The rationale of this policy is to explain acceptable use of Twitter relating to the Whitehouse Primary School account known as @whitehouseps for staff, children, parents and governors. The policy will therefore aim to explain the purpose of Twitter in Whitehouse Primary School and the benefits that will arise from its proper use, and also deal with any potential pitfalls.
What is Twitter?
Twitter is used primarily as a method of communication made up of 140 characters called a ‘Tweet’. Tweets tend to reference people, places, and/or activities to which the said referee can respond. Tweeters either directly reference another person or broadcast information to which others can reply and respond. Twitter users are able to follow or be followed. To follow somebody/thing ensures that all of their activity and comments appear in the followers news feed. The obvious benefit of having followers is that the information you broadcast is instantly distributed into their news feed. Users can also private message each other when they don’t want conversations to appear.
@whitehouseps will not enter into private discussions with others.
What is the primary purpose of @whitehouseps?
@whitehouseps will be used principally to be followed by staff, parents and other professionals in order to advertise the excellent work by staff, children, parents and governors. It will also contain information detailing special events in school. The aim of this is to run alongside more traditional methods like sending home letters, and not to replace it.
Using images of pupils or groups of pupils no names will be included. Where parents have informed school that they do not wish their child’s image to be used on the school web site and in public arenas, this will also be respected with regards to the school’s Twitter feed. Parents will be given the chance to ‘opt out’ each school year by completing the appropriate form handed out at the beginning of each school year or in-year should a child be admitted during term time (available from the school office).
Guidance for posting tweets:
Where possible photos should be group shots, pupil names will not be included in posts.
Reporting on planned events should be made retrospectively wherever possible
Staff wishing to post should request admin rights or ask an approved person to make the post. Personal Twitter feeds should not be used or retweeted allowing others to access staff personal accounts from the school page.
Staff will not become involved in any private discussion with other posters via direct mail facilities on Twitter.
Who controls content for @whitehouseps ?
The uploading of content for @whitehouseps will be controlled by members of the Senior Leadership Team and the ICT Leader. They will be responsible for the uploading of content and password protection. The Senior Leadership Team and ICT Leader are also responsible for password protection for potential future class pages, and the content displayed on class pages along with class teachers.
Who can follow @whitehouseps?
Anyone is able to follow @whitehouseps so long as they understand it is a ‘good news and information sharing’ tool.
Followers of @whitehouseps may be blocked should school checks reveal any concerns of a safeguarding nature. Concerns could be:
- The quality of the biography of each individual as read in the bio section of their Twitter account
- The images on view in the potential followers Twitter account
- Language used in Tweets on an account
- The school reserve the right to block an account for any other reason deemed appropriate in order to safeguard pupils, all other stakeholders and the school
In most cases, one or more of the above will be enough to block an account. In the unlikely event that a parent, or other suitable follower is incorrectly blocked, the SLT or ICT Leader will hear each individual on a case-by-case basis. These hearings will usually involve the prospective follower making themselves known in person to the above named persons, with their Twitter details, and should take no more than a few minutes.
Checking of the school Twitter account and followers
To support safeguarding procedures, the school Twitter account followers will be checked weekly by a member of the SLT. This will be done on a random basis. Any concerns will be reported to SLT or the IT Lead and a decision on blocking an account will be made.
What is inappropriate content and referencing
and how will it be dealt with?
@whitehouseps welcomes any referencing, mentions, or interactions that show the school in a positive light only. Therefore, Whitehouse Primary School deems any of the following as inappropriate:
Offensive language or remarks aimed at the school, its staff, parents, governors or others affiliated with the school
Unsuitable images or content posted into its feed
Unsuitable images or content finding its way from another’s account into the @whitehouseps
Comments that aim to undermine the school, its staff, parents, governors or others affiliated with the school
Any inappropriate content will be deleted and its users will be removed, blocked, and, depending on the nature of the comment, reported to Twitter. Furthermore, incidents of a more serious nature may be reported to the appropriate authority.
Responsible following of the school Twitter account
Governors of Whitehouse Primary School strongly request that followers of @whitehouseps DO NOT use images of other people’s children posted on the school Twitter feed to repost on their own social networking sites or pages.
Date ratified by Governing Body: November 2018
Date for review: November 2020
Class twitter accounts may be used in future as a way of children sharing their learning securely with each other and the class. This is currently not being used and guidance will be issued on how this is achieved in a safe way when it is implemented in school.