Schools are afraid to celebrate their pupils’ successes publicly because of “oversensitivity and overreaction” to students exposure to the media.
David Hanson, an independent school leader, believes that the education sector as a whole is keeping pupils out of the public eye for reasons of safeguarding, the Independent reports. “Schools are becoming so cautious about exposing children to any form of media that a generation of children could grow up without being publicly celebrated for their achievements,” he warned.
Schools have to get parental permission before any pupil can be identified or photographed by the media. In publicity-conscious schools head teachers get a blanket approval from parents for publicity and any parent who is unwilling has to register an objection. But in some schools parents are barred from taking pictures of their own children in sports days or plays.
Mr Hanson fears that this oversensitivity “is becoming prohibitive as opposed to liberating” and warned: “The digital world we live in is being seen as so beyond control that it is often considered better to keep children away from all forms of media. This is totally out of kilter with what is happening elsewhere in our culture of social media where parents are uploading countless photos of their children to the Internet without a full understanding of the longevity of these images,” he said. “Children were part of the wider community when they achieved ‘something tremendous’ , it should be celebrated in the school’s newsletter, local paper and the school’s news website.”
What is the situation in your school about publicity for pupils? Do you think that caution about the digital world is prohibitive or necessary?