Acceptable use of Social Media

Heamoor Primary School is aware and acknowledges that increasing numbers of adults and children are using social networking sites. The widespread availability and use of social networking application bring opportunities to understand, engage and communicate with audiences in new 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 reputation and the need to protect staff, governors, pupils and parents from the inappropriate use of social networking sites.

Acceptable behaviour and use of social networking applications includes, but is not limited to:
o Internet and emails
o Smart phones
o Blogs, for example Blogger
o Online discussion forums, such as netmums.com
o Collaborative spaces, such as Facebook
o Media sharing services, for example YouTube
o ‘Micro-blogging’ applications, for example Twitter

Guidance/protection for parents on using social networking
Parents will be made aware of the school’s policy on acceptable use of social networking sites by parents via the School Admissions Booklet, the annual beginning-of-year safeguarding newsletter and the school website. Where a parent or carer makes, shares or responds to any postings on social networking media that could be deemed as being defamatory of the school or individuals, bringing the reputation of the school into disrepute or placing a pupil or adult within the school community at risk of harm, the Headteacher will contact those responsible for the postings inviting them to address any legitimate concerns about the school via the appropriate and established channels, e.g. the complaints procedure.

Unpleasant and abusive postings (Source: NAHT Social Networking Guidance document)
• Where a school representative experiences untrue, inaccurate, abusive or defamatory postings relating to them being shared on social networking sites, the school will take appropriate action. The Headteacher will contact those responsible for the postings inviting them to address any legitimate concerns about the school via the appropriate and established channels, e.g. the complaints procedure.
• Similarly where content is critical of the leadership and management of the school but not personally abusive, the Headteacher or governors will contact and meet with those responsible for the postings. It may be appropriate for the Headteacher and/or Chair of Governors to consider the matter in the same way as if the comments were made in a face-to-face context.
• The school may decide to contact CC Legal Services department for guidance. There may be circumstances in which police involvement is appropriate. These include where postings have a racist element or where violence is threatened or encouraged.