The Information Commissioner has produced a Good Practice Note on the taking of photographs in schools. The ICO press notice gives a seasonal example: “Having a child perform at a school play or a festive concert is a very proud moment for parents and is understandably a memory that many want to capture on camera. It is disappointing to hear that the myth that such photos are forbidden by the Data Protection Act still prevails in some schools. A common sense approach is needed – clearly, photographs simply taken for a family album are exempt from data protection laws. Armed with our guidance, parents should feel free to snap away this Christmas and stand ready to challenge any schools or councils that say ‘Bah, Humbug’ to a bit of festive fun.” The guidance states that the Data Protection Act is unlikely to apply in most situations where photographs are taken by parents in schools, although it does apply when photographs of children are taken for official use by a school or college (such as for issuing identification passes). The ICO advises that in the other small number of instances where the Data Protection Act 1998 does apply, it will usually be sufficient for the photographer to obtain permission from the parent or individual to take a photograph. The guidance is available here: https://www.ico.gov.uk/upload/documents/library/data_protection/practical_application/taking_photos.pdf.

 This post is also available on 11KBW’s education law blog: https://www.education11kbw.com/.