School issues warning as man ‘posing as 13-year-old’ was reported to police

A school in Bristol has issued a warning to parents after a man pretending to be a teenage girl contacted its students.

Oasis Academy Brislington sent out the warning after the man, posing as a 13-year-old girl, had sent requests via Instagram to a number of students.

A parent said the man, who was using the name Ava Taylor, sent their son a request. Thankfully they noticed the request was suspicious and it was rejected.

It’s understood that the Instagram page contained some ‘horrible pictures and videos’. As a result of this, a safeguarding message was sent to parents and the incident was reported to the police.

The message from the school read: ‘Oasis Academy Brislington SAFEGUARDING MESSAGE – We have received information that a male is contacting young people on Instagram claiming to be a 13 year old girl. He is communicating under the name ‘Ava Taylor’. Please be aware and ensure you discuss this with your child. If you have any concerns please contact us or the Police’.

Speaking to Bristol Live, a spokesperson for Oasis Community Learning said: ‘Our highest priority is the safety and wellbeing of our students and staff.

Read more: Read these 7 clever Internet safety tips – written for kids, by kids!

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‘If one of our academies are made aware of any safeguarding risks they follow strict protocols to make the situation safe.

‘As per our procedures, Oasis Academy Brislington sent out a communication to parents at the end of last week to be vigilant with regards to their child’s social media activities following reports that a local young person had received inappropriate messages from an unknown source.

‘As at all of our academies, Oasis Academy Brislington has a continuous schedule of age-appropriate lessons and assemblies for all of our students on how to stay safe, including staying safe online.

‘We work closely with our partners at Avon and Somerset police on all safeguarding issues.’

Parents are encouraged to contact schools directly if they have any questions, with the school spokesperson adding: ‘Should any of our parents have any concerns on this or any other issue, they are encouraged to contact their academy directly.’