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Use of Social Media


Parents, Carers and Visitors Code of Conduct: Use of Social Media


Over recent years social media tools have become an integral feature of modern life, providing opportunities for organisations (both public and private sector) and citizens to engage and communicate.  A key feature of many social media tools is their unparalleled ability to broadcast and receive information quickly and link to a whole network of people in a matter of seconds.  It is also the case that material broadcast via Facebook and Twitter can persist in the digital world almost indefinitely often reaching a wider audience than the author had originally intended.


As a public body and regulated setting, responsible for the care and education of children, St Theresa’s school is committed to the responsible and appropriate use of social media.  Its own use of social media is governed by its adoption of St Helens Council Social Media Policy (March 2011) itself informed by the Cabinet Office: Participation Online Guidance for Civil Servants (June 2008).


Social media tools include, but are not limited to:


  • Blogs\Microblogging


  • Social Networking


  • Collaboration Networking Media


  • Social Bookmarking


  • Photo and Video sharing


  • RSS Aggregation Services


This guidance forms part of St Theresa’s school’s code of conduct for parents, carers and visitors and seeks to extend those principles to the digital world.  It is not intended to stifle legitimate debate, discussion or interfere with private use of social media tools.  It aims to:


  • Clarify expectations about the use of social media tools by parents, carers or visitors as it relates to St Theresa’s school.


  • Outline the steps St Theresa’s school will take if it considers social media content to be offensive, inappropriate, inaccurate or otherwise unacceptable.


  • Protect the reputation of St Theresa’s school and ensure that social media use supports its educational, spiritual and pastoral ethos.


  • Support the use of existing school policies and procedures to resolve issues of concern.


As part of its code of conduct for parents, carers and visitors St Theresa’s school expects the following standards to apply in the use of social media tools:


  • Foul, abusive, discriminatory or threatening material about the school, its staff or pupils will not be tolerated.  Parents\carers posting such material will be contacted by the school for its immediate removal.  Whenever necessary the school shall seek legal advice on any further action that might be necessary.


  • If parents\carers become aware of offensive/abusive or factually inaccurate postings about St Theresa’s school it is requested that these are brought to the attention of headteacher or member of school staff at the earliest opportunity.


  • St Theresa’s school has policies and procedures for a wide range of issues including bullying, attendance, additional needs and complaints.  As such, social media tools are not an appropriate vehicle for progressing such matters.  Schools will not engage with parents\carers via this route but will direct parents\carers to the appropriate procedure.


  • When factually incorrect information is posted about St Theresa’s school via social media, the author(s) will be contacted by the school for its removal\correction.


  • St Theresa’s school has a safeguarding duty to all of its pupils and will take appropriate action if it considers social media contents to compromise this.  This can include the identification of child through social media discussion and the use of visual material within content.