1. Overview

The aim of this Digital and Social Media Policy is to set standards of behaviour for the use of Social Media that are consistent with the values and expectations of Wesley College (the College) and compliant with all applicable laws. The Policy also aims to protect the safety and wellbeing of members of the College community and to uphold the Child Safe Programs of the College.

2. Scope

This Policy applies to all Wesley College directors, staff members, parents, students, contractors, subcontractors and volunteers (Stakeholders). This Policy applies to digital and social medial other than endorsed College learning and collaboration platforms.

3. Definitions

‘Posting’ means any form of electronic communication on digital and social media, including posting or blogging.

‘Digital and Social Media’ means any form of electronic communication that facilitates the sharing of ideas, thoughts, information and content such as text, videos and images through the building of virtual networks and communities. Users may engage with social media via any or all of a computer, tablet, smartphone, wearable device via web-based software or web application(s).

Digital and Social Media includes, but is not limited to:

  • Social networking sites e.g. Facebook, Snapchat, LinkedIn, MySpace, Google+;
  • Video and photo sharing websites e.g. Instagram, Flickr, YouTube, TikTok;
  • Micro-blogging sites e.g. Twitter, Tumblr;
  • Chat and instant messaging platforms (including SMS) e.g. Viber, Slack, WhatsApp, WeChat, Kik;
  • Blogs, including corporate blogs, classroom blogs, personal blogs or blogs hosted by traditional media publications;
  • Forums, collaboration tools and discussion boards such as Discord, Slack, Yammer, Whirlpool, Google Groups or Google Hangouts;
  • Online encyclopaedias such as Wikipedia; and
  • Podcasting, audio casting and video blogging e.g. Audio Boom, SoundCloud, Periscope.

Official digital and social media’ refers to any public social media account, group or site that seeks to represent the College for communication, engagement or marketing purposes. Official College social media is managed by or in consultation with the College Marketing and Alumni relations teams.

Other types of identifiable social media in use of digital and social media by groups that associate with, or represent the College including but not limited to cocurricular groups such as sport, performing arts and music.

4. Policy

4.1 All Stakeholders are expected to uphold the law, the values and adhere to the policies of the College in all Digital and Social media interactions.

4.2 All Stakeholders are required to act in such a way that will not damage or adversely affect the College or any member of the College Community and will not bring the reputation of the College into disrepute through the use of Digital and Social Media.

4.3 Digital and Social Media must not be used without prior written approval to post the name or identity of any member of the College community or to use an emblem, insignia, logo, uniform or other identifying information to establish an account or group on any platform or to denigrate the College, the College community or individuals members thereof.

4.4 Digital and Social Media must not be used to insult, bully, harass, stalk, violate privacy, present offensive, inappropriate, discriminatory or unlawful content, including peer-to-peer file sharing, or misrepresent the College or any member of the College community.

4.5 No adult stakeholder is authorised to use social media to contact or communicate with current students enrolled in the College, unless with prior approval from the College Executive.

Adult stakeholders may only use endorsed College platforms for communication or connection with students. These include: WiSE, Wesley College email, Microsoft Teams, Seesaw, and Reach. Slack is a Wesley endorsed platform but is only used for communication between adult stakeholders.

4.6 Student stakeholders may only use endorsed College platforms for peer-to-peer communications. These include WiSE, Wesley College email, Microsoft Teams, Seesaw, Reach and approved, closed Instagram groups.

4.7 Stakeholders must not invite current students to their personal site/pages or accept invites from students to their pages/sites or groups.

4.8 Stakeholders who have their own children at the College are permitted to communicate with and access their own child's social network sites. Discretion must be exercised in relation to the friends of their own children who are also students at the College and stakeholders should refrain from discussion College-related matters.

4.9 All College -related blogs (e.g. a tour leader setting up a blog or a WhatsApp group to stay in contact with parents while the tour is overseas) must be approved in advance by the relevant member of College Executive and implemented through an authorised platform.

4.10 Before placing any photos or videos onto any public platform, the College must check these photos or videos against records of students with photo restrictions and ensure they are not included in any material in any form.

4.11 Students depicted in any published story, image or video must be referred to by their first name only to meet best practice child protection protocols.

4.12 Avoid publishing any photos or videos that show portraits of students in swimwear, rolled down zoot suits or athletics outfits. Images or videos of students competing or training in this apparel is acceptable.

5.0  Personal Digital and Social Media use

If Stakeholders use Digital and Social Media in a personal capacity, where they can be associated with the College or its affiliates and partners in any way, they must:

5.1.1 Not use Digital and Social Media to represent the College or make any comment about or on behalf of the College;

5.1.2 ensure that the content of their personal social media accounts does not breach the College's policies

5.1.3 Ensure that the content contributes to providing a safe online environment for the College community Stakeholders;

5.1.4 not post anything that is contrary to the best interests of the College or which may damage the College's reputation, business or interests;

5.1.5 not post material that is obscene, defamatory, threatening, harassing, discriminatory, hateful, violent, racist, sexist or is otherwise unlawful or incites violence against others;

5.1.6 comply with all College policies including the Privacy Policy and not disclose personal information belonging to other members of the College community;

5.1.7 not upload video, audio or photographs of any member of the College community (student, parents or staff) without seeking and gaining appropriate permission from the College;

5.1.8 not be disrespectful of the College, Stakeholders, students or parents/guardians of the College;

5.1.9 not use the identity or likeness of any other person without express permission in writing;

5.1.10 not contravene their employment or contractor agreement with the College; and

5.1.11 not use Social Media at work in a manner which detracts from their performance at work, productivity or ability to meet work commitments or responsibilities

If Stakeholders use a personal device to capture images of students, they:

5.1.12 may only be for reasonable and legitimate educational purposes;

5.1.13 must be transferred to a College database within one week of the image being captured; and

5.1.14 they must not be used for personal reasons including on personal digital and social media accounts

5.2  Official College Social Media Use

5.2.1 The College manages several official College social media channels, including accounts on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and LinkedIn. The official School accounts are managed and monitored by the Marketing team, who is responsible for all editorial and content.

5.2.2 The Old Wesley Collegians Association (OWCA) maintains their own Facebook, Twitter and OWConnect profiles.

5.2.3 Associated College social media channels that are managed by College staff, students, parents or volunteers that are representing the College for instance in sport, performing arts or music , must ensure that any content that is posted is factually accurate, and complies with relevant policies and laws, particularly those relating to privacy, image consent, decency, confidentiality and disclosure.

5.2.4 Stakeholders authorised to manage the College's official social media channels must ensure that any content that is posted is factually accurate, and complies with relevant policies and laws, particularly those relating to privacy, image consent, decency, confidentiality and disclosure.

5.2.5 College Social Media channels must be used for the sole purpose of benefiting the College and ensure that posts reflect the values and support the vision and values of the College.

5.2.6 Comments and engagements made on the official college social media channels must be monitored to ensure they are respectful and that an appropriate tone is maintained at all times

5.2.7 Staff must always seek parental or guardian consent when publishing any identifying student information such as names, or images in text,  photography or video content

5.2.8 The Marketing team is responsible for ensuring that the College's social channels comply with the terms and conditions of use of the relevant Digital or Social Media platform.

6.0 Breach of this Policy

A breach of this policy may result in the College taking disciplinary or other action against a Stakeholder and will be dealt with on a case by case basis.

In addition, Victorian and Commonwealth laws create criminal offences for the misuse of social media (https://www.education.vic.gov.au/about/programs/bullystoppers/Pages/socialmedialegal.aspx).

If you break the law you may be personally liable. Legal action may also be taken against a user by the College or a third party.

If a Stakeholder becomes aware of any use of Digital or Social Media which is adverse to the interests of the College, they are required to notify the College as soon as possible by contacting the Director of Community Engagement. Social media interactions on the College's official channels may need to be used as evidence for legal or investigation purposes.

All reports of cyber bullying and other technology misuses may be investigated and may result in a notification to Police where the College is legally obliged to do so and disciplinary action may be taken. It is important that Stakeholders are aware that in certain circumstances where a crime has or may have been committed, they may be subjected to a criminal investigation by the Police.

7.0 Related Policies
8.0 Related Legislation
  • Privacy Act 1988 (Cth)
  • Enhancing Online Safety for Children Act 2015
  • Children, Youth and Families Act 2005
  • Child Safe Standards Victoria 2017
  • Child Wellbeing and Safety Act 2005