Press release: Teachers say communication skills increase when young people become internet tutors

BT has released new research revealing that 97 per cent of primary and secondary school teachers believe that young people, often the internet expert in the home, can improve their own communication skills when they actively teach others how to use the internet.

The findings are released ahead of the fourth annual BT Internet Ranger of the Year Awards, which recognise young people making a positive impact on society by helping bridge Britain’s digital divide through sharing their internet expertise with others.

Recently, Conservative MP John Bercow, led a review highlighting that communication skills which are essential to life were not being prioritised in schools. Bercow made 40 recommendations following the review, and as a result, children’s minister, Kevin Brennan, announced the appointment of a “communication champion” to tackle increasing concerns across the education curriculum of communication skill development.

Although communication is a key part of citizenship modules, BT’s results showed that 99 per cent of teachers would welcome initiatives that made it easier for pupils to develop good communication skills, highlighting that such resources are not readily available to them.

The BT Internet Rangers initiative encourages young people to develop confidence in their communication through teaching older generations the benefits of the internet. Through visiting, pupils and teachers can easily take advantage of free access to a variety of resources such as lesson plans, report cards, and certificates for young people to give to their new pupils.

Additionally, the survey results highlight that:

·        98 per cent of teachers agreed that they would like to see more pupils given the opportunity to pass on their internet skills to others; and that,

·        98 per cent of teachers believe that young people’s confidence can be enhanced through sharing internet skills with less computer savvy older people.

Mike Hughes, head of BT’s digital inclusion campaign, said: “BT believes that by becoming an Internet Ranger, young people can help tackle the digital divide among older people, whilst improving their own communication skills. The BT Internet Ranger of the Year Awards share the inspiring stories of young internet tutors, to encourage others to do the same.”

Stephen Turner, teacher at Glan Afan Comprehensive said: “Last year’s BT Internet Ranger of the Year, my pupil, Joseph Devries, has helped other pupils improve their speech and language skills through his weekly Internet Ranger class for local elderly residents.”

On September 29, the BT Internet Ranger of the Year Awards will recognise young people that have taught older people how to get online. This year’s winner will receive a laptop, £250 of vouchers towards IT equipment and a trip to the BT Tower in London to collect their prize. Five runners up also receive a laptop.

Issued on behalf of BT by Trimedia

For further information please contact Emmanuel Xirogiannis at Trimedia on 020 7025 7513 or email

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