ake news is appearing in school homework, teachers have warned, as they say that the internet means that children are no longer able to distinguish between fiction and fact.
More than a third (35 per cent) of teachers say that students have cited false information they have found online, according to a poll conducted by The National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers (NASUWT).
Union general secretary Chris Keates said the finding was “worrying” and shows the power that internet firms have in shaping opinion, especially among young people.
The finding, part of an NASUWT poll on social media and technology, comes just weeks after a leading international education expert said that children should be taught in schools how to recognise fake news.
One teacher told the survey that “some students did not attend school and hysteria ensued because they thought there were killer clowns roaming the streets with weapons”. Another said that pupils “often mistake spoof news sites for real news”.
In total, 34% of the union members surveyed said that in the past year they have seen pupils citing clearly fake news or false information from the internet as fact in their work or classroom discussions.