A HEADTEACHER from Bolton has said TV programmes should carry warnings at the start to stop children being exposed to inappropriate, violent or explicit material.

The National Association of Headteachers said more action needs to be taken to make sure television shows screened before the watershed are suitable for youngsters.

The call comes as a poll showed that nine in 10 parents nationally want more regulation of programmes shown before 9pm, with 96 per cent saying they believed bad language and images of sexual and violent behaviour are on TV before this time.

The NAHT has launched a new charter which calls on schools, families, media providers and regulators to work together to keep unsuitable content away from children.

Amanda Hulme, headteacher at Claypool Primary School in Horwich, who proposed the motion on the charter at the NAHT's conference in Birmingham over the bank holiday weekend, said: "Schools and parents share concerns about the opportunities available to children to access inappropriate material.

"Parents should not feel alone in trying to hold back the tide of adult-themed content finding its way into their homes before 9pm or via internet-linked devices."

She added: "In the last couple of months there have been examples of inappropriate language before the watershed."

In one case, someone used the phrase "bloody hell" and in another "piss off" was used, she claimed.

Ms Hulme said: "I think that's completely inappropriate.

"If I used either of those phrases in school, either in assembly or in front of a group of children there would be serious repercussions."

She added that TV programmes should carry warning to help parents decide whether a show is suitable for their child.

Mrs Hulme said: "If it just said there was reference to inappropriate language, or even just better information for parents before a programme starts.

"At least as a parent you would have that choice to say 'we'll record it or we'll watch something else'.

"It's very easy when you're sat there and you think everything's fine because it's pre-watershed and then suddenly there's a theme, or there's some words that are used and you think 'I'm not sure if I'm happy with my child listening to that'."