Westward School

Social Media Policy


The use of the latest technology is actively encouraged at Westward but with this comes a responsibility to protect both pupils and the school from abuse of the system.

All pupils, parents, staff and visitors therefore must adhere to the policy set out below. This policy covers all computers, laptops, cameras and electronic devices within the school, irrespective of who is the owner.

All pupils, staff and visitors are expected to behave responsibly on the school computer network, as they would in classrooms and in other areas of the school.

Failure to comply with this policy will constitute a disciplinary offence and will be dealt with appropriately within the school's disciplinary procedures. The ultimate sanction is that the school reserves the right to suspend or permanently remove your child's access to some or all of the school's ICT facilities. 


The school reserves the right to monitor the use of the network, internet and e-mail systems. If it is discovered that any of the systems are being abused and/or that the terms of this policy are being breached, appropriate disciplinary action will be taken.


Pupils and staff should treat any property belonging to the school with respect and reasonable care and report any faults or breakages to a member of office staff.


Pupils and staff should be aware of the potential damage that can be caused by computer viruses. Pupils and staff must not download, install or run any programs or data (including computer games) or open e-mails from unknown or unidentifiable sources.

System Security

  • All computers and laptops are password protected. Passwords are changed on a regular basis.
  • Pupils should not attempt to gain unauthorised access to anyone else's user area or to any information which they are not authorised to access.
  • Do not make deliberate attempts to disrupt or damage the school network, any device attached to it or any data stored on it or transmitted across.
  • Do not alter school hardware in any way.
  • Do not knowingly misuse headphones or any external devices e.g. printers, mouses.
  • Do not eat or drink while using the computer.
  • All users should log out of any device properly as well as ensure the device is shutdown in order to protect user data.

Leaving workstations

If a person leaves their workstation for any period of time they should log out of their workstation.


The school recognises the benefits to using the Internet in an educational environment. The Internet facility is provided for school related activities only. The school monitors the use of the Internet.

The school internet system is protected by securly (http://www.securly.com) which monitors all website access against preset policies. Any inappropriate material, whether it be sexual, violent, extremist or illegal in nature will be blocked and the System Administrator alerted, who will in turn alert the school E-Safety Officer, as to the inappropriate material being accessed.

Viewing, retrieving or downloading of any material that the school considers inappropriate will result in appropriate disciplinary action.

Good Practice Guide for Staff, Pupils and Parents

Staff Personal Safety

It is vitally important that staff are careful about content that they search out or download. Every time you view a page on the internet, it is possible to trace your visit back to the School computer. This means that it is possible to tell if the school computer was being used to look at inappropriate web pages.

Staff need to ensure that films or other material shown to children are age-appropriate.

Staff must be aware of their responsibilities to the school when using social networking sites such as Facebook. Our confidentiality policy must be adhered to at all times, even outside of working hours. It is important to maintain your status as a professional teacher and therefore we would urge you to think twice before fostering online friendships with parents and pupils.

Disciplinary action could result if the school is brought into disrepute.

  • Staff must not post anything on any online site that could be construed to have an adverse impact on the school's reputation.
  • Staff must not post photos related to the school on any internet site including pupils, parents, staff or the school branding (uniform).
  • Staff must not post anything onto social networking sites that would offend any other member of staff, pupil or parent using the school.
  • Staff will be required to attend an annual internet safety course and ensure that they pass this information on to the children in their care.
  • Staff should use their school email account for all school-related communications.
  • Staff to be aware of the various members of staff responsible for Safeguarding issues - S.Stevenson (Designated Safeguarding Lead), K.Callaby (Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead) and R.Pettipher (E-Safety Officer).
  • Staff members should refer to the Staff Code of Conduct for more information.

Children are encouraged to use the internet at Westward but must be supervised at all times.

Pupil Personal safety

  • The school will organise internet safety lessons on a termly basis with one from an external presenter.
  • Pupils must not play with or remove any cables etc that are attached to a school computer.
  • Pupils will be taught how to stay safe when working on line at school and at home.
  • Pupils must not post anything onto social networking sites that would offend any other member of staff, pupil or parent using the school.
  • Pupils must not post anything on any online site that can be constructed to have an adverse impact on the school's reputation.
  • Pupils must not post photos of video related to the school on any internet sites including pupils, staff, parents or the school branding (uniform).
  • Pupils should never reveal their full name, any address or contact details, any school or network user ID or password online, even if communicating with known acquaintances.
  • Pupils should be aware that the potential exists for predators to remain entirely anonymous and easily pose as someone else.
  • Pupils should employ a healthy mistrust of anyone that they "meet" online unless their identity can be verified.
  • The use of chat rooms and social networking sites are not permitted in school.
  • Do not arrange to meet anyone you have met on the internet - people are not always who they say they are.

Visit and explore the Cyber Cafe for your age group at http://www.thinkyouknow.co.uk for more information about how to stay safe when working online.


  • Parents will be invited to an e-safety evening run by an external presenter which will consist of advice and useful tips to help support them in ensuring their child's computer and internet safety at home.
  • Parents need to be aware of that parental control software is often available via their ISP so that they can manage and control their child's computer and internet activity. Mobile phone operators also offer free parental control software services to limit the kind of content your children can access through the mobile network.
  • Parents need to be aware that the parental control software doesn't replace the need for supervision and education when working on the internet.
  • Computers for children should be used in a shared space where parents can see the screen.
  • Parents should take an interest in their children's internet use and discuss various issues pertaining to the internet.
  • Parents should be aware of various age limits on games and social networking sites. These are there for a reason.
  • Parents should discuss the care needed when their children meet online "friends". Only talk to people they know. Parents should remind their children not to give out any personal details nor details of family and friends, even to people they know.
  • Parents should encourage their children to tell them if anything online makes them feel uncomfortable.
  • Parents should make their child aware of the dangers of meeting someone they have only met online.
  • Parents should be aware that they are in control and that they have every right to check on their children's online activities as well as their mobile usage.
  • Parents should encourage offline activities. Socialising with friends and taking part in physical activities is really important.

You can find out more about how children use social media, the apps they use, the risks they face, how to use privacy settings, and advice and tips about how to talk to children about e-safety at;

The UK Safer Internet Centre website


CEOP's Thinkuknow website



Internet Matters






Parent Zone


Ask About Games (where families make sense of video games)



Inappropriate Behaviour

Bullying of another person will be treated with the highest severity.

Cyber Bullying

  • Lessons concerning cyber bullying to be carried out termly through the Computing and PSHE curriculum.
  • By cyber bullying, the school is referring to: bullying by e-mail, messages, images, calls or other electronic communication.
  • Use of mobile phone cameras to cause distress, fear or humiliation.
  • Posting threatening, abusive, defamatory or humiliating material on websites (including social networking sites)
  • Hijacking or hacking e-mail accounts
  • Making threatening, abusive, defamatory or humiliating remarks in chat rooms or on instant messaging services
  • The use of Social Media for the use of bullying, grooming, abuse and radicalisation

Pupils should be aware that cyberbullying is generally criminal in character and that English law does apply. The school will endeavour to resolve all matters using the school's Behaviour Policy without Police involvement but parents of victims do have the right to seek Police intervention. This will be closely linked to the school's Anti-Bullying Policy and Westward's Safeguarding and Child Protection Policy which can be read separately or in conjunction with this policy.


Before doing anything, take a deep breath and remain calm. There's lots of information and advice on the http://www.thinkyouknow.co.uk site to keep your child safe and access support.

Having a calm and open conversation is one way for you and your child to explore what is happening in an honest and supportive way.

Discuss your concerns with someone you trust, for example a friend, partner or the school.

You can also talk to a professional at the NSPCC helpline on 0808 800 5000.

Talking about it will help decide the best action to take to ensure your child is safe.



If you are concerned about online grooming or sexual behaviour online you can contact CEOP: http://www.ceop.police.uk or alternatively you can click on the 'Report Abuse' button located at http://www.thinkyouknow.co.uk.

If you stumble across criminal sexual or obscene content on the internet you should report it to the Internet Watch Foundation: http://www.iwf.org.uk.

You can also report directly to your local police force.

If you think your child is in immediate danger call 999.


Personal use

E-mail is provided for school related purposes only. The school monitors the use of e-mail and disciplinary action may be taken if inappropriate uses of personal e-mails are discovered.


E-mail should be treated in the same way as any other form of written communication. Anything that is written in an e-mail is treated in the same way as any form of writing. Pupils and staff should not include anything in an e-mail that is not appropriate to be published generally. Any e-mail message which is abusive, discriminatory on grounds of sex, race, disability, sexual orientation or religious belief, or defamatory is not permitted.


Trivial messages and jokes should not be sent or forwarded using the school e-mail system. Not only could these cause distress to recipients but could also cause a degradation and/or damage to the school's network.

Plagiarism and copyright

  • Plagiarism is taking the ideas or writings of others and presenting them as your own. Do not plagiarise works that you find on the internet or anywhere else.
  • You should respect copyright. Breaking copyright laws occurs when you reproduce a piece of work that is protected by copyright. If you are unsure whether or not you can use a piece of work, you should request permission from the copyright owner. This includes the copying of music files and CDs.
  • The school purchases appropriate licences where required.


  • All files and emails on the system are property of the school. As such, system administrators and staff have the right to access them if required.

Secure Documents

  • All e-mails of a sensitive or secure nature should be sent using the "Egress" email system. Staff can find out about this by talking to a member of the office staff, the Headteacher or the E-Safety Officer Mr Pettipher.


The word photography is used in this policy to include traditional photographs and digital images of any kind, still or moving.

It is our intention to provide an environment in which children, parents and staff are safe from images being recorded and inappropriately used.

Photography and video are familiar features of life, playing a significant role in commerce, entertainment and communication; it is commonplace in our homes and it is an important element of school life.

At Westward we feel it is vital that achievements are recognised and that pupils feel valued, proud and happy. Photography is a useful tool within school and it is employed routinely in many ways, for example; record keeping, displays, special events, the 'Westward Times', teachers' lessons and the children's own work.

On occasions photos are also used for the Press, school website and other promotional purposes.

Children will only be named in photographs that are displayed within the school. We will not provide children's full names for any other purpose unless special parental consent has been received.

We are, however, sensitive to the wishes and rights of parents who may not wish their children to be photographed and who may have concerns about the use of such images.

Taking Photographs and Video

All parents are asked to give consent for photography of their child by completing a permission slip that is held on file. A register is kept of children who must not be included in press, website or any other photographic image, still or moving.

All reasonable measures will be taken to ensure that no child on the register is photographed or videoed by a visitor to school or while on an educational visit outside school. The exception to this may be photographs taken by parents at events such as concerts and Christmas services.

From time to time we invite the Press into school to share special events and achievements within the local community. We 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 only if requested by them. That is why it is important for you to tell us whether you have any objections.

Images taken by School staff

Only the school's cameras or video equipment are to be used by staff when taking photographs. All equipment must be handed in at the end of the day to the Headteachers office where it is locked away until the following day.

The printing of images is always carried out on the school premises. All photographic images held on cameras or memory sticks will be deleted at the end of each week.

All images taken must be deemed suitable without putting the child in any compromising positions that could cause embarrassment or distress.

Under no circumstances will a camera be allowed into the bathroom areas unless a member of the Senior Management team is present. For example, if staff in the Early Years would like photos of the children washing their hands for hygiene posters a member of the Senior Management team must be present.

Photographs taken as records of events or for educational purposes may be displayed around the school. They are then archived or shredded after use.

Photographs used for evidence in the Early Years Learning Journeys will be handed to the parent at the end of the Reception year.

Photographs are not exchanged with anyone outside school, or removed for private use by any employee or volunteer.

Images taken by adults other than school staff

When a commercial photographer/filmmaker (e.g. Tempest) is used we will;

  • Provide a clear brief
  • Issue Identification
  • Inform parents and children
  • Obtain consent
  • Not allow unsupervised access to children

Images taken by children

The school encourages children to take photographs on school trips or on residential visits using a disposable camera as a way of recording events.

There is no reason why pupils should not be allowed to take photographs so long as anyone photographing respects the privacy of the person being photographed. This is seen as part of the school's code of behaviour.

Infringement of this respect of privacy is akin to bullying and will be dealt with in the same way as any other breach of school discipline.

Under no circumstances will pupils be allowed to bring to school or take on trips any electronic devices such as tablets, smartphones, laptop or other computer devices which have the capability to film videos or internet access.

Should the school learn about any inappropriateness of image use involving our pupils or staff, we will immediately act and report it as we would for any other child protection issue.

Use of Mobile Phones

The following rules apply for the use of personal mobile phones;


  • Pupils are not permitted to bring mobile phones or personally owned devices into school.
  • Pupils in Year 6 who have been given permission to walk home from school must hand in their mobile phones at the school office when they arrive in the morning for safe-keeping in a locked drawer in the office during school hours.
  • If a pupil breaches the school policy then the phone or device will be confiscated and will be held in a secure place in the school office. Mobile phones and devices will be released to parents or carers in accordance with school policy.


  • The school accepts that employees will bring their mobile phones to work.
  • Mobile phones and personally owned devices brought into school are the responsibility of the device owner. The school accepts no responsibility for the loss, theft or damage of personally owned mobile phones or mobile devices.
  • Employees are not permitted to make/receive calls/texts during lessons or formal school time or use recording equipment on their mobile phones or personal devices to take photographs/videos of children.
  • Staff use of mobile phones during the school day will normally be limited to the morning/lunch break and after school.
  • Mobile phones should be switched off (or silent) and left in a safe place during lesson times. Staff should use phones in designated areas. The designated area is the Staff Room. If a private call needs to be made then a request for a room can be made to the Headteacher.
  • Mobile phones are not permitted in areas where children are present.
  • In the event that an employee has a particular reason for a specified period of time, they may request via the Headteacher that they leave their phone on during working hours.
  • If a staff member breaches the school policy then disciplinary action may be taken as appropriate.
  • Staff should ensure that their phones are protected with PIN/access codes in case of loss or theft.
  • Mobile phones should not be used in a space where children are present unless the school phone is being used for a medical reason, Out of School Care or the teacher is in a remote location such as at St Andrew's Hall, Xcel Leisure Centre or on a class outing.


The School refers to the National Education Network for guidance on e-security. http://www.nen.gov.uk


Last updated

July 2017