Image & Video Usage Policy


Purpose of policy
This policy sets out how the Shia Ithna’asheri Madressa (S I Madressa) will ensure the safety and welfare of children, young people and/or vulnerable adults in our care when making photos/images of them.

Policy Application
Our policy applies to all staff and volunteers working at our institution as well as visitors.

The Madressa needs and welcomes publicity. Student’s photographs add colour, life and interest to articles promoting activities and initiatives. Making use of photographs for publicity materials and to promote the Madressa in the press can increase student motivation and staff morale, and help parents and the local community identify and celebrate the Madressa’s achievements.

However, photographs must be used in a responsible way. The S I Madressa recognises the need to respect children’s and parents’ rights of privacy and is aware of potential child protection issues.

In May 2004, section 45 of the Sex Offences Act 2003 amended Section 1 of the Protection of Children Act 1978 by raising the age of a ‘child’ from 16 to 18. This means it is now an offence to ‘take, make, allow to take, distribute, show, possess with intent to distribute, or advertise indecent photos or pseudo photographs of children under the age of 18.

Child Protection
There may be a risk when individual pupils can be identified in photographs. For that reason the Madressa has developed this policy to make every effort to minimise risk.

In the event of the inappropriate use of children’s photographs the Principal will inform the local Child Protection Officer and Social Services and / or the Police.

Data Protection Act 1998
Photographs and video images of pupils and staff are classed as personal data under the terms of the Data Protection Act 1998. Therefore, using such images for school publicity purposes requires the consent of either the individual concerned or in the case of pupils, their legal guardians.

The Madressa will not display images of pupils or staff on websites, in publications or in a public place without such consent. The definition of a public place includes areas where visitors to the school have access.

Where photographs are taken at an event attended by large crowds, this is regarded as a public area so it is not necessary to get permission of everyone in a crowd shot. The Data Protection Act does not apply to photographs or films taken for personal use by family and friends.

‘Images’ in the below context refers to both still images and moving images (i.e. videos).

Images taking by parents, legal guardians or family members at a Madressa event:

  •  Parents, legal guardians, family members and friends can take images of their child participating in Madressa activities for family and personal use.
  • If images which are taken on Madressa premises also have captured other Madressa students, they are not to be shared with other individuals nor are they to be uploaded onto social networks.
  • Before the above are allowed to take images during Madressa activities, parents or legal guardians have to sign an agreement that any images they take will not be used inappropriately.
  • Photography and video filming will be limited to designated areas.
  • The Madressa will ensure that children are appropriately dressed.
  • The Madressa will ensure that children who should not be photographed, for example those whose parents/legal guardians have refused consent, are not included in any images.
  • Use of cameras and other equipment will be monitored.

Images for Madressa publications:

  • The Madressa will only take and use images that are appropriate and are considered to not be open to misuse.
  • If an image of a child is used, the child’s name will not be published. If a name is published, no image will be used without specific consent.
  • Children and their parents/legal guardians will be made aware of why their picture is being taken and how it will be used.
  • The Madressa will ensure that images of a single child with no surrounding context of what they are learning or doing will be avoided.
  • Children and parents should be encouraged to recognise the value of group photographs or recordings of Madressa events.
  • The Madressa recognises that images must not be used to cause distress, upset or embarrassment.
  • The Madressa will use photographs that represent the diversity of the children/young people participating.
  • Images will be kept securely and held by the Madressa for the duration of the student’s time there, after which, they will be destroyed.
  • Images of student’s from the Madressa will not be used to illustrate controversial subjects.

Images for the Madressa website:

  •  The Madressa website is part of the internet and is more easily accessible than paper based publications. The Madressa will make sure that only appropriate images are used. Image filenames will avoid using student’s names.
  • The storage of electronic images will be regularly reviewed by a senior member of staff.

Use of Camera Phones:

  • Staff will only use mobile phones in office areas or areas away from the children while the Madressa is in session
  • Visitors will be advised of the ban on the use of camera phones in school and, wherever possible, will be accompanied by a member of staff during the duration of the visit
  • Staff will supervise and maintain control over any photographing pupils do during on-Madressa or off-site activities.
  • Camera phones are less visible and can be used to bully or take inappropriate images. If it is Madressa policy to allow pupils to bring camera phones on site, their use should not be permitted in toilets or in other areas with a heightened expectation of privacy.
  • If it is found that cameras or camera phones have been misused, the Madressa will follow its disciplinary procedures. In some cases it may be necessary for the Madressa to contact student’s social care and/or the police.

The Press

The use of photographs in newspapers and magazines is already subject to strict guidelines. The Press Complaints Commission’s Code of Practice states that:

  • Journalists must not interview or photograph a child under the age of 16 on subjects involving the welfare of the child in the absence of or without the consent of a parent or other adult who is responsible for the children.
  • Pupils must not be approached or photographed while at school without the permission of the school authorities.
  • There is no breach of the Data Protection Act 1998 in passing on a child’s name to a journalist as long as parental consent has been secured.