Photography of children at St. Joseph’s is subject to the Data Protection Act 1998 regarding the rights of individuals to have information of a personal nature treated in an appropriate manner and the Human Rights Act 1998, protecting the privacy of individuals and families. As well as these statutory rights, restrictions on photography arise from issues of child protection and copyright in performances (paragraph 4.5)


In this policy, ‘photography’ includes photographic prints and transparencies, video, film and digital imaging and ‘in school’ is whenever pupils are the responsibility of the School Governors/Children’s Services. ‘Parent’ means anyone with parental rights and responsibilities in relation to a pupil.


1. The Purpose of the Policy


St. Joseph’s whole school policy is one that provides clear direction to staff and parents about what constitutes good practice in dealing with photography in school. It is intended to:


  • Facilitate photography for the business purposes of the school and council
  • Respect the rights of the individual
  • Safeguard child protection
  • Allow personal family photography where possible
  • Ensure all staff, parents and pupils are aware of the systems in place.


A clear policy statement will be included in both our prospectus for parents and staff handbook, outlining that the use, specifically of mobile camera phones, during school time is not acceptable. This is in view of the risks inherent in such use, possibly but not necessarily covert, which include the existence and/or distribution of photographs contrary to the wishes, welfare and privacy of pupils and staff.

2. Photography by School Staff


2.1  The business of the school can involve staff in the photography of pupils for the following main purposes:


  • Curriculum work
  • School and community events


Copyright and use of these photographs is carefully controlled by the Local Authority, i.e. they are retained safely by the school or issued to the pupil concerned or safeguarded by an officer of the Council.


2.2 Photographs held in school will be annotated with the date on which they were taken and stored securely. Photographs taken for curricular, assessment, registration or training and development purposes will not be used for any other purpose.


2.3 Photography by staff on school trips and visits may be used in the curriculum and displayed within the school or at parents’ evenings to illustrate the work of the school.


2.4.1 Photographs will be destroyed or deleted from databases once they are no longer required for the purposes for which they were taken. Photographs taken for publicity and promotional purposes will be retained for a maximum of two years. Photographs contributing to the history of the school, pupil activities or the community can be retained indefinitely.


2.5  In the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) photographs are taken on a daily     basis for assessment purposes and form an important part of the children’s ‘Learning Journals’. Written permission will be sought before any journals are sent home at the end of the year and where permission is not given, photographs will be removed.


3. Photographs by Other Authorised Agencies


3.1 The involvement of other agencies may only be authorised by the Headteacher or by Children’s Services. The other agencies are:


  • Children’s Services
  • Commercial photographers commissioned by the council or Headteacher. Copyright rests with the photographer.
  • The press and other media. Copyright rests with the photographer
  • Officers of the council, including Children’s Services. The authority controls copyright.


3.2 Publicity photography is helpful in publicizing the success of the school and in promoting educational initiatives. From time to time, members of the press are invited into school to cover events celebrating success. However, the views of parents who, for any reason, do not wish their child(ren) to appear in such photographs will always be respected.


3.2 The purpose of the pictures will be explained to parents and written permission sought on each and every occasion. Pupils must not be photographed for these purposes under any circumstances unless written permission has been obtained.


3.3 Class and individual or group photographs are annual school events. Parents are asked in advance whether or not they wish their children to be included in these events. Reputable commercial photographers are involved and the law allows them to retain the copyright of the photographs.


4. Parental Photography


4.1 Photography in schools traditionally forms part of each family’s record of their child’s progress and a celebration of success and achievement as well as being an established social practice.


4.2  If practical, arrangements will be made to allow parents to take photographs at school concerts/performances and other events. Photography, however, is secondary and will not be allowed to upset the performance or smooth running of the event or affect the health and safety of pupils and others.


4.3 Parental permission, (or non permission), will be sought at first enrolment and thereafter annually, via our contact forms, to take photographs for curriculum purposes in school.


4.4 Parental photography will not include any child whose parent has refused consent for any reason. We will, therefore, offer photography opportunities before or after events for those who wish to be involved.


4.5.1 Video or sound recording of a copyright musical or theatrical performance is normally forbidden. In the event of such performances being held in school, parents and families will be informed of infringement of copyright rules.


Date of Policy:   April 2010