School photo 'ban' fears

WORRIED schools across Suffolk could start banning the photography of children - a move that would herald the end of innocent school snaps.Changing times and sinister crimes mean new policies could spring up in schools, banning pictures of happy school occasions, including sports days, certificate presentations, and even class pictures in case they fall into the wrong hands.

By Tracey Sparling

WORRIED schools across Suffolk could start banning the photography of children - a move that would herald the end of innocent school snaps.

Changing times and sinister crimes mean new policies could spring up in schools, banning pictures of happy school occasions, including sports days, certificate presentations, and even class pictures in case they fall into the wrong hands.

An evil minority of paedophiles and a rising tide of broken homes could mean thousands in the youngest generation will be left without photographic souvenirs of their schooldays.

The Evening Star can reveal that at least one Ipswich school has been advised by the education authority to 'err on the side of caution' and not allow pupils to be photographed.

Governors at the school contacted Suffolk County Council's education department for advice when the issue of paedophiles using pictures of pupils was raised and the school wanted to form a policy.

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After much discussion, the school decided to give parents the option of speaking up if they did not want their child pictured, but not to impose a blanket ban.

Moira Jackson, education communications manager for the county council, said no advice was currently being issued to schools, but it soon will be.

She added: "We provided advice in the past, about three or four years ago, and we keep updating that and there will be new guidelines available in the near future.

"Schools should always be cautious when taking pictures of young people under 16, and not volunteer children to be included in newspaper pictures if they are the subject of care orders, or family difficulties at home."

weblink: www.suffolkcc.gov.uk/education

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