At TikTok, we appreciate the responsibility that teachers take on to nurture and educate today's young people. As so much of teenagers' time is spent at school and college, teachers play a central role in the lives of their students and we're committed to collaborating with and supporting them in the valuable work they do. Already, #TeachersOfTikTok has 32.4 billion views on TikTok, while amazing creators like @IamMrMba and @kjbr0wn use our platform to share their ideas about how to inspire and support their pupils.

This is why, in partnership with youth charity, Ditch the Label, and online safety experts, Internet Matters, we're launching new resources to help educators better understand and safeguard teenagers navigating TikTok and the online space.

What teachers told Internet Matters about teaching online safety in schools

To help inform our approach, we partnered with online safety experts at Internet Matters to conduct new research of secondary school teachers around the UK, aimed at better understanding how online safety is currently taught in schools.

Their survey found that many teachers face challenges when it comes to addressing online safety, while not all topics get the same level of attention.

The most common online safety issue discussed was online bullying, taught in eight in ten schools (81%), however less than half (42%) currently focus on understanding the real-world consequences of online activity, for example, dangerous challenges or online fraud.

Two in five (42%) teachers also told Internet Matters that they struggle to keep pace with technology, a similar amount (39%) said they didn't have enough time to address online safety at school and nearly a third (30%) said they didn't have enough training. Two thirds (64%) of teachers surveyed said they had a minimal understanding of TikTok.

Teachers also feel that resources available to them up until now have been lacking, as over half (54%) said they were just "OK". They are, however, open to new materials as three in five (59%) said they would be likely to use an online safety resource offered by a social media platform.

Launching a new playbook to help teachers stay up to date

To address these challenges and support teachers and schools, Internet Matters and TikTok have teamed up to create an interactive playbook aimed at helping teachers gain a better understanding of the technology students use daily. This important resource is designed to help people stay up-to-date with the latest information about safeguarding and online issues, master the privacy settings to use to keep them and their students safe in the digital world, and to harness the teaching and learning potential of TikTok.

The playbook is available in full here.

Creating new resources for educators, parents & guardians with Ditch the Label

As part of our efforts to support educators, we have also worked with youth charity, Ditch the Label, on a new set of teaching resources and a guide for parents and guardians on how to help young people stay safe when engaging with online challenges. This set of resources will help teachers better educate their students on the impact of online challenges through modules including:

  • Herd Mentality: Exploring what motivates young people to engage with online challenges and ways to manage peer pressure.
  • Real or Rumoured?: Understanding the common features and intentions of hoaxes and how to accurately assess the risks of online challenges.
  • Not 'For You': Recognising our shared responsibility to discourage the spread of harmful online challenges and hoaxes as well as ways to engage positively with social media.

The modules include lesson plans and accompanying presentations for pupils, along with take-home guides for parents and guardians.

Natasha Ahmed, Child safety public policy expert, Europe, TikTok said: "We're proud to be partnering with two brilliant organisations to support and empower teachers to start conversations with their students about online safety. We want young people to feel comfortable and safe to create, share, and discover on TikTok, and the work of experts like Ditch the Label and Internet Matters is essential to this. The creation of these new resources reflects our commitment to working with parents, guardians and educators to promote digital wellbeing."

Dr Liam Hackett, CEO at Ditch the Label said: "We're thrilled to be reaching even more young people through our latest work with TikTok. Engaging with teachers and schools is an important part of maximising the impact of the work we do and so we're pleased to be releasing more educator-centric resources to ensure teenagers are well informed and protected."

Carolyn Bunting MBE, CEO at Internet Matters said: “As teenagers increasingly connect online and digital behaviours and interests change at pace, it’s vital to ensure that their trusted adults have the tools needed to support them. The research we’ve undertaken has been invaluable in understanding how we can better help teachers, parents, and carers deliver positive outcomes for young people and we are extremely pleased to launch our new Playbook with TikTok, created specifically with teachers in mind.”