with an agency to support the ‘Parenting. Give it time.’ campaign, which should give us information about the screen time concerns of parents and carers, and the extent to which screen time is a key concern for them.

    Action status: In progress.

    Our ‘Parenting. Give it Time.’ campaign published an information on Creating a balance between ‘Family Time’ and ‘Screen Time’ which details how to balance children’s (up to the age of five) use of technology with access to family time and interaction. A survey, previously undertaken with parents and carers with children under five, found their child’s use of technology was one of their concerns. Experts recommend limiting young children’s daily screen time. This is because of the potential impacts on their physical health, particularly their vision and posture, and also their language and social skills.

    They recommend that:

    • infants aged 18 months and younger should not be exposed to any digital media
    • screen time should be limited to one hour per day for children aged two to five
    • children of any age (and adults) should avoid screen time before bed as the light emitted can make it harder to fall asleep.

    We will be expanding ‘Parenting. Give it time.’ to include children and young people up to the age of 18 by December 2020. We will continue to keep in view the current research published for appropriate screen time for children, as well as work closely with the professionals in the relevant fields to support the expansion.

    Action status: In progress.

    From built-in digital media players in cars to smart phones and tablets, children and young people have more access to electronic media than ever before. Technology is constantly changing but the role of parents and carers in providing safe, caring limits remains unchanged over time. While there are a number of surveys which report on children’s screen time, electronic device usage and internet use, they do not include children age seven or under. There is very little data which is specific to Wales or that investigates the extent to which parents and carers engage with their children during screen time use.

    The National Survey for Wales is a study of a representative sample of over 10,000 people across Wales. The results are used by us to help make Wales a better place to live. The survey covers a range of topics with a focus on well-being and people’s views on public services. In the National Survey for 2017–18, we addressed questions about screen time use to respondents who are parents and carers with children under seven. Results from this survey for parents and carers with children in the age group 3–7 will be available in summer 2018. These questions will also be included in the National Survey for 2018–19 to cover parents and carers with children aged between one and five, and the results will be available in summer 2019.

    Exploring current usage in Wales is the first step in shaping our policy in this area, which may include the development of advice and guidance to the family support workforce and parents and carers directly.

  • In the National Survey for Wales in 2020 to 2021, the Welsh Government will include online safety as a topic.

    In March 2021, the National Survey for Wales was published including results on topic of online safety asked of parents and carers of children aged 5 to 15.

    The results of the survey inform the Digital Resilience in Education programme.

    Action status: Delivered

    In mid-March 2020 the face-to-face National Survey for Wales was suspended due to the COVID-19 outbreak, and replaced with a telephone version of the survey.

    From October 2020, the National Survey for Wales includes the questions on child online safety that were planned for 2020–21. The first results on this topic will be published in late February 2021.

    Action status: Ongoing.

    Each year, the National Survey for Wales involves face-to-face interviews with around 12,000 randomly selected people aged 16 and over across Wales. It covers topics from a wide range of Welsh Government policy areas and outcomes of the survey directly feed into our policy and delivery decisions.

    Questions about online safety will be asked of the parents and carers of children aged 5 to 15. The topics will include what steps parents and carers take to manage their children’s internet use, whether teachers talk to their children about internet safety, and how parents and carers would seek advice about information safety.

  • The Welsh Government will support the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) to pilot the ‘Cyber Essentials’ certification with education settings in Wales.

    The pilot concluded in March 2022 with schools across the local authorities identified. We are currently awaiting the final outcomes of the report which will inform our policy direction and support for schools moving forward.

    Action status: Delivered

    During 2021 we have worked with the NCSC to develop the pilot for education settings in Wales. Working with two local authorities we have identified schools to take part in the pilot which will take place from January to March 2022.

    We have developed Education Digital Standards for schools in Wales to provide guidance on managing and implementing their digital environment. The standards also provide guidance on how schools can future-proof their digital environment to meet the needs of a more digitally focused school curriculum and are envisaged as a best practice solution for schools to meet their digital needs.

    Supported by the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) and certified through IASME, ‘Cyber Essentials’ certification provides organisations with a level of assurance that helps guard against the most common cyber threats.

    We will work with the NCSC to pilot ‘Cyber Essentials’ certification with schools in Wales to establish its suitability for education settings across the UK.

  • The Welsh Government will commission research to evaluate the current cyber maturity of educational institutes across Wales.

    We have commissioned a research study to evaluate the current landscape of cyber security in education institutes across Wales. The study will inform the development of activities to support and improve the education sector’s ability to protect themselves from and respond to cyber threats.

    The survey element of the study is now complete exceeding the specified quota and the interview element of the study is drawing to a close. The report of the findings is expected early in the new academic year.

    As part of our plans to improve the cyber security and resilience of the education sector, we will work with education institutes across Wales to explore the current maturity of their cyber security.

    The research will inform the development of activities to support and improve the education sector’s ability to protect themselves from and respond to cyber threats.

  • The Welsh Government will support the Developing Resilience against Online Grooming Project lead by Swansea University and their proposal to develop an interconnected set of tools to prevent and combat online grooming.

    Project Dragon-S (Developing Resistance Against Online Grooming - Spotter and Shield) was successful in receiving End Violence Against Children (EVAC) funding until December 2022, and we are supporting the development of the Spotter and Shield tools for professionals through engagement and knowledge exchange at the Project Steering Group and Advisory Board meetings. We have also participated in UX testing of the Shield tool.

    The Minister for Education and Welsh Language recorded a supportive message which was played as part of a presentation for the first Dragon-S outreach event on 4 November 2021. We have also published a new Project DRAGON-S information page detailing the project aims on the Keeping safe online area of Hwb and this includes a specially commissioned article written by the project lead, Professor Nuria Lorenzo-Dus.

    We will support the Developing Resilience against Online Grooming Project and the proposal to develop an interconnected set of tools to prevent and combat online grooming which includes an online grooming detector and an online grooming prevention.

    If the project is funded, we will take up the role as a project partner contributing through membership of the Project Steering Group and engagement with the Project Advisory Board, including taking part in knowledge transfer and engagement events and conferences.

    We will explore options to support the development and eventual roll out and promotion of the Online Grooming Prevention Portal.