Photography and Filming Policy

Note to Parents/Guardians or Carers

IMPORTANT NOTICE: Photography and filming while in attendance at Stairways Music School Limited:

Stairways Music School Limited does not permit teachers, students, volunteers and spectators to use any personal equipment to take photos and recordings of children at any time.

In strict accordance with safeguarding guidelines, Stairways Music School Limited reserve the right to film or take pictures of any student while attending the school.

By purchasing a session and agreeing to this Stairways Music School Limited photography and filming policy you are agreeing to you or your child being professionally filmed or photographed by designated employees or a verified third party film crew hired by Stairways Music School Limited to create high quality content.

This footage may be used for promotional purposes on Stairways Music School Limited's online platforms as well as TV and / or Film.

All content filmed during sessions at Stairways Music School Limited will be the property of Stairways Music School Limited. 

Photography and filming policy

Due to child protection and safeguarding issues, when taking photographs of, or filming children and young people, given the potential for misuse of images. We have a no photography or filming policy with either mobile phones or camera's unless you are a parent taking a picture of your own child. Please expect to be challenged and checked if you are using any device within the school to potentially film or photograph any student at any given time.

Whilst we recognise that it is important that children and young people feel happy with their achievements and have photographs and films of their special moments and acknowledge that both family and friends may also want to be able to share the successes of their children, some children, parents or carers may not be comfortable with images of themselves or their children being shared. For example:

  • if a child and/or their family have experienced abuse they may worry about the perpetrator tracing them online
  • children who choose not to have contact with some members of their family may decide to minimise their online presence
  • families may have religious or cultural reasons for choosing not to be photographed.

Stairways Music School works with children and young people as part of its activities. The purpose of this policy statement is to:

• protect children and young people who take part in Stairways Music School’s services, events and activities, specifically those where photographs and videos may be taken

• set out the overarching principles that guide our approach to photographs/videos being taken of children and young people during our events and activities

• to ensure that we operate in line with our values and within the law when creating, using and sharing images of children and young people. This policy statement applies to all staff, volunteers and other adults associated with Stairway Music School.

Legal framework

This policy has been drawn up on the basis of legislation, policy and guidance that seeks to protect children in England. Summaries of key legislation and guidance is available on NSPCC Learning:

online abuse legislation and guidance

child protection legislation and guidance

We believe that:

• children and young people should never experience abuse of any kind

• we have a responsibility to promote the welfare of all children and young people and to take, share and use images of children safely

We recognise that:

• sharing photographs and films of our activities can help us celebrate the successes and achievements of our children and young people, provide a record of our activities and raise awareness or promote our school.

• the welfare of the children and young people taking part in our activities is paramount

• consent to take images of children is only meaningful when children, their parents and carers understand how the images will be used and stored, and are fully aware of the potential risks associated with the use and distribution of these images

• there are potential risks associated with sharing images of children online.

We will seek to keep children and young people safe by:

• always asking for written consent from a child and their parents or carers before taking and using a child’s image

• always explaining what images will be used for, how they will be stored and what potential risks are associated with sharing images of children

• we reserve the right to change the names of children whose images are being used in our published material. we will only use first names if we do need to identify them.

• never publishing personal information about individual children and disguising any identifying information (for example the name of their school or a school uniform with a logo)

• making sure children, their parents and carers understand how images of children will be securely stored and for how long (including how we will control access to the images and their associated information)

• reducing the risk of images being copied and used inappropriately by:

• only using images of children in appropriate clothing 

• using images that positively reflect young people’s involvement in the activity.

We will also develop a procedure for reporting the abuse or misuse of images of children as part of our child protection procedures.

We will ensure everyone involved in our organisation knows the procedures to follow to keep children safe.

Photography and/or filming for personal use When children themselves, parents, carers or spectators are taking photographs or filming at our events and the images are for personal use, we will publish guidance about image sharing in the event programmes and/or announce details of our photography policy before the start of the event. This includes: 

• reminding parents, carers and children that they need to give consent for Stairways Music School to take and use their images

• recommending that people check the privacy settings of their social media account to understand who else will be able to view any images they share

• reminding children, parents and carers who they can talk to if they have any concerns about images being shared.

Photography and/or filming for Stairways Music School’s use

We recognise that our music tutors may use photography and filming as an aid in activities such as music performances. However, this should only be done with Stairways Music School’s permission.

Children, young people, parents and carers must also be made aware that photography and filming is part of the programme and give consent.

If we hire a photographer/videographer for one of our events, we will seek to keep children and young people safe by:

• providing the photographer/videographer with a clear brief about appropriate content and behaviour

• ensuring the photographer/videographer wears identification at all times

• informing children, their parents and carers that a photographer/videographer will be at the event and ensuring they give written consent to images which feature their child being taken and shared

• not allowing the photographer/videographer to have unsupervised access to children

• not allowing the photographer to carry out sessions outside the event or at a child’s home (unless parents are aware and present)

• reporting concerns regarding inappropriate or intrusive photography/videography following our child protection procedures

.Photography and/or filming for wider use If people such as local journalists, professional photographers (not hired by Stairways Music School) or students wish to record one of our events and share the images professionally or in the wider world, they should seek permission in advance. They should provide:

• the name and address of the person using the camera

• the reason for taking the images and/or what the images will be used for

• a signed declaration that the information provided is valid and that the images will only be used for the reasons given. Stairways Music School will verify these details and decide whether to grant permission for photographs/films to be taken.

At the event we will inform children, parents and carers that an external photographer/videographer is present and ensure they are easily identifiable, for example by issuing them with a coloured identification badge/lanyard or bracelet. If Stairways Music School is concerned that someone unknown to us is using their sessions for photography or filming purposes, we will ask them to leave and (depending on the nature of the concerns) follow our child protection procedures.

Storing images

We will store photographs and videos of children securely, in accordance with our safeguarding policy and data protection law. We will keep hard copies of images in a locked drawer and electronic images in a protected folder with restricted access. Images will be stored indefinitely or until they are no longer needed, save for promotional material.