BYRON REVIEW: Government to act immediately

Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families Ed Balls and Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport Andy Burnham have backed the

suggestions in the Byron review

– and have pledged to ‘act immediately on taking forward her proposals.’

I am grateful to Dr Byron for carrying out this review and the recommendations show a convincing analysis of how we can properly manage risk in a fast paced, fast changing new media environment," said Department for Culture, Media and Sport figurehead Ed Balls.

Children and young people often know more about the latest developments in new technology and video games than adults do. Dr Byron’s recommendations will help parents to recognise risks and judge what is appropriate, such as bringing the 12+ rating on video games in line with film age classification.

This important issue remains a priority for Government and a UK Council on Child Internet Safety, established by and reporting to the Prime Minister will lead on a national strategy for improving child internet safety.”

The Department of Culture, Media and Sport’s Andy Burnham added: As Dr Byron points out, parents of my generation, who grew up in a purely analogue world, face real challenges in understanding the new media world.

This is a landmark report, setting out clearly for the first time how we can make sure that children can enjoy the benefits of new technology, while being protected from inappropriate material. There is no question that children can benefit greatly from the digital world, but there are real risks that must be managed.

We can all – the Government, parents and the industry – play a part in reducing that risk and Dr Byron has set out a clear plan of action.

I am committed to working with the internet and games industries to build on existing safeguards. Specifically, we will consult on a more coherent classification system for video games. We want to empower young people and allow them to enjoy the educational, social and entertainment potential of the digital age.

Dr Byron has shown how direct engagement with children and parents can illuminate the issues and reveal the best ways of making a real difference to our lives.”

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