THIRTY-EIGHT per cent of schoolgirls in secondary schools across Corsham, Colerne, Neston and Box have reported experiencing cyberbullying, compared to 23 per cent of boys in the last 12 months, according to a new survey conducted by the Corsham Institute.

The survey, which was compiled from the experiences of over 2,000 local students ahead of Safer Internet Day on Tuesday, has been transformed into a two-week exhibition at the Springfield Community Campus for parents and teachers to help educate the youngsters.

Rachel Neaman, chief executive of the Corsham Institute, said: “We’re proud to be working with schools and local groups to ensure the next generation are properly informed about how to use the internet safely.

“Our programme of activities and events this week will provide information for parents, pupils and teachers about how to reduce the risks posed by online sites and social media and ensure our community enjoys digital technology safely and confidently.”

The survey also found that on average children set up their first social media account aged 10.9 years old and that a quarter of secondary school children were using the internet to meet people they had not met before.

Schools such as The Corsham School have been using the results to help co-ordinate their programme for Safer Internet Day.

Robert Staten, assistant headteacher, said: “The Corsham School were very pleased to be involved with the Corsham Institute exhibition at the Springfield Campus and of Safer Internet Day itself.

“This fitted very well into the ongoing work of the school in promoting safe and positive use of the internet in all its forms.

“It is essential that we as teachers keep up to date as possible with developing trends because the internet changes almost weekly in the dangers it presents.”