A warning has been issued to parents over an invalid website which could link pupils to adult dating site adverts.
Manor Community Academy principal Lee Kirtley sent a letter to parents and carers on Friday.
It states that one of the website links in the student planner for the Hartlepool secondary school is now invalid. And it could link pupils to adverts for ‘inappropriate’ adult dating sites.
“The link in question was to the youth website of a major organisation offering advice to children in sex and relationships education,” wrote Mr Kirtley.
“This website has been widely shared by schools. NHS trusts and local authorities over recent years.
“Unfortunately the website is no longer working.
“In some cases, following the link leads to generic advertisements for dating websites etc which are clearly inappropriate for young people.”
He said the school responded quickly and:
* Requested all students remove the page from their planner immediately;
* Contacted Hartlepool Borough Council and other partners so they can alert other providers to the issue, and
* Asked the owner of the domain to replace the advertising with a holding page, which he has agreed to do.
Mr Kirtley continued: “In future we will replace this list of useful links in the planner with a single link to a page on the academy website which will hold the list.
“This will allow us to constantly monitor whether these links are still valid rather than have printed versions that can go quickly go out of date.”
Many children’s charities have warned that online dating sites have become a gateway for paedophiles targeting young people.
Last month, Teesside Live reported how a paedophile was snared travelling to meet a girl after chatting to a false profile on an online dating site.
Stuart Burnett believed he was chatting to a 14-year-old called Louise.
However the 35-year-old was actually talking to a decoy from an organisation called Guardians of the North which snares paedophiles online.
Teesside Crown Court heard how Burnett began talking to ‘Louise’ on an adult dating website in November last year.
Ian West, prosecuting, said her profile said she was 18, but ‘Louise’ soon revealed to Burnett that she was only 14.
He said: “From the get go this was an attempt at a sexual conversation on the defendant’s part.
“You will see that Louise tells him that she’s not 18, she’s only 14 and she explains why she had put 18 on the profile.
“But the defendant was not deterred by that. He says ‘I’d love to teach you a thing or two’.
“He explains that what he means is to touch her sexually.”
Burnett, of Churchend Close, Billingham, pleaded guilty to attempting to meet a girl under 16 following grooming.
He also admitted two counts of attempting to engage in sexual communication with a child and was given a suspended jail sentence.