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A mentoring app will help thousands of Girls’ Day School Trust students seek advice about university and careers

Face-to-face mentoring with old boys and girls has given generations of well-connected schoolchildren a leg-up in their chosen careers.

Now teenagers are finding a new way to tap into expertise: a group of girls’ schools is testing a mentoring app to seek instant advice from chief executives, theatre directors, bankers, scientific researchers and a priest.

It has proved so successful that it will be rolled out across all schools in the Girls’ Day School Trust, which covers 20,000 children, 23 independent schools and two academies. Rather than being linked with only one person pupils get access to a huge database of old girls. The trust has 70,000 alumnae, which it claims is the largest network of its kind in the country.

Sixth-formers have been piloting the live mentoring scheme since September. They can post questions anonymously about university and careers. Alumnae from around the world have responded to queries about preparing for interviews, job choices, internships, university courses and work experience. Everyone is able to view and add to the advice, creating online conversations around different topics.

Read more at: https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/news/app-plugs-pupils-into-the-old-girl-network-n3zpxw58d

Social media sites will be forced to protect children

A new law will force social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to protect younger users from harmful online content.

Margot James, the minister for digital and creative industries, will announce a compulsory code of conduct today that technology companies must sign so that they can be better policed.

There has been rising pressure on the companies from charities and MPs, who want the sites to encourage users to put down their devices after excessive screen time.

A government white paper on the dangers of online content is due to be published next month.

Although the details of the code of conduct have not been revealed, it is expected to prevent platforms from blaming users for harmful content.

Read more at: https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/news/social-media-companies-should-limit-young-users-d8zfwrn9n