Guidance on sharing images
Seeking consent to share images of children and young people
Children should always be consulted about the use of their image and give consent to it being used. They must be aware that a photo or video is being taken and understand what the image is going to be used for. You should ask them how they feel about the image being shared online and record this on a written consent form.
For young people under 16, you should also get parental consent to use an image. Make sure parents and carers are aware of your photography and filming policy statement. Ask them to sign a written consent form.
In situations where under 16s are separated from their parents (for example if they are in care) you should seek consent from someone who holds parental responsibility (for example the child’s carer or the local authority).
For 16- to 17-year-olds, you should consider whether it is appropriate to obtain parental consent, depending on the activity and the young person’s circumstances. If you decide you do not need parental consent, then you should consider whether you should still inform parents that the child’s photograph is being shared. In most circumstances, parents have a legal parental responsibility for their children up to the age of 18.
Keep a record of the written consent that parents, carers and children have given for images being used.
> Download our example photography and filming consent form (PDF)
Advising parents or carers about sharing images of children on social media
There is no law against taking photos at public events, including of other people’s children (Ask the Police, 2018).
But your photography policy statement should make it clear that parents or carers should gain permission before sharing photographs or videos of other people’s children on social media.
Consider asking parents not to share any pictures or videos of events and activities on social media, where other people’s children can be identified. You may want to develop an acceptable use policy for photographs and videos taken at your activities and events.
Advise parents or carers who want to share pictures or videos of their own children on social media to make sure they understand who else will be able to view images of their child.
Parents or carers should ensure their privacy settings are set so only their friends can see their profile and photos, and that geo-location settings are not shared. Before posting a picture, parents or carers should also make sure there isn’t anything that would allow a location or identity to be recognised, such as school logos or signs, road names, or names of clubs that their child attends.
Whenever possible, parents should ask for children’s permission before posting a picture or video of them online. With very young children and babies, this will not be possible but parents and carers should consider the long-term implications of sharing an image before making it public.