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Home School Agreement and Social Media

The challenge of social media and schools


Social media (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.) has had widespread impact on the way in which we communicate and express our thoughts and opinions. There are clearly many benefits for us both as individuals and also as communities, ECS, like many schools, are exploring how we might best harness the power of social media to engage even more closely with parents and students.

We live in a society where we are proud of our right to freedom of speech and would not wish to suggest that this should be curtailed in any way. There are nevertheless, risks to using social media: the internet and social platforms such as Facebook and Whats App, are not always a safe or private place.  ‘Oversharing’ or otherwise improper sharing, could potentially put your child and others at risk. We have therefore put together a code of conduct to help us all navigate through the useful, but also potentially dangerous, world of social media in the context of ECS. This is attached and available on the school website. Please take time to look at this.

We do in addition, wish to flag some specific points about how social media should be used as a forum for parents’ views.

Social media as a forum for parents’ views

The staff at ECS work tremendously hard to provide the very best education for our students and always want to work in partnership with parents and the wider community. We very much operate an ‘open door’ policy, with teachers and senior leaders readily available to listen to parents’ views, using the ‘comments and suggestions’ box in the school office.

We recognise that there will be occasions where, for whatever reason, parents may not agree with a particular course of action or may have specific concerns. It is entirely natural to discuss school life and express our thoughts and opinions with others. Some of these conversations are now also being aired on social media. This might lead to a whole host of unintended consequences, including the person posting losing control over who might ultimately see the comment and how they might interpret it.  Comments and observations posted on social media can so easily cause offence if aired in the public domain, and may in some cases, be intimidating or even slanderous.   It is therefore normally most appropriate to raise such concerns face-to-face, or at least in some form of private communication. We would like to encourage all parents to use these routes going forward.

Common questions

If the site I post comments on is ‘private’, then why should I worry about what I say, as only my ‘friends’ can read it?

Once a comment has been posted there is nothing to stop other users forwarding or sharing it. What started as an initial ‘sounding off’ can quickly spread much more widely and cause unintended hurt including to pupils.

How can parents help?

  • Please only use social media in line with the school’s code of conduct.
  • Please do not refer in any way (directly or indirectly) to individual students or staff on social media.
  • If you have a concern about an aspect of school life, please talk first to someone at the school as this will normally be the best way to handle these kind of concerns.
  • If in doubt, check first with a member of staff. In particular, please refrain from posting on social media or chat groups, comments which may be considered to be threatening or discriminatory. Such behaviour will not be tolerated. Under the current law The Police could become involved and have the authority to seize mobile devices and contact service providers.​

Final thoughts

Thank you again to all pupils, parents and carers who help make ECS the wonderful community which it is. We look forward to continuing to partner with you, using all the benefits of social media to encourage and promote positive role models in both the digital world as well as the real world. Whilst our students may be the more knowledgeable in using modern communication technologies, it is the partnership of schools and parents that can help them to use it wisely, safely and responsibly.

Home School Agreement July 2022