Would you be allowed to post pictures of your classroom online?

(23 Posts)
TheTroubleWithAngels Fri 31-Jul-15 17:30:21

I don't think my head/LA would be very pleased, tbh.

AsBrightAsAJewel Fri 31-Jul-15 19:38:43

Do you mean the actual room and displays or the children in them, and where online do you mean?

If it is just the room I can't see a problem - many schools have such photographs on their websites as an online guided tour. With photographs of displays we are proud of we ask the HT's permission before sending somewhere like Twinkl or Primary Resources - if it is anonymous there is little problem.

If it includes pupils that all depends on the school's policy and whether the parents give permission. We have selected photographs of activities on our website which we have checked to ensure each child in short has the correct consent. Parents love it, especially when there has been a special event. But we are not permitted to post photos on our own social media pages, etc.

TheTroubleWithAngels Fri 31-Jul-15 20:10:04

Are you on the Twinkl Facebook pages? I mean like that. People post pictures of all of their wall displays, usually quite close up.

There are never any pupils in them. Occasionally a few names. It just seems so identifying.

Minispringroll Fri 31-Jul-15 20:57:33

So, you know the names of some random pupils in a random class in a random school, because there are names on a display? How does that identify anyone?

Yes, there are photos of my classroom, my pupils, accompanying adults, displays, work, etc. on our school website and my class' associated blog. I don't put names, though. If any parents had complained, I'd have taken their children's photos off. Nobody has, though...quite the opposite. (We've got general consent for school use...and that's what it is - a school website for children and parents.) I did make them aware that this wouldn't be a problem, though, and I've been established enough at my school for them to know that I wouldn't mind.

Happy36 Fri 31-Jul-15 23:13:12

Photos of the classroom without students - fine.

Photos of the classroom with students - fine IF the purpose of the photo is clear (e.g. showing parents a specific activity we are doing) and IF all students in the photograph have parental permission to be photographed and published (we have a list of approximately 10 students out of 1,800 whose parents have refused permission).

Where the students´ faces are not relevant to the photo, we´re encouraged to take the photo from an angle where faces are slightly blurred or indistinct. By relevant, I mean, for example, "Well done Ana and Javi for winning the reading competition" - photo of students with trophy - faces are relevant. Whereas photo of our class visiting a castle - faces not relevant.

I hope that made sense.

Most, if not all, schools have a written policy on this sort of thing.

I can´t see how a photograph of a classroom without students, showing the staff preparation for the new school year, could be anything other than a positive advert for the school?

CharlesRyder Sat 01-Aug-15 08:03:53

I wouldn't post anything to do with work on social media. It's just not worth it IMO.

However, my class page on the school website is deliberately awash with pictures of my rooms and the children- as are all the other class pages and blogs.

TheTroubleWithAngels Sat 01-Aug-15 11:57:22

It's the social media aspect I'm wary about, yeah.

The school website feels different.

DonkeyOaty Sat 01-Aug-15 12:13:09

I would be wary because of the Sparkle box scenario. Which is prob unreasonable tbh.

SawdustInMyHair Sat 01-Aug-15 16:03:31

Our school (primary) has images of the kids on the website, of course, but also YouTube videos of the children. I'm a bit uncomfortable about that, as their faces are clear (they speak to camera at some points) as well as their school, obviously.

It did cause a few wide eyes when the guy who came to talk about online safety told them not to show their faces and where they went to school online :p

Happy36 Sat 01-Aug-15 20:50:45

Good point, Sawdust.

Our school actually has some professionally made videos available on the school´s website and YouTube with individual students, dressed in uniform, inside school, speaking about, for example, learning a foreign language or playing a sport, and the videos include the student´s first name in the caption. It does really contradict the advice the students receive from the police about staying safe online, doesn´t it?

TheTroubleWithAngels Sun 02-Aug-15 18:44:10

Gosh, it really does Happy.

We do not video our kids at all. If we take photos, we try to take them from behind the kids, looking at the stage or show or something.

Happy36 Sun 02-Aug-15 18:58:08

That sounds much more sensible, Angels. I guess I have a bee in my bonnet as I know parents love to have photos (or at least the school´s senior management will tell us that they do) and often can´t make school events for one reason or another (or are not invited, especially in secondary school), but I do hate it when our school´s marketing department seems hellbent on turning every single aspect of school life into a photoshoot.

I never take photos myself unless we are on a school trip. Even then I prefer to let the kids take pictures and share them amongst themselves or upload them to a shared area on the school website. If we are doing something particularly exciting in class I let the marketing obsessed Deputy Head know and say he can come and take a photo if he wishes.

Happy36 Sun 02-Aug-15 18:59:01

Correction: I never take photos of students (except on trips...even then, rarely).

I do take photos of things like wall displays, or new books that have just been delivered.

EvilTwins Sun 02-Aug-15 22:08:41

I teach drama and photos of our school productions are on our school website and also the website of the professional photographer we use. School name but no kids' names.

Parents are asked to sign a form to say that school can use their kids' photos, so we do have permission. We also have stuff in the local paper pretty frequently, and names are often included there. They have a website too.

I have a department Twitter feed (as do many depts) and photos sometimes go on there, but again, no names.

What's brought this on OP? What do you think your HT would have an issue with?

carriebrody Sun 02-Aug-15 22:15:50

I can't see any harm coming from photos of classrooms being on facebook - what could happen? Often teachers don't use their real names on fb anyway, and even if they do and there is a bit of a display or drawer with a child's then all I know is Jane Smith at a school in Manchester has or had a child call Jayden in her class.

My school website also has loads of photos of buildings (inside and out), staff, children and names.

TheTroubleWithAngels Sun 02-Aug-15 22:19:07

The Twinkl KS1 Facebook page. It is quite astonishing how many photos of their room/ resources some teachers post on social media.

TheTroubleWithAngels Sun 02-Aug-15 22:20:11

My LA goes for the 'do not post ANYTHING on social media' approach, so I might be over-cautious.

carriebrody Sun 02-Aug-15 22:20:36

Rooms and resources surely aren't in any way confidential though?

TheTroubleWithAngels Sun 02-Aug-15 22:25:19

That's what I'm not sure about, carrie.

EvilTwins Mon 03-Aug-15 11:27:04

I don't think rooms and resources are confidential. What makes you think they are?

The hysteria around teachers/schools and social media annoys me TBH. I have Facebook. Of course my settings are private and I am not friends with any students or parents. However, I do have a dept Twitter feed and a dept Facebook group - the FB group is closed and I see everything posted on there. I have to approve membership and parents of my students could join if they wanted to. I have found it invaluable over the last few years, as I regularly post information about rehearsals etc and students can post photos they wan to share or ask me things (yesterday one of the girls posted to ask what time school would be open for them to pick up AS results next week)

The other side to this, though, is that my LIFE is not a secret, so the "do not post anything on social media" thing is weird. A colleague and I were in a show last week at out local theatre - so were four students. Two of my 6th form girls babysit for me and so have seen me tipsy, and have had ample opportunity to poke around my kitchen cupboards.

Most teachers are not stupid and are well aware of safeguarding considerations. Putting a photo of yiur classroom on Facebook or tweeting that you're very proud of your students is not going to cause any problems.

Happy36 Mon 03-Aug-15 17:10:32

EvilTwins Agree about the usefulness of Facebook groups. I teach English and we have a closed group for students (and parents, if they wish) where we post all sorts of articles, interviews, documentaries, etc. to help give them inspiration for AS and A2 coursework. It is well used by most of the group and allows us to do much, much more than we can during lesson time and on paper.

Hulababy Mon 03-Aug-15 17:12:55

Providing there are no identifying features such as school name/address and children's images (or children's full names):

Photographs of displays - no problem.
Photographs of classroom - no problem

Hulababy Mon 03-Aug-15 17:20:43

We would NEVER be allowed to take photographs of children to have on our own social media. But school social media, including the website, is permitted if every child featured has the required parental permissions. Names are never added to the images or videos.

I take a lot of photographs for my school - hundreds and hundreds every year - of various activities, events, trips, shows, etc. as well as normal day to day things. I then do all the photo editing and yes, they are uploaded to the school web pages. Links are sometimes made to our school social media sites also. The photographs almost always have faces on. I have two children in KS1 (last academic year) who could not appear online so they never did. The rest did and the parents generally love seeing them. They often ask for copies. We make the website images so they are not downloadable (although I know people can take screen shots, though the quality is never as good that way.)

I don't like the mistrust of the internet and social media some people, and indeed some schools, have. In most cases the benefits of such sites can far outweigh any cons. There have been some useful blogs about it.

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