The Independent Grammar School: Durham


This Policy covers all photography taken in school, on school trips or at school events.  It is based on guidance provided by the Information Commissioner’s Office.

The Data Protection Act is unlikely to be relevant to many cases where photographs are taken in a school. It is often the case that unjustified fear of breaching the provisions of the Act stops people taking photographs or videos of school activities.  At IGS: Durham we believe that, subject to sensible and legal constraints as set out below, taking photographs of children is part of school life and something we are happy for parents to do. 

For the purposes of this Policy, the word “photograph” includes any kind of still or moving image with or without sound and whether stored/transmitted electronically or as hard copy. Where the Act does apply, a common sense approach suggests that the photographer asks for permission to take a photograph, which will usually be enough to ensure compliance.

Photographs taken for official use by the school may be covered by the Act and students should be advised that they are being taken. Photographs taken purely for personal use are exempt from the Act.

For example:

·         a parent takes a photograph of his or her child with some friends during School Sports Day to be put in the family album – these images are for personal use and the Data Protection Act does not apply

·         the school decides to take a photograph of each student for the school database or similar purpose – these images are stored electronically with other personal data and the terms of the Act does apply

·         a small group of pupils are photographed in a lesson and the photograph will be used in a school publication – this will be personal data, but will not breach the Act so long as the students and/or their parents are aware this is happening and understand the context in which the photograph will be used

·         a photograph is taken by a local newspaper of a school event: as long as the School has agreed to this, and the students and/or their parents are aware that photographs of the event may appear in the newspaper, this will not be a breach of the Act.

The above examples cover data protection issues, but staff should also be sensitive to the views of students who are included in photographs. The following good practice will be adopted by all staff:

·         it should not be possible to identify any student appearing in a photograph from any text associated with the photograph (e.g. a caption or comment) unless consent has been given

·         it is important to be particularly sensitive when photographing children participating in activities such as swimming and gymnastics

·         even where there is no text identifying the student appearing in the photograph, if it is to appear in a high profile location (e.g. on the website homepage or an advertisement for the school) then consent must be obtained first;

·         with regard to consent, for a child under 16 years of age it should be obtained from his/her parent(s).

For information, this is the relevant clause in the Parental Commitment document signed by parents when a child enters the school: Parents agree that a student’s photograph or image may appear with his/her name attached in printed or electronically transmitted internal school publications. When such images are offered for publication in the public domain (including the school’s website, newsletters, etc) parents are deemed to have consented to publication of the image of their child, provided that the child’s name is not shown in association with the image. The child’s name will only be shown in association with an image published in the public domain when that the child’s parent (or, for a child age 16 or over, the child him/herself) has first given consent. The Executive Principal reminds parents annually that, unless we hear to the contrary from them, we assume that we have their consent to take photographs of their children at IGS: Durham.


This Policy will be reviewed annually.









The Independent Grammar School: Durham

January 2017