A total of 43 teachers were referred to the General Teaching Council for England in 2011 for unprofessional conduct related to the use of social media sites.
14 of these teachers were suspended and 18 were placed on probation.
As a result the NUT have recently advised all schools that they should have policies in place making it clear what teachers should and should not do in the virtual space.
Which is in fact a lot more difficult than it sounds, not least because of the fact that social media is changing day by day.
To help overcome this problem we have liaised with internet and teaching experts to create a trusted, cohesive, accessible and robust school-wide policy that provides clear distinctions between public and private use of the medium and which covers the safe and appropriate use of social media by members of staff.
The policy document is available to download online from www.iTeachingResources.com. It can be purchased as a stand-alone document and then distributed in electronic or hard copy format within a matter of minutes to all members of staff.
The resource helps educational establishments to ensure that the use of social media by staff ensuring that the usage:
- Does not bring the school into disrepute
- Does not bring the teacher into disrepute
- Does not expose the school to legal liability
- Reflects ‘safer internet’ practices
- Minimises risks associated with the personal use of social media by professionals and
- Reflects the school’s standard of behaviour and staff code of conduct.
The safe use code was written by teacher Tom Tolkien, a Senior Manager with extensive experience of whole school assessment, internet and e-safety as well as initiative and policy development.
The document provides practical step-by-step guides to applying recommended privacy settings on popular social networking sites, with explanations on how to determine if posts, comments, images, links and videos shared on a profile by a teacher are appropriate and transparent.
The policy also includes information for teaching staff about maintaining privacy and keeping personal information such as phone numbers and addresses private while using their own or school equipment.
Detailed guidelines regarding communication with parents and pupils cover sites like Facebook and Twitter, acceptable content for social network profiles and how to respond to initiated contact from pupils. The policy concludes with guidance on recognising exceptions and reporting abuse or cyber bullying.
The policy document for acceptable use of social media by staff in educational establishments is priced at £49.99, but you can save 5% by quoting HH12SMP when you order from www.iTeachingResources.com
Phone: 0113 2660880
Fax: 0113 2697889
Post to: iTeachingResources, Allerton House, 75 Allerton Hill, Leeds, LS7 3QB.