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Social Media Policy
The widespread availability and use of social media applications bring opportunities to understand, engage, and communicate in new and exciting ways. It is important that we are able to use these technologies and services effectively and flexibly. However, it is also important to ensure that we balance this with our duties to our school, the community, our legal responsibilities and our reputation.
For example, our use of social networking applications has implications for our duty to safeguard children, young people and vulnerable adults.
The policy requirements in this document aim to provide this balance to support innovation whilst providing a framework of good practice. They apply to all members of staff at the school.
The purpose of the policy is to:
- Protect the school from legal risks
- Ensure that the reputation of the school, its staff and governors is protected
- Safeguard all children
- Ensure that any users are able clearly to distinguish where information provided via social
- media is legitimately representative of the school
At Heap Bridge we publish information about our school and communicate with parents / carers in many ways i.e. parents’ evenings, informal meetings, newsletters, email messages, our school website/blog and social media.
We welcome anyone who is interested in the life of our school to follow us and connect with us on the various social media sites that we use. At the moment this includes Twitter, Facebook, You Tube, Class Dojo our school blog (WordPress) and the school website. We also use a school OneDrive (Microsoft) and Google Drive account to host school policies and other documents of interest to parents. This allows us to communicate much more about day-to-day life in school, as it happens and in the kind of detail that wouldn’t normally be enough for a newsletter or a meeting.
School‐sanctioned use of social media
It is important for everybody’s safety that we are clear about how we use these sites and what is acceptable behaviour from the people who choose to follow us. We use our social media sites to publish information that is of general interest to our stakeholders i.e. parents, pupils, staff, governors… We do not believe it is an appropriate place to discuss personal matters that are specific to individual members of our community, whether that be children, parents or staff. However, we do welcome comments on the information we post within the school blog pages (www.heapbridge.co.uk/blog) from parents, staff, pupils and other stakeholders in the school.
- We will not publish photographs of children without the written consent of parents /carers, identify by name any children featured in photographs, or allow personally identifying information to be published on school social media accounts
- We will not tolerate any form of bullying on our social media accounts
- We will not allow posts or comments that refer to specific, individual matters between the school and members of its community
- We will not tolerate any comments or posts that are defamatory, rude or abusive towards any member of our school community, whether that be children, parents, staff or governors
Further use of social media sites
There are many legitimate uses of social media within the curriculum and to support learning. When using social media for educational purposes, the following practices must be observed:
- Staff are not permitted to set up any type of social media site or account for use through the school without the explicit authorisation of the Headteacher. Staff are also not permitted to use their own social media accounts to communicate with pupils or parents at any time.
- All official school accounts are linked to via the school website . If pupils/parents are aware of social media sites reporting to be affiliated with the school that are not linked to the school website these should be reported to the Headteacher immediately.
- The content of any school‐sanctioned social media site should be solely professional and should reflect well on the school.
- Care must be taken that any links to external sites from the account are appropriate and safe
- Any inappropriate comments on or abuse of school‐sanctioned social media should immediately be removed and reported to a member of Senior Leadership Team.
- Staff should not engage with any direct messaging of students through social media, including class Dojo.