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School nativity – danger in the manger?

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IT’S the time of year when every parent enjoys watching their little darlings perform in the school nativity play. It used to be that the show was documented by hundreds of proud parents snapping away on their cameras, but more recently school politics and privacy issues have come into play, with some schools ruling that it is unacceptable to take pictures or videos of the show.

But what is the legal position when it comes to videos and photographs of school events? Are schools able to impose a blanket ban? If you ignore the school’s photography policy, what legal action can they take against you? And if another parent shares a group shot featuring your child, without permission, can you force them to take it down.

Anthony Di Palma, Solicitor at DAS Law, looks at the photographic minefield that is the school nativity play for The Herald.

My child’s school has a photography policy which states that there is a blanket ban on taking photos at the nativity play. Is this legal?

Any owner of private property may restrict the use of photography or video equipment on the premises. If ignored, you may be asked to leave and may be deemed to be trespassing if you refuse.

I signed my child’s schools consent form stating I won’t take any photos. What legal ramifications will I face should I choose to ignore the policy?

The consent form is unlikely to be legally enforceable as a contract if there is no financial loss to the school, and there are no laws generally against taking photographs of your own or other people’s children as long as the photographs are not deemed ‘indecent’, or are likely to have the effect of harming or harassing the children.

Are there any laws against sharing group shots of my child’s nativity play photos online? 

As a best practice, it is advisable that parents should avoid sharing photographs of children without obtaining prior consent of that child’s parent or guardian. However, as long as the photographs are not deemed ‘indecent’, or are likely to have the effect of harming or harassing them, then there is nothing legally stopping you from doing so.

What legal action can I take against people that share group photos of the school nativity play on social media that include my child without my permission?

You can ask the person to remove the photograph, however if they refuse there is no realistic legal action you can take. Privacy laws under the Human Rights Act cannot be enforced against other private individuals and unless you own the copyright in the photograph, or the image is offensive or indecent, then the social media site has no obligation to remove that photo if it is reported to them.

If I blur out other children’s faces can I share school play photos online?

You don’t have to blur out children’s faces in order to share them online, as the Data Protection Act doesn’t apply to photographs taken for private use and which do not identify the child (i.e. name them). However, if you would be concerned about images of your own child appearing without your permission, blurring out other children’s faces may be a sensible step to take.

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Chairman’s contribution to local charity

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Chairman of Ceredigion County Council, Councillor Hag Harris presenting a cheque of £400 to Elin Vaughan-Miles, Lampeter Family Coordinator.

AS Councillor Hag Harris’ year as Chairman of Ceredigion County Council for 2018-2019 draws to a close, the Chairman’s Annual Dinner was held. During the evening, donations were received supporting the charity of the Chair’s choice, which was Lampeter Family Centre.

Lampeter Family Centre is open five days a week to all families with children under the age of 11 years old. It is a free, open access environment which provides a service to families in a welcoming and non-judgemental environment.

The centre offers a variety of sessions throughout the week including baby group, lunch club, language and play sessions for parents and toddlers. They also offer free play sessions, craft activities and ‘Out and About’ sessions which promotes the services on offer in the community.

Councillor Hag Harris presented a cheque of £400 for Lampeter Family Centre and said, “It is a pleasure to present this money to a truly deserving charity. Lampeter Family Centre is a fantastic support service for families with young children. It is a great resource and benefit for the community.”

The Centre also offers a variety of courses for parents to gain new skills, including Welsh lessons to help families who have recently moved to the area to integrate into the community. Over the last year, the Centre has supported 102 families.

Lampeter Family Centre is situated at Canolfan Dulais, Pontfaen Road in Lampeter. For more information, phone 01570 423847 or email lampeterfamilycentre@gmail.com.

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Beach clean up by Aberaeron Community Ambassadors

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Aberaeron Community Ambassadors after the clean-up at Aberaeron beach.

ON Tuesday 26 March, Aberaeron Community Ambassadors organised and hosted a beach clean at Aberaeron beach during their lunch hour. Whilst carrying out the clean-up, the young people had the opportunity to learn about looking after the environment around them.

Aberaeron Community Ambassadors is made up of Ysgol Gyfun Aberaeron pupils and members of Aberaeron Youth Club. The group is part of Ceredigion Youth Service and is led by young volunteers and local young people.

School-based Youth Worker at Ysgol Gyfun Aberaeron, Rebeca Davies said, “The ambassadors did a great job organising and hosting their first community project, which was well planned and executed. It’s fantastic to see that our young people are so eager to get involved and give up their time for the benefit their local communities. Well done to Aberaeron Community Ambassadors!”

The recently established group now has 20 members aged between 11-18. Its aim is to organise and undertake activities and events which will benefit the community around Aberaeron.

Thomas Evans, Head Boy at Ysgol Gyfun Aberaeron and Young Volunteer with Ceredigion Youth Service said, “We had a great time litter picking at our local beach. It was a really good opportunity to give something back to the community, and that is the aim of the group. The group is looking forward to our next project.”

Ceredigion Youth Service is the designated Service for young people aged 11-25 in Ceredigion, dedicated to supporting young people’s personal, social and educational development through specialised support and open access provision. For more information or to find out what opportunities are available to you, head over to their Facebook, Twitter or Instagram pages at @GICeredigionYS or contact the team on youth@ceredigion.gov.uk.

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Cold temperatures likely to lead to icy conditions

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A YELLOW weather warning is in place over Wales from 10pm tonight (Jan 16) and 11am tomorrow morning (Jan 17).

As temperatures drop, there is a strong chance of ice patches causing dangerous conditions for motorists.

Icy patches developing with wintry showers also affecting some areas.

What to expect

  • Some injuries from slips and falls on icy surfaces
  • Probably some ice on some untreated roads, pavements and cycle paths
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