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Social Media Policy

East Wichel Community Primary School and Nursery

Social Media Policy

 

Introduction

The school is aware and acknowledges that increasing numbers of adults and children are using social networking applications such as Facebook and Twitter. The widespread availability and use of social networking applications bring opportunities to understand, engage and communicate with audiences in new ways. It is important that we are able to use these technologies and services effectively and flexibly, and consider the potential impact on the schools’ reputation.

This policy provides pupils and staff with guidance around the use of social media and advises school leadership on how to deal with potential inappropriate use of social networking applications. For example, the use of social networking applications has implications for our duty to safeguard children, young people and vulnerable adults.

This policy aims to support innovation whilst providing a framework of good practice.

 

Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to:

  • Provide social media guidance to staff, pupils and parents on social media usage
  • Ensure the school is not exposed to legal risks arising from social media usage
  • Ensure the reputation of the school is not adversely affected from social media usage
  • Ensure users are able to clearly distinguish where information provided via social networking applications is legitimately representative of the school

Scope

This policy covers the use of social networking applications by all school stakeholders, including, employees, governors, pupils and volunteers. These groups are referred to collectively as ‘school representatives’.

This policy applies to all uses of social networking applications used for school related purposes. It applies regardless of whether the school representatives are contributing in an official capacity to social networking applications or otherwise. This policy also applies to internally facing uses.

Social networking applications include, but are not limited to:

  • Blogs, for example Blogger
  • Online discussion forums, such as netmums.com
  • Collaborative spaces, such as Facebook
  • Media sharing services, for example YouTube
  • ‘Micro-blogging’ applications, for example Twitter

Some social networking applications are targeted at older teenagers and adults. For example Facebook has a no under 13 registration policy and recommend parental guidance for 13 to 16 year olds. This means pupils should not have a registered Facebook account.

 

Social networking applications as part of school service

All proposals for using social networking applications as part of a school service (whether they are hosted by the school or by a third party) must be approved by the Head Teacher first.

Use of social networking applications which are not related to any school services (for example, contributing to a wiki provided by a professional association) does not need to be approved by the Head Teacher. However, school representatives must still operate in line with the requirements set out within this policy.

Where social networking applications allow the posting of messages online, users must be mindful that the right to freedom of expression attaches only to lawful conduct. The school expects that users of social networking applications will always exercise the right of freedom of expression with due consideration for the rights of others and strictly in accordance with these Terms of Use.

 

Terms of Use

All school representatives must adhere to the following:

  • Must not be used for actions that would put school representatives in breach of school codes of conduct, Teacher’s standards or policies
  • Must not be used to discuss or advise on any matters relating to school or school representatives
  • References should not be made to any off site school activity or event, before it has taken place, unless prior permission has been obtained and agreed with the Head Teacher

 

Guidance for staff using social networking applications:

  • Use of social networking applications in work time for personal use is not permitted, unless permission has been given by the Head Teacher
  • Staff should not interact with any pupil or parent/carer in the school on social networking applications
  • Staff should not interact with any ex-pupil in the school on social networking applications, where the pupil is under the age of 18
  • Staff should not request access to a pupil’s area on any social networking applications or permit the pupil access to any staff members’ area e.g. by accepting friend requests
  • Staff that have family and friends with pupils in school may interact using social networking applications
  • Staff should review and adjust their privacy settings to give them the appropriate level of privacy and confidentiality
  • If a member of staff has evidence of pupils or adults using social networking applications inappropriately in the working day, please contact the named Safeguarding Lead in school
  • Staff should be aware that if their out-of-work activity causes potential embarrassment for the school or detrimentally effects the school’s reputation then disciplinary action may be taken

 

Guidance for pupils using social networking applications:

  • No pupil may attempt to access or access social networking applications during the school working day
  • Pupils who are allowed to walk to and from school without an adult may bring a mobile phone to school. This must be handed into the class teacher at the beginning of the school day
  • No pupil should invite or attempt to join a staff area on social networking applications. If pupils attempt to do this, the member of staff is to inform the Head Teacher.
  • Pupils should report any improper contact or cyber bullying to the class teacher in confidence in accordance with the Anti Bullying Policy

 

Guidance for parents/carers using social networking applications:

  • Parents/carers should not post pictures of pupils, other than their own child, on social networking applications where these photographs have been taken at a school event without prior permission from the other pupils’ parents/ carers.
  • Parents should not post malicious or fictitious comments on social networking applications about any school representative.

 

This policy was written in July 2017

Agreed by Governors

July 2017

Reviewed

July 2019

Next review

July 2021

 

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