Simply put, ‘Sexting’ is a term used to describe the taking and sending of indecent images. This can be by an adult or child. It is when a person takes an indecent image of themselves and sends it to a friend, spouse, boyfriend or girlfriend. This could be via mobile phones, social networks, emails or social apps such as Snapchat.

Sexting and the Law

It is against the law for anyone under the age of 18 to possess, share or send explicit or sexual images, including yourself.

Both having and distributing images of this nature is an offence under the Sexual Offences Act 2003. Encouraging someone to take or send ‘sexts’ can also be illegal.

It’s very unlikely that a child would be prosecuted for a first offence, but the police might want to investigate.

Emotional Turmoil & Regret

As children have no control over how and where images and messages might be shared online by other people, sexting can leave them vulnerable to bullying, humiliation and embarrassment, or even to blackmail. It can have a long lasting impact on the child’s self-esteem. 

What should I do if Sexting affects my Child?

“When you sit with your child who may be a victim (shared pictures) or those who are criminalised for this behaviour (producing images) we may need to take a more compassionate view around the impact that sending an intimate image at a click of a button can have. Your connection and acceptance to your child is the most important factor in helping reduce the impact of this issue.”

I’m a Student worried about an image I’ve sent. What can I do?

It’s normal to send an image or ‘sext’ and wish you hadn’t. Sometimes we get caught up in the moment or assume that everything will be fine, and sometimes it isn’t. You might feel ashamed, guilty or anxious which is very normal, however please remember that you’re not alone – many young people have been in a similar situation. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to make things better and ensure it doesn’t happen again.

The first thing to do is to speak with the person you sent the image to. Most of the time, they will be understanding if you simply ask them to delete the message or image. We can’t control what others will do with an image but with talking to them as soon as possible, it can help to make sure that they don’t pass it on.

If you feel there is an adult you trust (such as a parent/carer) that you can talk to about what’s happened, it would be a good idea to. It may also be a good idea to let your form tutor and/or pastoral know, as we can help support you at school. We won’t judge you, but we understand it’s important you feel comfortable talking about what’s happened.

Please take a look at this helpful page from BullyingUK for more advice on what to do if you’ve sent a sext.

Further Support

There are many great websites offering detailed support and resources around Sexting. Please check out’s Sexting section have a great page with more information and how you can talk to your child about sexting. 

You can anonymously and confidentially report indecent images via the Internet Watch Foundation.

Reach out to me directly on for any advice and support. As the College’s CEOP Ambassador, I regularly help and support students with any E-Safety issues/queries/concerns.