Social media sites play an important role in the lives of many people, including children. We recognise that social networking can bring many benefits, but there are also potential risks. The aim of this document is to give clarity to the way in which social media sites are to be used by the Woodcote community: pupils, staff and parents. All members of the school community should bear in mind that information they share through social media and networks, even if it is on private spaces, is still subject to copyright, data protection and Freedom of Information legislation, the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006, and UK libel and defamation laws.


 The use of social media sites by pupils whilst at school

Pupils should not access social networking sites whilst at school without first

obtaining permission from a member of staff. Internet filters are in place to prevent access.  Pupils and parents will be reminded that the use of some social media sites is inappropriate


 Use of social media sites by employees in a personal capacity

It is possible that a high proportion of staff will have their own social networking accounts. It is important that they protect their professional reputation, and that of the school, by ensuring that they use their personal sites in an appropriate manner.


Staff will be advised as follows:

 That they familiarise themselves with social network sites’ privacy settings in order to ensure that information is not automatically shared with a wider audience than intended It is recommended that, as a minimum, all privacy settings are set to ‘friends only’, irrespective of use/purpose. That they do not conduct or portray themselves, or allow friends to portray them, in a manner which may:

  • Bring the school into disrepute;
  • Lead to valid parental complaints;
  • Be deemed as derogatory towards the school and/or its employees;
  • Be deemed as derogatory towards pupils, parents or guardians:
  • Bring into question their appropriateness to work with children
  • Contravene current National Teacher Standards
  • Do not form online friendships or enter into communication with parents/guardians as this could lead to professional relationships being compromised.
  • do not form online friendships or enter into online communication

with pupils as this could lead to professional relationships being compromised, and/or safeguarding allegations being raised

  • That they should not post pictures of (without the Headmaster’s consent) or negative comments about school events
  • That if their use of social media/networking sites contravenes this policy, they may be subject to disciplinary action


Inappropriate use by employees should be referred to the Headmaster in the first instance.


 Creation of social media accounts by school staff for use in education

All social media services must be approved by the Headmaster in advance of any educational work being undertaken.


Comments posted by parents/guardians on social media sites

Parents/guardians will be made aware of their responsibilities regarding their use of social media via this policy (in particular when their child joins the school), the school website, letter and school newsletters.

Parents/guardians are asked to consider the impact and possible consequences of posting images (photos and videos) of pupils other than their own children on social media sites unless they have the

permission of parents of other children pictured. Parents/guardians are asked to raise queries, concerns or complaints directly with the school rather than posting them on social media. Parents/guardians should not post malicious or fictitious comments on social media sites about any member of the school community


Dealing with incidents of online (cyber) bullying

There are four UK statutes that cover the use of Internet technology in relation to bullying. All cases of online bullying will be dealt with in accordance with the school’s Anti-Bullying policy. The school can take action with reference to any incident that takes place outside school hours if it: Could have repercussions for the orderly running of the school. Poses a threat to a member of the school community. Could adversely affect the reputation of the school, its employees or proprietor


September 2022