Using Photographic Images of Children – Seeking Your Consent 3


Dear Parent or Guardian

This letter explains why we need to ask for your consent to any photographs that may be taken of your child while he or she is at school. When you have read it, please complete and return the attached form to let us know your wishes.

Generally, photographs of children for school and family use, and occasionally for publication in the local Press, are a source of pleasure and pride and so are to be welcomed. However, we live in an age in which technology has vastly increased the use, and potential misuse, of photographs and images.

Having taken advice from the Local Education Authority and other organisations, we believe that the risk of a child being identified by a stranger is so small that, provided reasonable steps are in place to limit the publication of their names and addresses, photography of children at the school should continue, in line with the policy summary set out below.

Our policy is to broadly follow the Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF) advice: “If the pupil is named, avoid using the photograph. If the photograph is used, avoid naming the pupil.” So we will not use children’s full names alongside their photographs in the school’s own printed publications, in video films or on our website. However, pupils’ first names may be used, and their full names may be given in group situations where they cannot be linked to individuals in the photograph.

With regard to the Press, the school will allow local newspapers to take photographs of children, when appropriate, provided that parental consent has been given. Some newspapers insist that children’s names must be published with their photographs. If not, they may decline to cover school events. Therefore we will normally give the children’s full names (but not addresses) to newspapers.

That is why it is important for you to tell us whether you have any objection. If you do object, the school will not allow your child to be photographed by the Press.

Although it is fairly rare for television companies to visit the school, your consent for newspaper photographs would also apply to television images. However, children’s names are normally not given on television and we would seek specific permission from you if your child’s name were to be used.

The Data Protection Act 1998 affects our use of photography. This is because an image of a child is personal data for the purpose of the Act, and it is a requirement that consent is obtained from the parent(s) of a child.

The Data Protection Act is not relevant if there are parents who express a wish to take photographs or make a video recording of a particular event for their own personal use. Parents are not permitted, however, to take photographs or to make a video recording for anything other than their own personal use (e.g. with a view to selling videos of a school event). Recording and/or photographing other than for private use would require the consent of the other parents whose children may be captured on film.
Without this consent the parents concerned would be in breach of the Data Protection Act.

Please now complete and return a copy of the consent form which you can download here.. If you would like to discuss these matters in more detail, please contact the school. If in the future you should wish to change your decision on whether to give consent, you can do so at anytime by contacting the school in writing.

This policy does not affect our use of photographs inside the school e.g. for displays, photographs in order to evidence work (e.g. artwork, sculptures etc.) WOW Assemblies and general schoolwork.

I apologise if you feel that this procedure is overly complicated but it is necessary in order to comply with the law.

Yours sincerely

Jon Smith
Headteacher

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