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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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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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Aberaeron: Playing field gains Centenary Field status

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THE PARK known as Square Field in the centre of Aberaeron has been designated a Centenary Field and named as Cae Canmlwyddiant Ceredigion Centenary Field – Cae Sgwâr / Square Field, Aberaeron.

In gaining the Centenary Field status, the field will be protected in perpetuity to honour the memory of the millions who lost their lives in the First World War. Cae Canmlwyddiant Ceredigion Centenary Field – Cae Sgwâr / Square Field, Aberaeron is the first Centenary Field in Ceredigion.

Ceredigion County Council’s Armed Forces Champion, Councillor Paul Hinge said, “I am delighted that Aberaeron Town Council’s application to dedicate this fantastic green space as a Centenary Field has been accepted by Fields in Trust, and that the County Council was able to support it. It pays an important tribute to those who lost their lives in the First World War, including many young Ceredigion men went to war and didn’t return.

This has been an interesting journey and one that as the Armed Forces Champion and a veteran, I am proud to support.”

A plaque commemorating the status was unveiled by Her Majesty’s Lord Lieutenant of Dyfed, Miss Sara Edwards.

The Mayor of Aberaeron and Local Member, Councillor Elizabeth Evans, said, “Aberaeron residents are rightly proud of Cae Sgwâr’s new status as the designated Centenary Field of Ceredigion, it has a proud history of being the towns recreational field and there isn’t one community in Ceredigion whose children haven’t played on it at some point. It is a fitting commemoration in this hundredth anniversary year of the ending of the First World War and as we remember the past, we also look to the future and Cae Sgwar’s newly protected status in perpetuity as a recreational field, thanks to the Centenary Field Trust.”

A short ceremony was held to unveil the plaque where Miss Edwards, Councillor Hinge and Councillor Evans spoke alongside Ceredigion County Council’s Chairman, Councillor Hag Harris and the Fields in Trust Chairman, Brynmor Williams.

David Lewis, Aberaeron Branch of The Royal British Legion; Miss Elin Jones AM; Councillor Hag Harris, Ceredigion County Council Chairman; Councillor Paul Hinge, Ceredigion County Council Armed Forces Champion; Councillor Elizabeth Evans, Mayor of Aberaeron and Local Member; Miss Sara Edwards, Her Majesty’s Lord Lieutenant of Dyfed; John Lewis, Aberaeron Town Improvement Committee; Carwyn Lloyd-Jones, The Lord Lieutenant’s Cadet; Robin Williams, Fields in Trust; Brynmor Williams, Fields in Trust Chairman; Alun Williams, Ceredigion County Council Corporate Lead Officer for Policy and Performance; Huw Evans, Aberaeron Memorial Hall Committee.

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