Concerns have been raised over a controversial new policy which will allow children to bring their own computing devices to school.

East Renfrewshire’s ‘Bring Your Own Device’ (BYOD) initiative is already in place in secondary schools but, under new rules, could be rolled out to kids as young as 10.

Some councillors are worried about the potential access to pornographic or other adult material online.

Paul Aitken, who represents Barrhead and Uplawmoor as an Independent, said: “If 4G devices do not have a content lock enabled, the children could access adult content websites featuring pornography or scenes of extreme violence.

“From what I can see, the BYOD policy is being rolled out across East Renfrewshire after inadequate consultation with parents who have been left guessing in relation to what this new policy actually involves.

“Primary school children are being actively encouraged to bring their own smart phones or tablets to school with them.

“I am not persuaded that schools have the adequate resources to monitor and supervise the devices which children will be bringing to school.

“I also believe that children would be better served running around the playground with their friends, rather than standing around in groups of two or three with their eyes glued to their smartphones or tablets.”

The introduction of the scheme to local primary schools has also caused concerns among some parents, who are worried their children could be left relatively unsupervised with internet access.

However, council chiefs insist the necessary safeguards are already in place at local schools.

Fears among parents emerged online after communication between Councillor Aitken and council bosses was posted on Facebook.

Many are up in arms about the potential for children to access inappropriate sites at a young age.

Worries about the marking out of those who cannot afford expensive technology and the potential for bullying have also been flagged up.

Online backlash to BYOD has been widespread, with some saying that it “exacerbates inequality hugely” and others questioning what safety measures are in place to guard against “suspect material”.

One parent commented: “Taking away the ability to ‘think out of the box’ by imposing such a policy is outrageous, ludicrous and extremely worrying.”

Another said: “This sort of policy is elitist and will create further a ‘have and have not’ culture with young children which is exclusive and harmful.”

However, a spokesperson for East Renfrewshire Council told the Barrhead News: “The use of laptops, tablets and other digital devices within our schools is well established and the online safety and security of our pupils is always our main focus.

“The Bring Your Own Device policy has already been successfully rolled out across our secondary schools and this is now being taken forward with senior pupils in many of our primaries.

“When pupils get the opportunity to use their own devices, they access the internet through the council’s secured and filtered Wi-Fi connection.

“This gives safe access to the internet to protect our pupils.”

At present, St John’s, St Mark’s and Hillview primary schools are rolling out the policy.

Uplawmoor Primary School is currently in the preparation stage.

Council chiefs claim the BYOD policy will benefit children as they will be familiarising themselves with technology at a young age.

The spokesperson added: “By utilising mobile devices in this way, it enhances our pupils’ learning and enables them to develop the digital skills, which are essential for learning, life and work in an increasingly digitised world.

“We have also invested significantly to provide additional tablet and laptop devices to schools to ensure that all pupils are able to access digital technology.”