This checklist should be used alongside the NEU’s model policy on social media to help you negotiate a policy acceptable to the union. You may not be able to secure everything on this checklist – if that is the case, you will need to consult members on whether the proposed policy is sufficiently positive to be acceptable.
- Is there a statement from the employer (academy chain or governing body) which acknowledges that social networking sites can provide a valuable learning resource but which recognises that there has to be some important checks and balances?
Purpose of policy
- Are the requirements of using social media broadly in line with those in the NEU model policy on social media?
- Does the policy cover both personal and professional use of social media by employees?
- Is it clear that the policy will apply regardless of whether social media was accessed via the school’s IT facilities/equipment or employees’ personal equipment?
- Is it clear that the policy will apply to all staff in the school/trust?
Roles, responsibilities and procedure
- Is the employee’s responsibility clear?
- Is it clear that this policy should be followed when using social media?
- Does the policy make employees aware that any excessive use of social media in school which is considered to be interfering with their duties could lead to disciplinary action?
- Is the role of the manager clear?
- Does it make clear that managers must operate within the boundaries of this policy?
- Is the role of human resources (HR) clear in the policy?
- Does it state that HR is responsible for monitoring and implementing the policy?
Definition of social media
- Is social media clearly defined with examples?
- Does the policy remind employees that ‘nothing’ is really private on social networking sites?
- Are there examples of what would be considered unacceptable when using social media?
- Does it remind employees of their professional boundaries?
- Are potential risks to children highlighted?
- Is there advice on what employees need to do to safeguard themselves?
- Reporting safeguarding concerns
- Is it clear when and to whom concerns must be reported?
Reporting cyberbullying incidents
- Are reporting routes clear?
- Is the employer clear on their duty of care towards employees who are the victims of cyberbullying and the support that will be provided?
- Action to be taken by the employer
- Does the policy make clear how management will respond when incidents are reported?
- What form the investigation will take?
- What action will be taken against a pupil if they are found to have posted abusive material against a member of staff?
- If members are abused online in the course of their employment in this school/trust, is it clear that the employer will act promptly and contact the website hosts and internet service provider (ISP) directly to ask for the content to be removed?
Breach of the policy
- Does the policy state clearly what action will be taken against a member of staff if the policy is breached?
- Are expectations of staff clearly set out during an investigation in to a potential breach or when complaints are received?
Monitoring and review
- Does it state how monitoring will happen and when the policy will be reviewed?
- Are the relevant pieces of legislation quoted?