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Photography and video recording of pupils

Permission for parents/carers to film or photograph on educational premises

It is accepted that parents/guardians should, under normal circumstances, have reasonable opportunity to take photographs, digital or video-recordings of activities or significant events involving their child/children. Schools will provide reasonable opportunity to parents/guardians such as is consistent with:

  • the safe management of the event or activity
  • health and safety considerations
  • copyright implications
  • welfare of all children or pupils involved
  • any COVID-19 restrictions

Circumstances involving the taking of photographs or video-recordings

Photographic images are now required for various reasons within schools. These extend to:

  • personal identification and record keeping
  • photography and video-recording for curricular purposes in connection with pupil performance and assessment
  • extra-curricular activities such as concerts, sporting events and community events
  • staff development or training of teachers and other council staff
  • school websites
  • school class or group photographs
  • newspaper photography

Prior Written Permission

In all circumstances where pupils or children are likely to be photographed or video recorded in schools or on Council premises, it is necessary to obtain the prior written permission.  Records of such permission must be kept. For pupils under the age of 12, Headteachers will circulate all parents the standard Parental Consent Form which records parental permission for their child to be photographed or videoed on school or Council premises at the start of the academic year.  Pupils over the age of 12 with capacity can consent to being photographed or video recorded themselves using the same Parental Consent Form (completing it at the appropriate section), and permission from the parent is therefore not required.  If prior written permission has not been obtained, pupils may not be photographed or video-recorded under any circumstances on school or other educational premises.  Where pupils or parents have specifically indicated that no permission is granted, this wish must be respected.  Parents have the right to withdraw this permission at any time, and should they do so, will be asked to confirm this in writing.  Two years after pictures or videos are taken, they must be deleted by the school.

If it is a requirement for the SQA to obtain photographic or video recorded evidence of the pupil as part of a curricular activity eg PE, written consent would not be required as participation would be taken as consent.

Video/Photography by Public Attending School Events

It is accepted that parents/guardians should, under normal circumstances, have reasonable opportunity to take photographs, digital or video recordings of activities or significant events involving their child/children. 

Schools cannot guarantee that other parents/guardians/family members in attendance at school events will not take videos/photographs of pupils and share these or upload them to social media platforms. However, we will ask for photographs taken during an event not to be shared on a public account on a social media platform, or ask people to gain permission from the parent or guardian of children under 12, or from young people themselves over 12, before sharing photographs and videos that include them.

If you have data protection concerns about images of children shared on a public social media platform, you can contact the Information Commissioner's Office.  
If you are concerned about the abuse or misuse of images of children, you can report these to the Council as part of our child protection procedures. Please find more information on our Child Protection Pages

Please note: The Data Protection Act 2018 and UK GDPR do not apply to photographs/videos taken by parents/guardians/family members for personal use.

Activities outwith the school

There are circumstances in which pupils may participate in activities outwith the school where these activities are not under the direct management or control of the school or educational establishment. In these circumstances, control of photography or video recordings is not possible, and parents who have indicated that they do not wish their child to be photographed or videoed will be advised prior to their child's participation in any such outside event.

Last modified on 07 February 2023

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