Union Warns Over Abuse of Internet Help for Pupils

The Scottish Secondary Teachers' Association, representing 8500 teachers in Scotland's Secondary Schools, today warned its members over problems caused following harassment of some of its member via electronic mail.   In particular harassment by pupils was now a significant concern.

The union issued its advice today on its website pointing out that the situation had become worse in recent days as teachers worked from home and tried to maintain contact with students especially those who would take national examinations next year.

Of particular concern was that many teachers working from home during the recent bad weather had no access to an intranet system which would permit secure contact with students.   Such intranet systems would prevent teachers requiring to use their own personal email.

In her advice to members, SSTA General Secretary, Ann Ballinger said “In certain cases, teachers have become subject to harassment by certain misguided elements who have managed to obtain the email addresses of teachers.

“The SSTA therefore advises its members never to use their personal email facilities to contact their students.   Such contact should be limited to contact via established intranets.   This requirement makes it all the more necessary that all teachers have access to Glow or other intranet system both at school and at home.”

Note for news editors

Glow is an intranet system widely used in Scotland for the transfer of educational materials between teachers, schools and local authorities.   Certain local authorities also have their own intranet systems.   Students may, with appropriate permissions, access these systems.    

For further information, please contact

Ann Ballinger

General Secretary

Scottish Secondary Teachers' Association

West End House

14 West End Place


EH11 2ED