Photograph and Video Policy

Cosby N.S. maintains a database of images of school events held over years. It has become customary to take photos and / or video of students engaged in activities and events in the interest of creating a pictorial as well as historical record of life at the school.

The word ‘images’ is used here to include film photographs, digital photographs taken on digital camera, mobile phone, tablet device as well as film and digital video recordings. Cosby N.S. believes that the responsible use of children’s images can make a valuable contribution to the life and morale of the school.

Through this policy we aim to respect young people’s and parents’ rights of privacy and minimise
the risks to which young people can be exposed through the misuse of images. The policy takes
account of both Data Protection and Child Protection issues.


Photographs and video images of pupils and staff are classed as personal data under the terms of the Data Protection Acts 1998 – 2003 and GDPR 2018. We will not use images of identifiable individuals for school publicity purposes without the consent of either the individual themselves or, in the case of pupils, their parent, guardian or carer.
In seeking consent we will ensure that parents are clear about why we are using a child’s image and what we are using it for.

Images of Students:

The use of images can increase pupil motivation and help parents and the local and wider community identify and celebrate the school’s achievements. Images may be used in the following ways:
• As a pictorial and historical record of life at the school
• To compile a ‘Memories of Cosby N.S.’ keepsake for pupils leaving the school
• in school publications (eg. newsletters, school/class magazine)
• to accompany reporting on school events in local newspapers (eg. school play at local theatre, Green Flag Action Day, Sports Day) including where the school submits the report.
• to celebrate school/individual achievements at Awards events (eg. Green Flag Award, Spelling Bee, Write-a-Book Awards, Chess tournaments)
• on our school website, to accompany web versions of the above examples

In the case of website photographs, student names will not appear on the website as a caption to the picture.

In the case of external publications, photographs, student names will not appear as a caption to the picture.

Images of Staff:
Teaching and non-teaching staff members may from time to time appear in images of school events and activities, for the purposes described above. General consent will be sought via consent form (as at Appendix A) from all staff members, on joining the school.

General consent

General consent is sought for using children’s images for the purposes outlined in the paragraphs above. As part of the Enrolment/registration process parents receive a copy of the school’s Data Protection Policy, this Photograph & Video Policy, a Privacy Notice to Parents/Guardians and the Data Protection Statement. On the Data Protection Statement, they are required to complete tick boxes to confirm their consent (if so given), as follows:

[This example is for reference only]

Consent – please tick relevant box(es)

  1. If you are happy to have your child’s photograph taken as part of school activities and included in all such records, tick here 
  2. If you are happy for your child’s photograph to be taken as part of school activities and included in ‘in-school publications’ but would prefer not to have images of your child appear on the school website or in external publications, please tick here. 
  3. If you are happy to have your child’s photograph appear in the Parish Newsletter and Diocesan Magazine, please tick here. 
  4. If you would prefer not to have your child’s photograph taken and included in any of the above, please tick here 

Specific consent
If a child is representing the school at an event (eg, the Write-a-Book awards, the Eason’s Spelling Bee, a Primary Schools’ Chess tournament, the Green Flag awards, etc,) his / her parents may be contacted directly by the organisers of such event, via a consent form, to give their consent to the child’s photograph and name being taken and published by that organisation for advertising or promotion purposes relating to that event. The agreement to give consent, or not, is directly between the parent and the event organiser.
The school may also seek specific consent from parents for particular projects involving the taking of children’s photographs. In seeking specific consent, we will ensure that parents are clear why we are using a child’s image, what we are using it for and who might want to look at the pictures.
If a parent or child wishes to have his/her photograph removed from the school website, brochure, yearbooks, newsletters etc. at any time, the parent should submit a Personal Data Erasure Request Form to the school principal (available from the school office or to download from ) and the image will then be removed.

We will only use images of children in suitable dress. Any evidence of the use of inappropriate
images, or the misuse of images, will be reported to the school’s Child Protection Designated
Liaison Person, Social Services and/or the Gardaí as appropriate. Individual pupils will not be named in
conjunction with their image unless parental consent has been received and we will never use an image of a child who is subject to a court order.
Photographs may be displayed in the porch and/or in the classrooms unless any person has specifically asked for their photograph not to be displayed.

Mobile phones

The school recognises that mobile phones can be used to take images without people’s knowledge. Misuse of mobile phones that can take and transmit images will be regarded as a breach of school discipline and dealt with accordingly.
Such phones will not be allowed in areas where children are changing.
Our school’s Mobile Phone and Devices Policy governs use of mobile phones and devices by pupils and any breach of this policy will be dealt with in line with our school’s Code of Behaviour.

External photographers and events

If the school invites or permits an external photographer to take photographs within school, we
• Provide a clear brief for the photographer about what is considered appropriate in terms of
content and behaviour
• Let children and parents know that a photographer will be in attendance at an event and
ensure that only pupils for whom consent has been given will be included in the taking and publication of photographs
• Not allow unsupervised access to children or one-to-one photo sessions at events.

The same conditions will apply to filming or video-recording of events.

Photographs taken by journalists are exempt from the Data Protection Act as newspapers are subject to strict guidelines governing the press. Newspaper photographers may only take photos of children with
permission from the school, as per parental consent already provided. The school will never supply personal data about any pupil, unless covered by the conditions in ‘Specific Consent’ above.

Parents/ Guardians and Carers

Parents/Guardians and Carers attend school events at the invitation of Cosby N.S. It is the policy of the school to allow Parents/Guardians and Carers to take photographs and videos at such events, eg. plays, musicals, sports day. This applies to cameras, tablet devices and mobile phones.

The school may decide whether or not to allow videos or photographs to be taken during an event, as this could be distracting for the pupils and other audience members. The school will communicate their request before the event.

The school understands that where parents take photos or videos at a school event for purely private, personal, family, household, or recreational purposes, they will not come within the school’s Data Protection Policy.
They must not put on the web, or share publicly via social media, images that include individuals who are not part of their own family, as Data Protection legislation may then be contravened.

Images taken by Children

The school allows children to take photographs and videos of each other as a way of recording events. This may take place in school ( e.g. class projects, fun activities, video project), or on school trips. They use only the school’s camera, mobile phone or tablet devices, under supervision, as part of the pleasure and learning experience of the activity. There is no reason why pupils should not be allowed to take photographs so long as anyone photographing respects the privacy of the person being photographed. This is seen as part of the school’s Code of Behaviour.
Infringement of this respect of privacy will be dealt with in the same way as any other breach of school discipline.

Pupils may not bring smart devices, or digital cameras with upload capabilities, to take photos at school events, but may with prior consent of both parents and principal, use disposable cameras.

Images taken by staff

Staff (teachers, SNAs and secretary) will use only school devices to take photos and/or videos in school or on school trips and only for the purposes specified in this policy.

6th class / Leavers ‘Memories of Cosby N.S’ photograph/video compilations.

It is traditional in Cosby N.S. for the 6th class pupils to put together digital compilations of their time at the school, during their final term, and for compilations to be put together by a staff member for pupils leaving from any other class. The finished compilation is checked by the principal/class teacher before she saves it on to individual DVDs or Memory cards for each pupil to keep. The compilation is for purely private, family and personal use and any images from it, that include individuals who are not part of their own family must not be put on the web or shared publicly via social media, as Data Protection legislation may then be contravened.

Parents and 6th class pupils / leavers will be asked to sign an agreement that they will not share or upload to social media sites any of these images originally taken at school events that include individuals who are not part of their own family.

The policy was ratified by the Board of Management on 20th June 2018 and will be reviewed and updated as necessary and in line with changes to GDPR.

Signed: Thomas Cosby Date: 20th June 2018
Chairperson, BoM

Signed: Daphne Harding Date: 20th June 2018