St. Dymphna’s School
Policy on the Taking and using of Photos/ videos in school
This policy details the rules governing photography and recording videos at the school, the distribution of these photos and videos, and their publication on the internet.
It covers the rules for staff, BOM and parents, and is founded on four main principles:
The overriding priority is to ensure that photography does not lead, either directly or indirectly, to anything that may potentially endanger the safety of the children at the school.
We believe that every child and parent is entitled to their own privacy, and can therefore choose not to feature in photographs or videos recorded at the school.
Projecting the right image
Photographs taken at school should not do anything that may cause embarrassment to the school, the children, or the staff.
Sharing children’s achievements
It is natural for every parent to want to share their children’s activities and achievements at school with their friends and family. This school is keen to allow this as much as possible, while keeping this in balance with the first three principles.
When a child joins the school, their parent or guardian is asked for consent for the child to appear in photos on the school website’ and in school publications. The school encourages all parents to provide consent, as it enables us to include all the children in depictions of school life, but we recognise and respect the right to refuse consent
. Parents may withdraw consent at any time, or grant consent if they had previously declined.
Child Protection (Refer to Child Protection Policy)
The BOM has adopted and will implement fully and without modification the Department’s Child Protection Procedures for Primary and Post Primary Schools. In the event of an inappropriate use of photographs in school materials the DLP Maureen Quinn will follow the Child Protection Guidelines. The Deputy Designated Liaison is the Deputy Principal Clare Jordon
Data Protection Act 1998 and 2003
Photographs and video images of pupils and staff are classed as personal data under the terms of the Data Protection Act 1998 and 2003. Therefore, using such images for school publicity purposes requires the consent of either the individual concerned or in the case of pupils, their legal guardians. St. Dymphna’s School will not display images of pupils or staff on websites, in publications or in a public place without such consent. The definition of a public place includes areas where visitors to the school have access.
Where photographs are taken at an event attended by large crowds, this is regarded as a public area so it is not necessary to get permission of everyone in a crowd shot. The Data Protection Act does not apply to photographs or films taken for personal use by family and friends.
Appropriate Use of Images in School Publicity Materials
The staff of St. Dymphna’s School will:
Ensure that images are stored securely and used only by those authorised to do so.
Ensure that electronic images are stored on a secure network to which members of the public do not have access.
Not use an image of a child who is subject to a court order.
Not use photographs of children or staff, who have left the school, without their consent.
Ensure that children are appropriately dressed.
For website or publication purposes not use photographs containing a single child
The use of photographs in newspapers and magazines is already subject to strict
guidelines. The Press Council of Ireland’s Code of Practice states that:
Print and online news media shall take particular care in seeking and presenting information or comment about a child under the age of 16.
Journalists and editors should have regard for the vulnerability of children, and in all dealings with children should bear in mind the age of the child, whether parental or other adult consent has been obtained for such dealings, the sensitivity of the subject-matter, and what circumstances if any make the story one of public interest. Young people should be free to
complete their time at school without unnecessary intrusion. The fame, notoriety or position of a parent or guardian must not be used as sole justification for publishing details of a child’s private life.
St. Dymphna’s School will not provide names of children to accompany photographs published in newspapers and magazines without parental consent.
It is usual for parents to take photographs and videos of children at school events such as school plays, school leaver’s masses, award ceremonies and sporting and social school events.
We would ask parents who do this not to share pictures/videos of our pupils on social media.
Pictures/videos taken at school events should not be published on any internet site. This includes Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest and all other social media services.
The reason for this restriction is that it is not possible for individual parents to ensure that all four of the safeguarding rules described above are adhered to at both the time of publication, and later
On occasions, commercial video films may be made of children at school, on educational visits and performing in school productions. The school will inform parents where arrangements have been made for a commercial photographer to take pictures/film such an event.
Where a commercial photographer is used, the school will follow these guidelines:
School will provide a clear brief about what is considered appropriate in terms of content and behaviour
School will let parents and children know that a photographer will be in attendance at an event and ensure they consent to both the taking and publication of films and photographs.
School will not allow unsupervised access to children or one-to-one photo sessions without parent in attendance.
If children or parents have any concerns about inappropriate or intrusive photography, they should report them to the principal who would report them in the same manner as any other child protection concern.
If schools or parents have concerns regarding the use of filmed images by television companies they should contact the ComReg (Commission for Communications Regulation – www.comreg.ie).
The school endeavours to publish on the school website a selection of photos and videos of school events and general school life. Any material published to the website must be assessed to ensure it meets the following safeguarding rules:
1. It must not feature any child whose parent or guardian has not given consent.
2. It must not offer any means of identifying a child by name
3. It must not in any way embarrass the school or the children and staff involved.
4. It should usually not include any child who left the school more than two years ago.
Most children are excited to see photos or videos of themselves on the school website. But as they get older, they are not always so enthusiastic about reminding themselves, or others, of their younger selves.
The school will therefore endeavour to remove older photos featuring children who have left the school some time ago in order to avoid any embarrassment or discomfort it may cause them.
Photos and video intended for the school website should be taken either by a member of staff, or another person (typically a member of BOM or parent) authorised by the Principal.
These photos and videos must be approved by the Principal prior to publication on the school website.
Rules for Parents, guardians.
Parents and guardians are permitted to take photographs and record videos at designated school events, as long as they agree to the conditions described in this policy.
Although these services may take place at the church, not the school, we kindly request that the same policy is followed as for events at the school. Photographs are only allowed to be taken before or after the Mass and not during the act of worship.
Rules for Staff
Staff may take photos and video anywhere within the school for the purposes indicated on the parental consent form. These may be published on the school website if they conform to the safeguarding rules described above. They may not be published on any other internet or social media site.
Subject to approval of the Principal, photos and videos may be stored on secure, password-protected internet services for archival or transfer purposes. They may be stored on password-protected staff laptops. They should be deleted once they are no longer needed, or when the featured children have left the school. They may be shared with other members of staff by email to school accounts to support teaching work. They may not be shared with friends and family.
The school cameras should always be used to take photographs. Members of staff who are also parents or guardians of children at the school are permitted to take photographs at school events under the terms described in “rules for parents and guardians
Terms for external photographers, such as local newspaper photographers, must be agreed in advance with the Principal. These are considered on a case-by-case basis, and must conform to the safeguarding rules described above.
Camera Phones in School
Concerns about the risks posed directly and indirectly to children through the use of camera phones on our school premises will be minimised by the following guidelines.
Staff will only use mobile phones in office areas, the staff room or areas away from the children while school is in session.
Visitors will be advised of the ban on the use of camera phones in school and, wherever possible, will be accompanied by a member of staff during the duration of the visit.
Children who bring a mobile phone on to the school premises hand their phone to their teacher at the beginning of the school day and collect it at the end of the school day. (Phones are only allowed in school with the Principals consent)
St. Dymphna’s School will seek the consent of parents / guardians regarding the use of photographs of children. There will be a form for parents to give consent on the school admission form completed prior to enrolment.
Parents who have given consent will also be advised at the beginning of each academic year of their right to with draw this consent.
Ratification and Communication
This policy was ratified by the BOM