Social Media and Parent Groups

Guidelines for the Use and Administration of Social Media Year Groups and "Friends of" Groups

St Columba Anglican School requires certain practices regarding the use of social media for communication between school families and support groups. The establishment and maintenance of social media groups is recognised for building positive community networks, with the expectations and responsibilities as listed below:

  • The School crest (and/or any logos associated with the school) may not be used without the express permission of the Principal, or as delegated by the Principal. Please contact the Director of Community Engagement by emailing media@scas.nsw.edu.au

  • Approval to use ‘St Columba Anglican School’ or ‘SCAS’ in a group’s title must be sought by the Director of Community Engagement. Approval will be granted on the condition that the guidelines contained are understood and agreed to.

  • Parents/caregivers should familiarise themselves with the privacy and security settings and terms of use for Facebook or the relevant social networking application.

  • Current students are not permitted to be members of parent Facebook groups.

  • Any page claiming to be for a certain year group must be open to all parents or caregivers of that group.

  • For privacy, it is essential that Facebook pages (and other relevant social media applications) must only be open to parents or guardians of that class group. Therefore grandparents, aunts and uncles, and extended family members or friends cannot be linked to a class page/group or site (unless they are a designated guardian).

  • All privacy settings should be set to ‘private’ to comply with privacy regulations applicable to the School.

  • All requests to join a group must be cleared by at least one administrator or the School’s media team.

  • Administrators should ensure that no offensive language or profanities are used in posts to the group. The post must also be relevant to the ethos of the parent page/group/site, and the School ethos.

  • Administrators of the group may invite parents to join a group but they must not add members without permission.

  • Year group pages/sites or groups must not be used to promote anything unrelated to St Columba Anglican School such as business or charity causes.

  • Year group pages/sites must only be used for content related to the whole group and/or the School. Content-specific to individual children or families should be directed to the School such as the class teacher or relevant School communication channel.

  • Year group pages are not forums to raise parental issues or concerns as these should be directed to the School via the appropriate channels such as the Stage Coordinator or teacher, Year Patron, Head of School or Principal. For example issues regarding changes to school staffing, class sizes and concerns or complaints about upcoming camps, teachers, homework, and schoolwork are not relevant to discuss on social media sites. Any concerns raised by parents need to be directed to the School by individuals. There should be no expectation that issues discussed on social media forums will be raised by administrators of the Year group page on the Year group’s behalf. It is up to the individual/s with the concern to raise it directly with the School.

  • Any grievances made via School media means should be directed immediately to the appropriate member of staff. Negative comments will be removed by the administrators.

  • The primary objective of Facebook Year group sites is to promote connection and support within a year level and the rest of the School. Any other purposes must be kept to personal pages and sites.

  • Formal school communications such as letters, team lists and formal documents should not be posted on social media sites. Extracts of information to remind parents of events or important occasions can be shared within social media sites such as reminding parents of special dress-up days, school fundraising events, etc.

  • Parent administrators of the Year group site are in a volunteer role and are not required to act as a conduit to the School on behalf of a Year group.

  • Any queries about the use of Facebook, Instagram and other forms of social media for communication between families at the School can and should be referred to the Director of Community Engagement.

General Use of Social Media

Social media can be defined as how we use technology to communicate and connect with others. Despite the range of positive uses for social media, there are also a number of ethical and legal issues associated with its use.

Many people may hold the mistaken belief that anything published online will be without legal consequence. However, parents should be aware that there are a number of potential legal liabilities that may arise, particularly in relation to issues pertaining to reputational damage and defamation.

Parents can ensure they abide by the laws and the School’s expectations of its parents, by complying with the following:

      • The School, its staff and members of its community should not be mentioned or discussed in a negative or defamatory way.

      • Photographs of students in School uniform represent the School and its students, and should not be posted if they have the potential to bring negative connotations towards the School or its staff and students.

      • Photographs or video footage containing other students should not be posted without the express consent of the other child/children’s parents.

      • Email addresses of parents, staff and students should not be given to other people without express consent.

      • Parents are not permitted to make contact with other students via any form of social media without the express consent of the student’s parents.