Safe Use of Children’s Photographs

1. Introduction

Langley First School, in common with all others, needs and welcomes positive publicity. Children’s photographs add colour, life and interest to materials and articles promoting school activities and initiatives. This can increase pupil motivation; staff morale and help parents and the local community identify and celebrate the school’s achievements. However, in order to respect young people’s and parents’ rights of privacy and because of potential child protection issues, photographs must be used in a responsible way.

Langley First School is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people and expects all staff and volunteers to share in this commitment.

This policy seeks to achieve a practical balance to secure the above.

2. Data Protection Act

Under the terms of the Data Protection Act 1998 images of pupils (or staff) must not be displayed in a public place without consent. This includes publications such as the school prospectus, website or areas in the school where visitors have access.

3. General rules on using photographs of individual children

  • Parental consent must be obtained
  • Images of children in suitable dress will be used – photos of children engaged in PE or swimming present a greater risk of potential misuse. In these cases the content of the photograph should focus on the activity, not a particular child; should avoid full face and body shots. For example, shots of children in the pool or shoulder up would be appropriate.
  • Where we have been informed that a child is subject to a court order then we will never use their image.
  • We will ensure images are stored securely, especially where electronic, and used only by those authorised to do so.
  • Ensure file names given to electronic images of pupils do not identify the child, e.g. maryjones.jpg

4. Newspapers

As long as parental consent has been secured newspapers may publish photographs of pupils but must not publish names alongside them. They may however refer to group photographs collectively e.g Class 3 or Langley’s Year 4 football team. Pupils must not be approached or photographed whilst at school (or engaged in school activities outside school) without the permission of a member of staff

 5. Websites

  • The parental consent form will explicitly include publication on the school website.
  • Where possible the school will use technology to prevent the misuse or downloading of images placed on the school website, e.g. watermarking, browser restrictions

6. Video & Filming

  • The appropriateness of photographic images earlier outlined also applies to video/film images
  • We recognise that parents, carers and family members wish to record events such as school sports days etc to celebrate their child’s achievements. However, during class assemblies/ performances adults will be requested to refrain from taking any photos or video to safeguard those children at risk and reduce any distractions.  Upon a child’s admission to the school parents will be asked to sign a photography consent form that acknowledges this.

7. Commercial & Outside Photographers

  •  Will be given a clear brief about what is considered appropriate in terms of content and behaviour
  • Wear identification at all times
  • Will not have unsupervised access to children or one-to-one photo sessions at events
  • Will not solicit photo sessions outside the event or at a pupil’s home

8. Camera Phones

Camera phones may be used at school events as outlined in 6 above. It is not acceptable for camera phones to be used under any other circumstances.

9. Parental Consent

On admission of a pupil to the school parents/carers will be asked to sign a photography consent form which makes clear the school’s policy, especially:

  1. How and where photographs will be used
  2. The period of consent
  3. The storage and deletion of photographs

We will contact parents/carers annually with the option to change their preferences. The only exception to this will be in point 6 above.

10. Complaints Procedures

Parents should follow the school’s normal parental complaint procedures in most cases. In the case of concerns regarding the use of photographs by the press, they should contact the Press Complaints Commission or the Office of Communications (OFCOM) in the case of TV companies.

11. Review

This policy will be reviewed by the Governing Body in line with the child protection policy, in view of the continual advances in technology and in response to significant views expressed by parents, staff and pupils (if appropriate).