Social Media Policy

    Social Media Policy-Full School 

    Last reviewed: 01/10/18

    SLT responsible: Michael Wilson, Principal

    1. Aims

    The aims of this policy are:

    1.1. To ensure that all members of the Cranleigh Abu Dhabi community who use official and/or school related social media channels do so in a way which enhances the school’s brand and prospects. A misjudged post or comment can generate complaints or damage the school’s reputation. There are also security and data protection issues to consider

    1.2. To ensure there is clarity on who is responsible for the school’s official social media channels, who can post and what is expected of anyone who chooses to engage with social media either through school IT systems or via their own equipment, on school premises, while travelling or from home

    1.3. To provide guidelines for school related social media channels set up by and managed by Cranleigh Abu Dhabi parents

    2. User Responsibilities

    Social media can bring significant benefits, particularly for building relationships with current and prospective students, parents and staff. However, if used inappropriately, social media can be damaging to the school’s reputation.

    All staff, parents and pupils are free to follow and comment on school social media posts however only designated people are authorised to manage and post to the school’s official accounts. This ensures its social media presence is consistent and in line with guidelines.

    Everyone who manages or engages with a school social media account has some responsibility for implementing this policy. The Head of Communications is ultimately responsible for ensuring that the Cranleigh Abu Dhabi community uses social media safely, appropriately and in-line with the school’s objectives.

    Authorisation for posting on official school channels is provided by the Head of Communications with approval from the Senior Leadership Team. The following people have key responsibilities:

    2.1. The school’s Communications team is responsible for posting stories to the official Cranleigh Abu Dhabi social media channels (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn and Vimeo and any others that may be launched)

    2.2. The Head of Communications may delegate responsibility to various individuals in school for Department-specific or guest posting as appropriate

    2.3. The Editor of ‘The Cable’ (Senior School Blog on the VLE), is authorised to manage The Cable’s Social Media channels and is responsible for overseeing student content that is created and posted

    2.4. The Head of Department for Art is authorised to manage the Art.Teaching Facebook and YouTube channels

    2.5. The Heads of Sport are authorised to manage the Cranleigh Sports Twitter account to report on fixtures, results etc

    3. Social Media Content

    Content to be shared on the school’s official social media channels should be image-rich and include:

    • School events
    • Academic and co-curricular news and stories
    • Details of sporting fixtures and results
    • Press releases
    • School announcements 

    4. General Social Media Guidelines

    Regardless of which social network is being used, following these simple rules helps to avoid the most common pitfalls:

    4.1 Know the social network – users should spend time becoming familiar with the social network before contributing. It is important to understand what is and is not acceptable on a social media channel before posting or commenting on anything

    4.2 If unsure, don’t post it – users should err on the side of caution when posting updates to social networks and if they feel that an update could cause offense or complaints, they should not post it, and should consult the Head of Communications

    4.3 Staff should not interact with pupils on social media. Posts relating to students should not feature any student who does not have photo consent and should not include student surnames. Users should consult the Head of Communications if unsure of the use of certain student images

    4.4 Keep a positive tone – many social media users have got into trouble by simply failing to observe basic good manners online. Adopting a pleasant tone when communicating online is a requirement for all users

    4.5  Look out for security threats – users should be on guard for social engineering and phishing attempts. Social networks can also be sued for spam distribution and malware

    4.6 Don’t make promises without checking – some social networks are very public so users should not make any commitments or promises on behalf of Cranleigh Abu Dhabi. Direct any enquiries to the Head of Communications

    4.7 Don’t escalate things – it’s easy to post a quick response to a contentious status update or query and then regret it. Users should take the time to think before responding, and hold back if at all in doubt. Perception and reality are usually different; know the facts before responding

    4.7 Keep calm in a crisis – unfortunately there are occasional incidents which require sensitivity (cyber-bullying, negative comments, external incidents) and it is important not to post on social media until you have the express permission of the Head of Communications

    5. Official School Social Media Accounts

    5.1 Authorised User

    • Only people who have been authorised to operate and post to the school’s official social media accounts may do so (see Paragraph 2 above)

    5.2 Creating Social Media Accounts

    • New social media accounts in the school’s name must not be created unless approved by the Head of Communications
    • If there is a case to be made for opening a new account, employees should raise this with the Head of Communications

    5.3 Inappropriate Content And Use

    School social media accounts must not be used to share or spread inappropriate content, or to take part in any activities that could bring Cranleigh Abu Dhabi into disrepute

    5.4 Protection of Social Accounts

    • Cranleigh Abu Dhabi social media accounts should be protected by strong passwords that are changed regularly, stored in a spreadsheet known to all involved parties, and shared only with authorised users
    • Staff must not use a new piece of software, app or service with any of the company’s social media accounts without receiving approval from the Head of Communications and the IT Manager

    6. Parent Social Media Accounts

    6.1 Social media groups may be set up and administered by parents and, if used appropriately, can help with communications within year/ class groups. The school requests that the Head of Communications is informed of the details of all groups

    6.2 Any use of the Cranleigh Abu Dhabi brand on parent-managed social media accounts must be approved by the Head of Communications

    6.3 Parent Reps are responsible for ensuring Year Group specific social media groups (eg Facebook, WhatsApp) follow the Policy guidelines laid out in this document. Should a group start to debate school-related matters in a unconstructive manner, Parent Reps should counsel the group that online group chats are not the appropriate forum for this type of discussion, seek clarity from the relevant member of staff and share factual updates with the social media group

    6.4 Where a parent social media group is not administered by a Parent Rep, Parent Reps should join the group and monitor etiquette to ensure it adheres to Policy guidelines

    6.5 Other social media channels set up by parents, including residential community Facebook Groups, WhatsApp groups etc, should also follow the guidelines outlined in this Policy document

    7. Responsible Social Media Use

    All users of official school and Cranleigh Abu Dhabi parent-managed social media accounts must not:

    7.1 Create and distribute material that might be defamatory or incur liability for the school or for any individuals within school

    7.2 Post messages, status updates or links to material or content that is inappropriate

    7.3 Use social media for any illegal or criminal activities

    7.4 Broadcast views on matters related to religion and politics, national security, individual rights, public morals or any other non-school related topics

    7.5 Send offensive or harassing messages to others via social media

    7.6 Use group forums to discuss divisive issues as tone and meaning can be misconstrued in online forums. These conversations should be taken offline and dealt with face to face or via personal message

    7.7 Send or post messages that could damage the reputation or image of the school

    7.8 Discuss staff, colleagues, competitors, students or parents without their approval

    8. Security and Data Protection

    Users should maintain confidentiality and must not:

    • Share or link to any content or information owned by the school that could be considered confidential or commercially sensitive
    • Share or link to any content or information owned by another school or person that could be considered confidential or commercially sensitive
    • Share or link to data in any way that could breach the school’s data protection 

    9. Policy Enforcement 

    9.1 Knowingly breaching the social media policy of Cranleigh Abu Dhabi is a serious matter. Users who do so may be subject to legal action in line with UAE law on the use of social media

    This Policy should be read in conjunction with the School’s Safeguarding Policy.