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No publishing surnames, schools told

No publishing surnames, schools told

Wednesday 28 November 2018

No publishing surnames, schools told

Schools have been instructed to stop publishing pupils’ surnames over fears it could threaten their safety.

The order comes from the newly-formed Children, Young People, Education and Skills (CYPES) Department, previously known as the Department for Education.

They say that doing so could pose a safeguarding issue to the young children in their care. 

From now on, primary and secondary schools will be expected to only use students’ first names in communications to parents and guardians, including in newsletters and on social media.

Parents of one local secondary school, Victoria College, were informed last week in a regular newsletter about the new pupil identity crackdown:

"Publication of names: The CYPES has asked all schools to stop publishing pupils’ surnames. This is to improve safeguarding for the young people in our care so we will be following this practice in our newsletters and on social media from now on."

However, following a number of requests to the States' communications team for exact details on that policy from the CYPES Department, and an explanation of the rationale behind it, this morning Express received a only short comment which said that the Department hadn't instructed schools, but issued advice on their request, contrary to the Victoria College communication. It further contradicted the advice given to parents by stating that a policy still hadn't actually been agreed, and was still being "formulated."

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Pictured: Emails to parents should include only first names, schools have been told.

The comment read: "The department was asked for advice on what information schools should give to media outlets who are publishing photographs of young schoolchildren. The advice is being formulated in response to requests from schools, taking into account the latest data protection legislation and safeguarding concerns."

It is commonplace for school child protection policies in the UK to include a rule stating that images of children will only feature their first name.

However, the States of Jersey’s instruction appears to go a step further by chopping surnames out of school communications altogether.

It also follows the decision by some UK schools to stop sharing full class lists with parents and guardians over similar fears that doing so could put pupils at risk.

The Council of Ministers recently pledged that children would be “put first” in all of their policymaking following the findings of the damning Care Inquiry. 

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Posted by nigel pearce on
What would happen if there were four children with the same forename in the same class and the letter was given to the wrong one?
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