Safe Use of Children's' Photographs
This policy outlines the purpose, nature, and management of photographing children in our school. Capturing images in a variety of formats is part of everyday life in our society. This policy aims to balance the desire to use photographs to celebrate the history, progress and achievements of the school and its pupils while balancing the possible risks to individuals captured in the images.
This policy was agreed after consultation with staff, parents, pupils and governors
The implementation of this policy is the responsibility of all staff, pupils and parents.
Child Protection Issues
Risk may occur when individual pupils can be identified in photographs. In order to manage these risks:
- Parental consent will be obtained annually from parents regarding use of photographs of their child on the school website. Names of children will not appear on the website to accompany the photographs (including file names of photographs).
- Images of children will not be used in the school brochure
- Children will only be photographed in suitable dress (ie. not during swimming activities)
- No children will be photographed if subject to a court order
- Parents are informed every year regarding official school photographs taken by a commercial photographer
- Parental consent will be obtained annually from parents regarding the photographing of their children (and use of their name) for publication in a newspaper
A list of children with / without permission to be photographed will be issued to teachers annually and updated regularly when new pupils are admitted during the year.
It is the headteacher’s responsibility to decide whether the publication of a photograph might pose a risk to a child.
Any inappropriate use of images will be treated in the same way as any other child protection issue.
Appearing in newspapers provides positive publicity for the school and most children and a source of family pride for most parents and pupils. Articles about schools without pictures of children would make very dull articles indeed. Newspapers have their own policies concerning the photographing of children and usually insist upon the child’s name appearing. Newspapers are not allowed to photograph children without gaining permission first.
Parental consent will be obtained annually from parents regarding the photographing of their children (and use of their name) for publication in a newspaper. There is no breach of the data protection act in passing on a child’s name to a journalist providing parental consent has been given.
Retention of Images
- Images of children and adults will be kept in albums and electronically on the school’s administrative system as part of the school’s historical record
- School albums will be kept in school and will not leave the school premises
- Photographs of individual staff and governors will be removed from the ‘picture board’ once they have left the school
- Photographs of pupils taken to support evidence of their development (ie. Foundation Profile) will be stored according to our pupil records policy
- It may be necessary for staff teaching Reception age children to take pictures of EYFS evidence home for the purpose of updating records/profiles (work carried out in their own time as this is extremely time consuming to be done within school hours)
- The end of Reception year pupil profiles (photographs and written observations tracking the child’s development over the year) are a wonderful record for parents to treasure. However the nature of evidence gathering (working in a group activity for instance) necessitates the inclusion of pictures of children other than the child concerned. Each year agreement will be sought from Reception parents regarding the distribution of these records and if everyone agrees (and follow the rules below ie. Not to distribute the pictures) they will be taken home by individual children as an ‘end of year’ report/record on receipt of a signed covering letter by the parents.
Photographing & Videoing of Events by Parents
After consultation with staff, parents, pupils and governors it has been decided that it is acceptable for parents to video and photograph school events.
It is expected that:
- Parents wishing to take photographs or videos do not detract from the performance of the pupils involved
- Parents wishing to take photographs or videos do not disrupt the enjoyment of other parents
- Parents respect the ‘right to privacy’ of other individuals
- Images will be accessed and enjoyed by family members only (ie. they do not appear on TV programmes, the internet or social media etc.)
- Parents follow the policies of external venues (ie. other schools, sports halls, swimming pools etc.)
Mobile Phones & Camera Phones
Children are not allowed to bring mobile phones to school. After consultation with staff, parents, pupils and governors this was felt to be the best course of action to ensure the safety and protection of pupils.
Rationale behind this decision included:
- They are small and can be used to take photographs without the subject knowing
- They can be used for bullying
- Once an image is taken it can be distributed to other individuals instantly
- If a child needs to phone someone they can use the school phones
- If a child brings a phone to school (by accident or because they are staying with a different parent that night etc.) the phone must be given to a member of staff to keep securely until home time.
Communicating the policy to parents
The policy is issued to parents in the school brochure and appears on the school website.
Use of Digital / Video Images
- The use of digital / video images plays an important part in learning activities. Pupils and members of staff may use school-owned digital cameras and mobile devices to record evidence of activities in lessons and out of school. These images may then be used in presentations in subsequent lessons.
- Images may also be used to celebrate success in Good works assemblies, in the school’s Academic Review publication and on the school website.
- The school will comply with the Data Protection Act and request parents’ / carers’ permission before taking images of members of the school. We will also ensure that when images are published that the young people cannot be identified by the use of their names.
- In accordance with guidance from the Information Commissioner’s office parents / carers' are welcome to take videos and digital images of their own children at school events for their own personal use (as such use is not covered by the Data Protection Act). To respect everyone’s privacy and in some cases the child’s protection and safeguarding, these images should not be published or made publicly available on social networking sites, nor should parents / carers' comment on any activities involving other pupils in the digital / video images.
- Permission forms to allow the school to take and use images of your children for the purposes listed above are issued separately, on your child’s enrolment in school and at the start of every academic year.
- It should also be noted that parents should avoid making comments about other children in the school on social media. If at any time you have any concerns about your child or the behavior of another child, it is expected that you will come into school to report this, especially if it constitutes a safeguarding concern. It is not useful to place comments about other children on social media; we would much prefer this to be dealt with by the school.
- NSPCC via www.nspcc.org.uk or 0808 800 5000
- Information Commissioner ico.gov.uk
- LA Admin handbook update April 2011
In accordance with new national developments and Lincolnshire county Council guidelines
Policy last updated: May 2022