Parents seek photo ‘ban’ change at Welwyn Garden City school

A STRICT photography ban stopping parents from a school snapping shots of their children should be changed, according to the results of a survey.

The policy, which also prevents parents recording nativity plays and sports days, at Applecroft School in WGC, previously featured in the WHT after a yearbook with children’s eyes blacked out was sent home.

This sparked a three-year campaign by some parents to develop a “more logical” policy.

Parents Natasha Stannard and Caroline Baynes commissioned an independent survey which was completed by parents of 195 children, about 42 per cent.

Of these 82 per cent were not content with the current policy, 92 per cent said they wanted to take pictures of their child’s school days, and 89 per cent said they didn’t mind other parents taking pictures of their child at school events.

Also more than eight out of 10 believed the school could adequately safeguard children without preventing parents from taking pictures.

One parent commented against the campaign as part of the survey.

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The anonymous parent said: “As I don’t know all of the other parents personally, how can I trust them all to behave responsibly and considerately with photographs/videos that may contain my child?”

Parent Joely Koos said: “Whatever the wording, I feel as if I’m banned from being able to photograph or video my kids at school.

“This policy is so extreme and therefore seemingly irrational.

“I would appeal to the school for a more reasonable, sensible course of action as in other schools.”

Parent Neil Hughes added: “The school’s approach is not balanced and discriminates against the majority of its parent base.

“The policy doesn’t recognise the reality of the environment in which we live wherein images are captured without singling out individuals on a routing basis via CCTV etc.

“It is out of character with the general approach of the school of tolerance and inclusivity. Its very disappointing.”

Campaigner Caroline Baynes said: “The survey has demonstrated the school can take other measures to safeguard all children without prohibiting the taking of photos and video by parents.”

A spokesman for the governors said they would be discussing the school’s policy at their meeting on Wednesday, but it was not the case that photography was banned at Applecroft School.