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in thinking the Data Protection Act wasn't intended to stop parents from filming their children's nativity play?

(17 Posts)
ilovemydogandMrObama Fri 03-Dec-10 16:29:18

DD (4) is in Reception. Her father cannot make it for the play as he is working and cannot take the day off, despite having tried. I called the school to see if I could film it, and was told that the Data Protection Act meant I couldn't, and that other parents didn't want their children filmed.

I queried when parents were asked, and the school said parents were asked at the start of the year whether their children could be photographed and several responded, 'no.'

Fair enough, but a few weeks ago the Book Trust were around the school taking pictures of the whole class hmm

RandyRussian Fri 03-Dec-10 16:33:26

Nothing to do with the Data Protection Act.
That's to stop companies passing on your details to a 3rd party.
I don't think such filmimg is actually illegal but lots of places discourage it - swimming baths frinstance.


Firawla Fri 03-Dec-10 16:37:22

yanbu, i think that is quite a shame. i think most schools still allow it dont they?
wonder whether it would be fairer for them to say if you dont want to allow any pics/video etc of your dc then they cant be in school plays and performances, otherwise just makes it impractical for everyone else. its only a pic/video, what do people think is going to happen with it?? unless they are in witness protection obviously, but if not i think its v ott and i would be annoyed if my dc was in a performance and we were not allowed ne pic or videos

HowsTheSerenity Fri 03-Dec-10 16:39:49

So it is not illegal then? I am off to DC first dance show and notes have come out saying that photography is not allowed and that we have to buy the £12 DVD. I thought that as it was a public place I can pretty much do as I want in regards to photography.

EminentlyImminent Fri 03-Dec-10 16:42:32

They have very much misunderstood the DPA.

This article is helpful

If they have a policy of no filming schools generally film it themselves and then make an extortionate profit on selling DVD copies to parents. Ask them if they will at least be doing this.

juuule Fri 03-Dec-10 16:46:15

Not illegal at all.
From the Information Commissioners Office

coatgate Fri 03-Dec-10 16:46:29

Tis not illegal. We had this at DD's primary school and some wise owl checked it out and said people were being overly cautious and hiding behind the data protection act.

HarrietTheSpook Fri 03-Dec-10 16:48:11

It is completely ridiculous and all and sundry are trying to hide behind the legislation to get parents to do things like pay £20 for videos of things. Serious bugbear with this attitude.

SantasMooningArse Fri 03-Dec-10 16:48:54

I've been invovled with why a school did this: it was becuase one of the kids was fostered and under a court order becuase the parents would likely take and potentially even kill said child.

It happens mroe than you think (the protection order and ban on having photo taken- doesn;t take much to track down a child if you know they are in X area and you hang about a few people on facebook or whatever). And taking teh child out so the aprents can have pictures is mean.

BUT I have notied that schools are now seeming to use this rule to stop people taking films so tehy can buy the DVD and that's just fundraising and no more.

onimolap Fri 03-Dec-10 16:49:40

I think excluding children because they cannot be filmed is unkind - especially if the reason is witness protection or escaping DV.

If the school knows there are families who must not be filmed, then I think that should be respected.

The error this school seems to have made (aside from those in terminology) is in permitting the Book Trust to photograph - however that error should not be repeated by allowing more unconsented photography.

BreconBeBuggered Fri 03-Dec-10 16:50:32

You're there at the invitation of the head and governors, so they can prevent you filming as it's not a public place. More to do with safeguarding children than the Data Protection Act. However, I do agree that unless there's a very good reason it can only lead to frustration amongst parents if the school denies them the opportunity to take pictures. Trouble is, if there is such a sensitive issue in any individual school, parents won't know about it.

Any photographs taken by an outside agency (or the school itself) will only be used in accordance with strict rules, some of which do relate to Data Protection. Maybe that's where the confusion arises. Whatever the reasoning, it's a big fat PITA for both sides.

randomthoughtprocess Fri 03-Dec-10 16:50:53

Hows It depends where it's held - if it's in a properly "public" place eg an outdoor performance at a park then no, they can't stop you (& probably wouldn't be able to).

If it's at a venue, particularly if it's a ticketed event, then it's not unreasonable for them to prevent photography on the grounds that they are protecting their copyright in the show - especially if they want to sell DVDs at the end. I accept that it seems a bit OTT for DC's first dance show, but that's their perogative.

Also, I have to say that as a performer (though not a dancer - I can't imagine anyone wanting to see me haul my fat arse round a stage...) it's very distracting when people take pictures, as they always leave the flash on etc, & while they may only be taking one picture, 50 people "only taking one" soon becomes annoying

curlymama Fri 03-Dec-10 16:53:04

It's not against the Data Protection Act, as others have said, but if other parents have said they don't want their children filmed then the school has to respect that and not allow you to film.

It may just be one child that was away at the book fair thing, or maybe the concern from the parents followed the pictures being taken then.

It is sad for parents that they can't film their children doing something special, but there's not much you can do about it I'm afraid.

wannaBe Fri 03-Dec-10 16:58:32

there's nothing more irritating than 100 parents snapping away with their bloody cameras/video cameras during a performance...

But having said that, while it is not necessarily illegal/because of the data protection act, schools/parents often have valid reasons why they do not want their children photographed.

If children are in care/if parents have escaped from an abusive relationship then often they do not want their children to be identified/traced.

And let's face it - it's not like when we were kids where you take a picture,, have the film developed and said picture gets put in a box - we take pictures on digital cameras, upload them to facebook where all our 300 friends and all of their 300 friends can potentially see them, making the distribution that much wider and the possibility that a vulnerable child could be put at risk that much greater.

so - yabu.

Niceguy2 Fri 03-Dec-10 16:59:53

I think its bloody stupid. Law aside (its clearly not illegal), the tail should not wag the dog.

If you are not comfortable for whatever reason that your child might be filmed/photographed, withdraw your child. Simple.

I don't see why the majority should suffer because of the particular needs of a couple of people.

ilovemydogandMrObama Fri 03-Dec-10 17:01:16

Thanks for all the links smile

Yes of course, I will respect other parent's wishes, but the consent form at the beginning of the year asked if we gave permission for our child to be photographed by a 3rd party which I vaguely recollect from all the forms at registration.

Am sure that most parents didn't realize that this would include other parents not being able to film/photograph their own children.

PerpetuallyAnnoyedByHeadlice Fri 03-Dec-10 17:04:06

At our school some PGCE students were in taking photos of children doing activities they had prepared- they were then to show the photos to the teacher who would tell them which ones they could and could not use

ie which had children in them who for WHATEVER GOOD REASON are not allowed to be photographed, even for school displays and the website etc

while i sympathise with th OP, you have no idea why these parent s need to say this - its certainly not just to spoil your fun!

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