Please find below some helpful clarifications regarding the parental year group Facebook pages:
These groups are not owned or run by the school. They are community pages designed to facilitate positive interaction between parents. Information of relevance to parents and children that the school wishes to share will be shared via our formal channels – the bulletin, the portal, the website, directly by email. There will never be information directly from the school that parents need to read, that is only shared via Facebook pages.
Irrespective of who has set up the group, the school expects every group to have within it a member of the FTS committee with full admin rights. This is not in order to monitor or control content (which is everybody’s responsibility). Rather, it is so that the FTS are able to share useful information that they may be aware of as an FTS committee more widely across parent groups, or to alert specific groups to events that may be of relevance to them.
The school does not and will not share information about children with other parents via, for, or outside these groups. This includes information about family details, form groups, or anything else. Clarifications of information when needed may, on a trusted and case by case basis, be shared with members of the FTS committee to support its legitimate work. FTS committee members have access to an authorised school email account ([email protected]) through which they are able to request clarifications or information from the school in ways that may help the group, and avoid confusion.
Parents are therefore under no obligation to share any information about themselves or their children with others in the Facebook groups, even if asked. They may, of course, choose to do so on a voluntary basis.
Membership of year group facebook groups is voluntary, and the FTS administrative member in each group is the appropriate person to seek verification from the school, if needed, over the identity of any person in, or seeking to join, the group, using the FTS registered email account.
Since these groups are community-run and not school-owned, the school is not involved in monitoring or intervention amongst parents in these social media zones. It is, of course, a hope and an expectation that parents act and interact with mutual respect for each other and for the school in these or any other forums, and that the positive community benefit of the groups is hence accessed by all. As we always advise the children, posts on social media are in effect permanent, and should only be made with consideration of how they may be perceived by others both now and in the future, therefore.
Our experience and that of the FTS is that these groups offer overwhelmingly positive opportunities to support community contact and support. This is a good thing. If however, any member of a Facebook group of this kind becomes uncomfortable with its content or its tone, the school’s advice, as it would be for anybody in any similar circumcises, is to leave the group. If that discomfort relates to the wellbeing or safety of any child, it is essential that the concern is shared with the school’s Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) Mrs Emma Ellison ([email protected]).