It is important that children feel happy with their achievements and have photographs and films of their special moments. Teachers, family and friends also want to be able to share the successes of their children and so photographs have an important place in our schools.
The potential for misuse of images and or breaches to data protection and safeguarding regulations can be significantly reduced if staff are aware of the potential risks and dangers and put appropriate measures in place to mitigate them:
- Always ensure parental consent is obtained before any photographs, video or audio recordings are taken of children. The new EU GDPR (EU General Data Protection Regulation) requires ‘verifiable’ consent to be given (this must be opt-in – silence, pre-ticked boxes or inactivity do not constitute consent). A record must be kept of how and when consent was given. Parents have a right to withdraw consent at any time.
- Care should be taken to ensure when taking digital / video images that pupils are appropriately dressed and are not participating in activities which might bring the individuals or the school into disrepute.
- Pupil’s work may be published only with the permission of the pupil and parents or carers.
- Avoid using pupils’ names in photograph captions. If a child is named, avoid using the photograph.
- Consider how images of children on a website can be misused. Images accompanied by personal information, such as the name of a child and their hobby, could be used to learn more about a child prior to grooming them for abuse.
- Never allow photographers unsupervised access to children.
- Never approve photography sessions at a child’s home.
- Ensure images or video recordings are stored securely. Hard copies of images should be kept in a locked drawer and electronic images should be in a protected folder with access that is restricted.
- Images should never be stored on an unencrypted mobile device. Images should be removed from cameras immediately after use, stored securely and then all images deleted from the camera.