Media Policy


1. Introduction

This Policy document provides guidelines on the use of photographic images of children in this school. It covers still, video and electronic photographic images, wherever they are used.
The school recognises the need to make full and proper use of photographic images while meeting the law and preserving the safety of children. Concerns focus on issues around rights of privacy, child protection and copyright ownership.
These guidelines address these issues and provide advice on good practice. This guidance has been endorsed by governors with responsibility for child protection and has been approved by the governing body of the school.

2. Typical uses of photography in this school will include:

• Assessment and evaluation purposes e.g. recording children with evidence of their work.
• Video based learning in PE, or therapy sessions, providing records that can be used for analysing performance and progression.
• Displays in the school in classrooms and corridors.
• School publications e.g. newsletter, brochure etc.
• School website.
• Staff training and professional development activities.
• Site security / CCTV videos.
• Performing arts records e.g. concerts, sports and drama performances.*
• Sports days and sports fixtures and the use of photographic equipment by parents and carers.*

* It is the school‟s policy to allow parents or carers to take photographic records of school events such as sports day, and Christmas performances and plays. Should any parent/carer have concerns about this matter, they should discuss the individual event with the Headteacher to make suitable provision.

3. Ownership

Human Rights legislation and Data Protection Legislation give people new rights and it is the right to “privacy‟ that is the issue when using photographs. The school will seek parent / pupil opinions on this matter on admission to the school. Any request to change this opinion can be made at any time by notifying the Headteacher in writing.

4. Good Practice

The school will:
• Ensure parents/carers have signed and returned the consent forms for using images of children and will follow the parental requests made in the consent forms.
• Follow the conditions of use as set out in the consent form.
• Not use any photograph out of context.
• Not use any photograph to illustrate sensitive or negative issues.
• Avoid naming pupils – if one name is required the first name only will be used where possible.
• Ensure all pupils are appropriately dressed.
• Avoid images that only show a single child with no surrounding context of what they are doing / learning.
• Not use images of a child who is considered to be vulnerable, unless specific permission has been sought.
• Report to the Headteacher any concerns relating to inappropriate or intrusive photography and challenge any inappropriate behaviour and or language.
• Not use any images likely to cause distress, upset or embarrassment.

5. Parental Permission

Parental permission will be obtained by using the form in Appendix 1, when a child joins this school. Parents will be notified that should they wish to change their permission this can be done at any time and they should inform the Headteacher in writing.
Where a parent has not agreed to their child being photographed, the Headteacher will inform all staff. The master list of parental wishes can be accessed via the office manager. Every effort will be made to comply sensitively with parental requests, e.g. if a child whose parents have refused permission for photography is involved in a sporting event, it may not be appropriate to photograph the whole team. In these incidents careful liaison with parents may enable the school and parent to reach some agreement with other options.
When photographic images are transmitted or shared beyond the establishment e.g. television broadcast specific permission should be obtained using Appendix 2.

6. Inter-school Activities

If a vulnerable child is involved, it will be necessary to liaise with a member of staff from the other establishment and possibly seek the co-operation of parents from the other schools.

7. Staff Professional Development Activities

Occasionally staff and colleagues, whether training or qualified, need to complete portfolios of work they have undertaken within the school. This may include photographic documentation. Any staff compiling such a portfolio will have discussed the project with a member of the leadership team who will oversee the compiled images and consider / approve the appropriateness of the project.

8. Displays

Still photographs on wall displays and video clips are used for assemblies or open evenings and must always depict children in an appropriate way. They must not display children in inappropriate or revealing clothing. Photographs or images likely to cause embarrassment will not be used.

9. Parents Evenings, Concerts, Presentations

To allow the appropriate recording of children‟s images by parents/carers, we will:
• Ensure that children are appropriately dressed for the activity.
• Monitor the use of cameras and challenge anyone behaving inappropriately.

10. Children Photographing Each Other

This practice can occur during offsite activities, particularly during residential trips. There may be incidents where pupils take inappropriate photographs. Staff will endeavour to ensure this does not happen and that pupils are provided with information and strategies to safeguard themselves. Ultimately parents are responsible for monitoring their child‟s use of cameras and subsequent use of their images.

The use of mobile phones which contain cameras or photographic capabilities will not be permitted in changing rooms, toilets or bedrooms with the exception of the dedicated times allocated for children to phone home when away from school on residential visits.

11. Use of Images of Children by the Media

• Where a press photographer is to be invited to celebrate an event, every effort will be made to ensure that the newspaper‟s (or other relevant media) requirements can be met. An agreement will be sought with the press to ensure that if names are to be used, that first names only will be published. This will only be where the parent has given permission for a photograph to be published.
• The identity of any press representative will be verified and access will only be permitted where the event is planned, and where press are to be specifically invited to attend. No authorisation will be given to unscheduled visits by the press under any circumstances.
• Every effort will be made to ensure the press abide by any specific guidelines should they be requested. No responsibility or liability however can be claimed for situations beyond reasonable control, and where the setting is to be considered to have acted in good faith.

12. Review of Guidelines

The content of these guidelines will be reviewed every 2 years.

1. Consent Form to be used when pupils join the school.
2. Consent Form for photographic images to be used beyond the school.
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