A report into the state of IT awareness among teachers has found that over half would not know where to go for help if a child got into trouble on the internet.
The survey was sponsored by BT, the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP), the Internet Watch Foundation, the Internet Content Rating Association, Get Safe Online, Stop It Now and Yahoo.
It found that over 80 per cent of teachers would like to see internet safety as part of the National Curriculum.
"By educating young people on how to stay safe online we can empower them to manage the risks and make the internet a safer public place," said Jim Gamble, chief executive of the CEOP.
"By doing this we can make the internet a hostile place for offenders looking to exploit and abuse children online and in the real world.
"Parents, carers and teachers play a vital role in helping children understand and manage those risks while maximising the benefits of the online environment."
Only four per cent of teachers felt that it was their job to be responsible for a child's internet safety. Nearly half named parents as responsible, and another 20 per cent named ISPs.
"This research demonstrates that there is more education needed to give teachers the tools to help them deal with the problem," said Gavin Patterson, group managing director at BT Retail.
"It is critical that teachers, parents and children are not only made aware of the risks, but given advice on what to do when something happens or if they suspect something."
BT has produced a guide for teachers and parents (PDF download) on good internet practice to accompany the research.
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