Children as young as seven have been exposed to pornography at an affluent bayside Catholic primary school, where basic filtering software was not in place.
Students at Galilee Regional Catholic Primary School in South Melbourne recently accessed pornography on school iPads, triggering an investigation by the school.
In a letter to parents, principal Frank Servello said students would no longer be able to access iPads at recess and lunchtime.
A parent at the school said girls in Grade 1 and 3 had accessed pornographic images that had been saved to school IT. Shocked, the young girls told their parents. It is understood the images were downloaded by boys as young as eight.
"I have concerns it could have a lasting impact on children," she said. "No one seems to be accountable...they have been very slow and very quick to deflect the blame."
Parents were called into a meeting at another bayside Catholic primary school last week after children were overheard discussing pornography they had accessed at home.
Cyber safety expert Susan McLean was shocked to learn that an Australian primary school was using iPads as part of its curriculum without basic filtering software in place but said many schools had rushed to introduce the devices without due diligence.
Ms McLean recommended changing the Google settings on ipads to 'safe search,' barring primary-aged students from having itunes accounts, and monitoring all use of the devices in schools.
An Education Department spokesman said state schools were provided with a free internet filtering service that was regularly reviewed.
Glen Park has the Department's filtering system in use for our PCs and iPads.