SOCIAL MEDIA POLICY

October 2018 Review date: October 2019

 

Statement of policy and purpose of Policy

  1. British School of Marketing International (the Employer) recognizes that Social Media sites, have become an integral part of life both for businesses and individuals and if used correctly, can offer great valuable business opportunities. However, misuse of those sites can also pose great risks the productivity of businesses and the welfare of an individual.
  2. Any official use of the social media sites by members of staff must be approved by the School’s Principle.
  3. A record of all the social media sites are mentioned in the staff handbook (for teachers and non-academic members of staff)
  4. It is our policy that staff may not use social media during their working hours unless it is part of their duties. Any staff using social media for work purposes must comply with the rules set out in this policy.
  5. This policy will also outline certain procedures for all staff to follow such as:
  • The extent to which the use of social media is permitted during work hours
  • The limitations on the use of social media for work and non-work related purposes. Employees wanting to create a social media site must discuss this with the Principle. This will only be authorised if the employee works within the BSMI Marketing Department.
  • The types of social media that could pose security risks for students and staff and may result in further legal actions.
  1. This policy does not form part of your contract of employment as we may amend this policy any time, at our absolute discretion. 

Purpose of this Policy

The purpose of this policy is to minimize risks that can have an impact on the welfare of students and staff whilst enjoying the use of social media sites. This policy sets out the code conduct for using social media sites and makes students/ staff aware of the potential risks attached to it.

All staff should be made aware of the safeguarding risks related to social media activities for all BSMI students, particularly under 18-year old students. 

The following safeguarding principles should be adhered by all employees at all times: 

  • Taking photographs in classrooms is prohibited unless approved by the school. There are times when photographs are taken in a classroom or at outside events for advertising and marketing purposes, however, BSMI teachers and staff should always ensure that students, especially those aged 16 and 17, consent to their photographs being taken and included in such publicity material. 
  • For students aged 16 and 17 the “Parental Consent Form” asks whether parents agree with the use of photography of their children being used for publicity purposes. Should anyone answer this question negatively, then all teachers, staff and management must be informed of this so that this/these student(s) are not included in any school photographs.

Who does this policy apply to?

The Social Media Policy is related to all employees and students using social media sites for work-related or personal use whether during working hours or otherwise, whether social media is accessed through the schools’ computers or personal equipment. This policy should be read in conjunction with other school policies such as the Safeguarding Policy, Equality Policy, Prevent & Radicalisation Policy and Health & Safety Policy. 

Principles

  • Employees should never represent the school in a misleading way and only comment within their area of expertise.
  • Employees working within the marketing department should always ask for the permission of the principle/line manager to publish any post related to school or its activities.
  • Employees should always seek further guidance regarding the content of the post as it may be considered discriminatory, defamatory, offensive, intimidating and creating legal liability for BSMI.
  • BSMI reserves the right to monitor all the social media activities and take appropriate action if necessary.
  • Failure to comply with this policy may result in disciplinary action for staff and students.
  • Any concerns regarding the use of Social Media and its content must be reported to the Principle.

Responsibilities

Line Managers — areresponsible for making all staff aware of their duties regarding the use of social media for personal and work-related purposes and address any issues that may be considered to be a breach of this policy. In case of any contrary action to this policy, line managers are responsible to investigate or address any matter of concern and refer the person to the Local Safeguarding Unit if necessary.

Employees — are responsible for their activities in a social environment whether this may involve posting photographs of students on social media sites, or whether its personal or work-related, making comments about BSMI or their students or engaging any other online activities that would pose risks for students and themselves.

Procedures

Social Media sites

BSMI uses the following social media sites, which include but are not limited to:

  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Instagram
  • Twitter

All employees must adhere to the following procedures when using social media sites:

  • Employees are responsible for the content they may share on social media sites.
  • Employees must not accept any BSMI students on their personal social media sites, especially those under 18 years old.
  • Students’ information must not be disclosed on social media sites. Any information revealed online by an employee breaching the Data Protection Act may bring the school into disrepute and will result in disciplinary action for the employee.
  • Employees must not express their opinions as being those of the school.
  • Defamatory remarks about the school, employees, students or any other associated partners must not be posted on social media sites.
  • Employees must not endorse or criticise any of the service providers on social media sites.
  • Employees must not post or leak any sensitive or confidential information online using social media sites or any other online mediums.
  • Employees must read the social media policy in conjunction with all the other policies such Health and Safety Policy, Prevent & Anti-Radicalisation Policy, Data Protection Policy and Health & Safety Policy.

Disciplinary Action

All employees must read this policy as part of their recruitment procedures and adhere to all the rules and procedures mentioned in this policy at all times during or outside working hours. Employees are not permitted to use social media sites during their working hours. Any concerns related to an allegation for the misuse of social media sites by an employee will be investigated and identified immediately. Depending on the nature of this incident, this may lead to a disciplinary action or a referral to the local authorities.