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.
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. ln the past there have been concerns about the possibility of a child being identified by a photograph in the Press, or in the filming of a school event, in case they are put at risk of being targeted for abuse.
Having taken advice from Surrey Police, Surrey County Council (the Local 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 set out below:
The School’s Policy
Our policy is to broadly follow the Department for Education advice: "lf the student is named, avoid using the photograph. lf the photograph is used, avoid naming the student." 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, students' 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. lf 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. lf you do object, the school will not allow your child to be photographed by the Press.
(Please note that the school will seek an undertaking that a child's name will not be used if their image is put on the newspaper's own website.)
Although it is fairly rare for television companies to visit the school, your consent for newspaper photography 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.
lf you would like to discuss these matters in more detail, please talk to your child's teacher or another member of staff. lf in the future you should wish to change your decision on whether to give consent, you can do so at any time.
Sometimes we take photographs of children either at the school or when they are involved in organised activities away from the school site. We may use the pictures in school publications, such as the prospectus, and on our website. We may also make video or web cam recordings for use by the school. To comply with the Data Protection Act 1998, we need your permission to photograph or make any recordings of your child.
Occasionally, the school may be visited by the news media (usually local newspapers) to take photographs or film of an event at the school. Students will often appear in these images, which will be published in local newspapers or even broadcast on television.
lf your child is old enough to express their own view, we would encourage you to discuss the matter with them.
May we take photographs of your child and use them (unidentified by their full name):
- In school publications
- On the school website
- On video or webcam
Please note that websites can be viewed throughout the world and not just in the United Kingdom, where UK law applies.