Some moments in Madrassah are to be treasured; such as when children recite a short Surah from memory with Tajweed, perform a short role-play in Arabic or design a poster illustrating Islamic principles.
Surely, children deserve recognition and parents love to feel involved and engaged with their children’s learning. Madrassahs also would like to show evidence of creativity and learning taking place in their lessons.
One increasingly popular method of achieving all this has been using pictures or short videos and sharing them with parents and on Madrassah website or social media.
Despite the advantages, there are also serious risks, which call for precaution and safety measures to be put in place in order to minimise the risks of those images or videos being used by the wrong people to harm our children.
Those risks are primarily:
1. Children whose pictures are online and include personal information about them (e.g. name, hobby) may be identifiable and traceable to the wrong people. Further information about the child may be gathered from social media, friends or acquaintances in order to establish contact with the child and groom them for immoral objectives.
2. Pictures of children can be copied and edited in inappropriate ways and shared on various media.
To minimise those risks, Madrassahs should have a written photography policy and obtain consensus from parents and staff. The policy should include the following:
- Pictures or videos shared on public platforms should avoid mention of children’s personal information (such as name, age, or hobby).
- When photographed or filmed, ensure that children are dressed and are posturing appropriately
- Obtain permission and written consent from parents and explain what the picture/video will be used for, where it will be shared and why.
- Obtain permission from the child and explain what the picture/video will be used for, where it will be shared and why.
- If professional photographers are invited, they must present DBS clearance in advance and should never be left unsupervised with children.
- Images or short videos must not be shared that are taken in private settings such as home.
- Electronic images/ videos must be stored securely, with restricted access. Hardcopy should be stored in a lockable box or drawer.
- Photographs and films should only be taken from Madrassah camera, rather than from personal devices.
You may download a ‘Photography and filming consent form’ here.
To learn more about your responsibilities for ensuring Internet and online Safety, take this E-Safety course with us available here.