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Social Networking Websites Policy

(To be read in conjunction with the E-Safety Policy)

We acknowledge that social networking has become part of everyday life with many people of all ages using social networking websites on a daily basis.

Many feel that there are valid reasons for exploring the educational benefits of these websites because research shows that the most discussed topics on these websites by young people are those dealing with homework and lessons.

However, school based staff need to be aware that ‘posting’ anything on these social networking websites about themselves, others or their place of work must be prepared for the possibility that anyone could gain access to it. This has been a major factor in identity theft.

In terms of school personnel’s use of social networking and the web, they must be careful what information is posted due to potential security risks.

School personnel should use social networking websites wisely and cautiously and if absolutely necessary bearing in mind they should not jeopardise themselves, others or their place of work. The school will monitor its IT system for inappropriate usage and will take the necessary disciplinary measures if need be.

We believe the following recommendations should be considered if school personnel use social networking websites:

  • Use only your name for the profile.
  • Do not put your date of birth on the profile.
  • Be wary of what photographs you put online of yourself, family or friends.
  • Remember you must have their permission to publish.
  • Make your profiles ‘invite’ only and thus only allow people you trust with certainty to view your information.
  • Do not post your occupation.
  • Do not discuss your work or place of work.
  • Do not place derogatory, defamatory, discriminatory or offensive remarks about the school, work colleagues, parents, pupils, governors or anyone else connected with the school.
  • Do not divulge confidential information of any form.
  • Do not publish photographs taken at your work.
  • Do not discuss your political or religious views.
  • Be careful what viewpoints you express.
  • If you do post anything online be mindful of the fact you could lose total control of it.
  • Be careful of what other people post on your profile. You might be careful but are your friends?

School personnel do not use the school's IT system to access social networking websites.

We as a school community have a commitment to promote equality. Therefore, an equality impact assessment has been undertaken and we believe this policy is in line with the Equality Act 2010.

Aims

  • To ensure all school personnel are aware of the dangers of using internet social networking websites.
  • To ensure that all school personnel use internet social networking websites wisely and cautiously and not jeopardising themselves, others or their place of work.  
  • To work with other schools to share good practice in order to improve this policy.

Responsibility for the Policy and Procedure

Role of the Governing Body

The Governing Body has:

  • delegated powers and responsibilities to the Headteacher to ensure all school personnel and stakeholders are aware of and comply with this policy;
  • appointed a member of the school personnel to be in sole charge of the school's website;
  • responsibility for ensuring that the school complies with all equalities legislation;
  • will ensure that appropriate action will be taken to deal with all prejudice related incidents or incidents which are a breach of this policy;
  • responsibility for ensuring this policy and all policies are maintained and updated regularly;
  • nominated a link governor to visit the school regularly, to liaise with the Headteacher and to report back to the Governing Body;
  • responsibility for the effective implementation, monitoring and evaluation of this policy

Role of the Headteacher

The Headteacher will:

  • ensure all school personnel comply with this policy;
  • take disciplinary action in accordance with the school’s disciplinary policy if any employee breaches this policy;
  • monitor the school website;
  • work closely with the link governor;
  • provide leadership and vision in respect of equality;
  • provide guidance, support and training to all staff;
  • monitor the effectiveness of this policy;
  • annually report to the Governing Body on the success and development of this policy

Role of School Personnel

School personnel will:

  • comply with all aspects of this policy
  • not access social networking sites during the school day;
  • not post confidential school information or information about any member of the school personnel on any social networking site;
  • not make reference to the school or anyone connected to it when using any social networking site;
  • not bring the school into disrepute by making any derogatory, defamatory, discriminatory or offensive comments on any social networking site;
  • not make discriminatory or offensive comments about any member of the school personnel on any social networking site;
  • not make contact with parents or pupils via social networking websites;
  • be aware that the Governing Body will take the necessary disciplinary action if any member of the school personnel breaches this policy;
  • implement the school’s equalities policy and schemes;
  • report and deal with all incidents of discrimination;
  • attend appropriate training sessions on equality;
  • report any concerns they have on any aspect of the school community

Role of Parents/Carers

Parents/carers will:

  • be aware of and comply with this policy;
  • not make contact with school personnel via social networking websites;
  • work in partnership with the school and always raise any concerns directly with the school
  • comply with this policy for the benefit of their children;

Raising Awareness of this Policy

We will raise awareness of this policy via:

  • Sending a copy to parents
  • meetings with school personnel
  • Headteacher reports to the Governing Body

February 2017