Use of Social Media Policy
This policy covers the acceptable use of Social Media by staff, volunteers and pupils, and with the responses to parents, adverse posts regarding the school. This policy should be viewed as an addition to the school’s Acceptable use Policy.
The main aim of this school social media policy is to keep everyone within the school safe and within the law.
For staff, requirements typically include:
- Not accepting friend requests from current pupils or ex-pupils under the age of 13
- Notifying the parents if a child sends a friend request
- Using extreme caution when corresponding with parents via social media, and preferably using a school email address instead
- Not discussing anything to do with school, pupils or other staff members, or posting photos of school events
- Only posting things that they would be happy to be attributed to them as a teaching professional
- Not identifying themselves as being associated with the school
- Using the tightest privacy settings possible
- Not using social media on school devices, or on personal devices while on the school premises, outside of designated break times
Parental requirements often include:
- Not posting photos, videos or comments that include other children at the school
- Not using social media on their own devices while on school premises
- Not accessing social media while helping at school or on school visits
- Raising queries, concerns and complaints directly with the school rather than posting them on social media – whether on their own pages, in closed groups (e.g. groups set up for school parents to communicate with each other) or on the school’s pages
- Not posting anything malicious about the school or any member of the school community
Children are typically required to:
- Not join any social networking sites if they are below the permitted age (13 for most sites including Facebook and Instagram)
- Tell their parents if they are using the sites, and when they are online
- Be aware of how to report abuse and inappropriate content
- Not access social media on school devices, or on their own devices while they’re at school
- Not make inappropriate comments (including in private messages) about the school, teachers or other children
Education Re: use of Social Media:
- Pupils will have the relevant year DCF citizenship strand delivered in their curriculum time, using NOS, Barefoot resources
- Pupils should be aware of the term Social Media and it’s implications that ALL posts are subject to public scrutiny
- Pupils will be made aware of the dangers relating to the most common formats/applications through their use within and outside of school and are aware of reporting procedures.
- Pupils are taught about the positive and negative effects of social media platforms and are aware of the impact on health and wellbeing
- Parents are made aware of the school’s social media policy and training is provided to parents regarding Online Safety
Response to ‘unacceptable’ use of Social Media
After being made aware of adverse posts by staff, parents or pupils, with supporting evidence of such posts.
- Staff/parents will be invited into the school to discuss their comments and be offered the opportunity to follow the school/county’s complaints procedures.
- The school may request that the post be removed if this is refused, the school can escalate the matter by reporting it to the social networking site or the local authority, or can seek legal advice.
- Parents of any pupils who post adverse comments will be contacted and made aware of their child’s actions, and discussion on further steps will be discussed at the following meeting.
- Comments that are threatening, abusive, racist, sexist or that could be seen as a hate crime can be reported to the police as online harassment.