iTeachingResources.com, the new website from PDC Education, has launched a comprehensive social media policy for primary and secondary school teachers. Building on the company’s twelve year’s experience in creating lesson plans and teaching materials, the social media policy provides indispensable guidance on the suitable use of sites such as Facebook in the face of increasing concerns about social networking by those working in the classroom on a daily basis. 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, with 14 teachers suspended and 18 placed on probation. In addition, 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.
Rebecca Jordan, Director & Co-Founder of PDC said, “Schools are becoming increasingly aware of the need to regulate social media use by teaching staff but often struggle to create a single, detailed policy document which is updated and organic, capable of responding to new trends and sites as they happen. In response to this need, we have liaised with internet and teaching experts to create a trusted, cohesive, accessible and robust school-wide policy that can be practically applied and will, provide clear distinctions between public and private use and most importantly, cover the safe and appropriate use of social media by members of staff.”
The policy document is available to download online from 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. It promises to help educational establishments to ensure that the use of social media by staff;
- 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 has been developed in line with good teaching in PSCHE, ICT and other subjects with regard to “safer use of the internet”. It 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 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. To purchase and for more information, please visit http://www.iteachingresources.com/lessons/details/370/Social-Media-Policy