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School twitter policy doesn't seem to be implemented properly - raise as an issue or not?

(13 Posts)
MeerkatOnMyWall Tue 07-Mar-17 13:45:12

n/c

DD Primary School uses twitter to keep parents up to date with what is going on in school e.g. reminder for trips or sports team won an award or here's something very visual we've been learning/doing today. Probably I see DD's class, her or kids from her class on a twitter post about 4 times a week.

When she started school, we had to fill in a form re twitter, did we consent etc. We also had to provide our twitter handle, so that when we requested to follow the school's feed, they would know who we were and why we would want to follow the school's feed.

Here are some excerpts from the policy:
1.School X will not accept any follower who is not directly connected with school
2. It will be a protected account - only accepted followers will be able to access content posted.
3. To do so they must complete a request authorisation form, to be approved by senior staff.

Its come to my attention that anyone can see the school feed, it is not private, you do not need to have completed a form. Also anyone can follow the school's twitter feed and in this instance be accepted as a follower, as a relative of mine clicked follow (she is a bit of a nosey cow lol) and she is now a follower, getting updates - no checks to see why she would want to follow it.

Now I know I'm going to be accused of being "that parent" again blush, and it seems to me that perhaps the twitter account is being managed by a person who doesn't really know what they are doing on it security-wise as opposed to anything malicious. But clearly the way content is available is not how it was described in letters or policies.

OTT or right to flag it up and if so to whom?

Arkadia Tue 07-Mar-17 16:46:00

Absolutely. Do speak with the school. Perhaps they don't know someone messed up somewhere.

Ferguson Tue 07-Mar-17 20:17:37

I am very surprised that ANY school uses Twitter as a means of communication, as I don't think it has much in the way of Security. So I suggest you query it with the Head Teacher, or Governors.

Schools usually have their own web-site, with areas for Staff, Parents, Year Groups, Clubs etc.

Arkadia Tue 07-Mar-17 20:23:40

Mine uses Twitter as well. Need to check the security...

smellyboot Tue 07-Mar-17 21:13:57

All the schools near us have active twitter feeds. All are open feeds. Due to my work I must be connected with 30 odd schools via it and every educationalist I know uses it to share ideas and classroom stories. Great way to get an insight into a school. I am often blown away the amazing stuff one of our 'less popular due to a outdated reputation' school does.
There twitter feed makes me wish I was 7 again

smellyboot Tue 07-Mar-17 21:15:05

What is your actual concern OP? All children will have consent in place

TeenAndTween Tue 07-Mar-17 22:00:07

Our school uses twitter.

If pupils don't have consent for photos then it won't post photos of them.
Good for school trips to say if going to be late back, and for residentials so parents can be reassured all is OK. Children never named.

OP - your school's policy seems a bit OTT. However they should either relax it or follow it.

TeenAndTween Tue 07-Mar-17 22:01:50

smelly If I thought the feed were restricted to parents only, I might have consented to photos. I would then be upset to then discover the world and his wife could see them. (We don't permit photos online).

MeerkatOnMyWall Tue 07-Mar-17 23:20:15

My concern is that whilst I love seeing pictures of DD and some schools news (its not the only means of communication by the way - they have the usual newsletter, text etc), its what TeenAndTween said. They have a policy that is supposed to restrict the feed to connected people who should see it ie parents, governors etc. But that's not the case and the world and his dog can see it.

Of course I signed consent forms for pictures, including a form for twitter, but what I signed was for restricted access rights and not the world and his oyster to see, so surely if they are going about it differently, then we should have to have a new policy and consent form?

Allthebestnamesareused Wed 08-Mar-17 14:54:59

Our school uses it as a means of communicating "news" rather than necessary information which comes by email.

So for example this weekend we had updates about the rugby team in a semi final, scores at half time and full time. A short video from the team captain after etc.

Anyone can follow it though - the same type of news appears on the school website.

I agree it should not be communicating private stuff eg. @Allthebest your new sports locker comibination is 12345

smellyboot Wed 08-Mar-17 23:14:40

Yes I see that consent for one thing is not another. They should follow the policy you signed up for. A lot of schools use photos that are e.g. Of the back of children etc.
I'm quite relaxed about it as I don't think anyone would get very excited about a vague photos of my child on a museum trip from afar and our school is massive so each child rarely appears.
( clearly different for some children re safeguarding).
I'm not sure that anyone sinister really follows a primary school twitter feed unless they want to watch chick hatching etc !!!

EduCated Sun 12-Mar-17 17:52:38

An open twitter feed wouldn't bother me, but if they have a policy in place that parents have signed up to and agreed, they shouldn't then change that completely without letting people know.

Either have a policy or don't, but don't have one and not follow it!

IlsaLund Mon 13-Mar-17 21:07:50

It sounds as if they need to update their policy.

There isn't anything wrong with the way they are using twitter - increasingly it is part of the school's public face - like the website.

However, the use and the permission forms should match up.

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