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POLICY ON Social Media

Rationale

We are committed to a 21st century education for our children, maintaining the highest standards of professional behaviour, and an environment that is safe for children and adults.

Purpose

This policy covers the use of multimedia, cyber safety, social media and other information and image-sharing devices. It covers use of email, websites, blogs, Facebook, Twitter and other social networking sites, video cameras, sound recorders and other technologies.

When used appropriately these are 21st century tools for children and great tools for staff to use in many aspects of their work. On the other hand, misuse can be very damaging to children, staff and the centre.

Procedures

General

  • Staff must sign an agreement about use of multimedia tools, and social and other online media.
  • Visitors and researchers may not take images of children’s faces without the specific permission of the Manager and parents/caregivers/whãnau because the centre cannot know what will happen with these images.

Multimedia

  • The Centre uses a range of multimedia devices to support learning, professional development and as assessment and information sharing tools.
  • Staff can take digital images and recordings of children at the Centre to show evidence of their learning, to record special events and where permission given - for marketing.
  • Any staff member who allows another person, who does not have a signed use agreement with the centre to use its ICT equipment, is responsible for that use, and may be held responsible for any misuse.
  • Parents/caregivers and whãnau of children attending the Centre can take images at the centre that involve their own child or children.
  • Wherever possible, these should be taken on Centre equipment so that images stay at the Centre.
  • Parents/caregivers and whãnau are entitled to copies of these images and recordings. They may only be shared through confidential means with family/whãnau unless they give specific permission for sharing through more accessible means e.g. Centre website.
  • Use of all personally owned ICT devices in the workplace must first be approved by the management and must be appropriate to the Centre’s environment.
  • All ICT equipment/devices should be cared for in a responsible manner. Any damage, loss or theft of ICT equipment/devices must be reported immediately to the Manager.

Online communication

  • The Centre uses a range of online tools to support children’s learning – both to ensure children learn appropriate use of a range of media and to facilitate learning through use of research tools, language learning and other types of learning.
  • The Centre uses a range of online tools to ensure excellent communication flow between home and centre.
  • The Centre uses online tools to promote staff development and healthy staff interactions.
  • Staff must be professional in their use of online media, whether their usage is directly to do with their employment or not. Even comments on a social media site that are not directly related to the staff member’s job can impact on the Centre’s reputation.
  • Staff that participate in online communication deemed not to be in the best interest of the Centre, its staff, employers, children or families/whanau, regardless of whether this occurs inside or outside of working hours, will be subject to disciplinary action. This online communication can include but is not limited to:
    • Posts that damage the reputation of the Centre
    • Posts that breach confidentiality
    • Posts that are detrimental to an employee or employer’s reputation
    • Posts that reflect negative, personal issues regarding the Centre, its employees or employers, families/whãnau and children.
  • The Centre will use appropriate online barriers and will monitor all child usage of online tools to ensure children are not exposed to any online material that is inappropriate for them.
  • Staff must verify the contact details of recipients before sending confidential and/or sensitive information.
  • All email originating from the Centre’s ICT equipment may be perceived as representing the opinion of the Centre. All personal opinions expressed must be clearly identified as such.
  • Users may not download, install or connect software or hardware onto the Centre’s ICT equipment/devices without prior authorisation.
  • Staff will only use the centre’s logo if Management approves such usage.

Legal requirements

  • Staff respect copyrights and the Privacy Act at all times.
  • Staff respect other staff, children, families and whãnau confidentiality in all online and multimedia communications
  • Staff are strictly prohibited from illegally downloading any copyrighted content such as (but not limited to) movies, music or software on the centre’s computers. Neither must they initiate access to, save, copy , show, or print inappropriate, objectionable and /or illegal material
  • ICT must not be used to deliberately facilitate any illegal or inappropriate workplace behaviour. This includes electronic communication that could cause offence to others, harass or harm them, or put staff at potential risk.
  • Staff will seek written permission from parents and whãnau before using images of children for any purposes
  • Disciplinary action can include termination or other intervention deemed appropriate by Management, including reimbursement for compensation and costs from employees who infringe copyright.