Nantwich Education Partnership, a group of 14 primary and two secondary schools in Cheshire, wrote to parents last month after finding some children had been playing the likes of Grand Theft Auto, Gears of War and Call of Duty.
“If your child is allowed to have inappropriate access to any game or associated product that is designated 18+, we are advised to contact the police and children’s social care as this is deemed neglectful,” the letter read.
The Sunday Times (which is behind a paywall), which reported the story over the weekend, spoke with Mary Hennessy Jones, the headteacher who drafted the letter.
She said it was a bid to help parents keep their children as safe as possible “in this digital era”.
“It is so easy for children to end up in the wrong place and parents find it helpful to have very clear guidelines,” she added.
Margaret Morrissey, of Parents Outloud, agreed that children should not play violent games, but thought the threat from headteachers was a step too far.
“Accepting the huge concerns about these violent games and their effect on children, I think the schools are stepping outside the realm of what is probably acceptable,” she said.
“It will be construed by many parents as a threat and it is not helpful. If schools want to get the support of parents and gain their confidence, threatening them with social services will not help.”