Use of Social Media
Photographs at school events
It's important that children feel happy with their achievements and have photographs and films of their special moments. Family and friends also want to be able to share the successes of their children when they have been part of a special event or activity.
However, it's also important to be aware of child protection and safeguarding issues when people are taking photos or filming at events. The potential for misuse of images can be reduced if we are all are aware of the potential risks and dangers and put appropriate measures in place.
Some of the potential risks of photography and filming at events include:
- children may be identifiable when a photograph is shared with personal information
- direct and indirect risks to children and young people when photographs are shared on websites and in publications with personal information
- inappropriate photographs or recorded images of children
- inappropriate use, adaptation or copying of images.
At school, when we take photographs of children, we use a parental permission form to obtain consent for a child to be photographed and videoed and if we intend to display the photograph outside the school e.g. for publicity, we do not identify the child by name. In school, we use first names only for captions on photographs. We only use images of children in suitable clothing to reduce the risk of inappropriate use.
We request that parents/carers who take photographs of children at school events use these images for their personal use and to avoid the risk of an image being published without written parental consent, we ask that parents do not share any images taken at school events on social media.
Please could all parents/carers respect this request and as a school community we can work together to safeguard our children.
Further guidance from agencies such as the NSPCC states that sharing images of children on social media could lead to information found in the images being used by certain individuals to learn more about a child, prior to grooming them.
Facebook accounts for young children
I would also like to bring to your attention some guidance that was distributed to schools regarding parents using a false date of birth to set up Facebook accounts for children under 13 years of age. This guidance points out that if parents illegally allow their children to have Facebook accounts pretending they are 13 when they are only 8, then those children will have Facebook accounts saying they are 18 and therefore adults, when they reach the age of 13.