An analysis of local authority guidance relating to parental photography at school events

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


Should parents take photographs of their children at sports days and Christmas plays? There is no legislative provision which prevents them from doing so. The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), in fact, suggests that if parents photograph their children for their own personal use they are exempt from the Data Protection Act 1998 (Data Protection Good Practice Note on Taking Photographs in Schools, 2010). The assumption that underpins this guidance is that when a parent takes such a photograph it will ‘be put in the family photo album’. Research indicates, however, that 2 in 3 adult internet users have their own social network profile and that between 2 and 3 out of 10 of those adults with a social networking profile are sharing photographs (OFCOM, Adults Media Use and Attitudes Report 2013). If photographs taken at school events are being shared online then issues are raised not merely about data protection compliance, but also about children’s privacy, and their safety. In order to understand what guidance is provided to schools (and parents) about parental photography at school events, freedom of information requests were sent to every education authority in England, Scotland and Wales. This paper discusses the results of that research.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 21 May 2014
EventNorthumbria Research Conference - Northumbria University
Duration: 21 May 2014 → …


ConferenceNorthumbria Research Conference
Period21/05/14 → …
Internet address


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