016. Allow Teachers to use Social Media as They See Fit

Back in 2012, the Teaching Council released a final draft for consultation regarding out Professional Standards. At that time, I was extremely worried about a particular section: 3.3.7. which states that teachers should ensure that any communication with pupils/ students, colleagues, parents, school management and others is appropriate, including communication via electronic media, such as e-mail, texting and social networking sites.

The key word in this paragraph for me was “others” because I believed it would mean that anything we posted online could be used against us in our private lives. Sure enough, this is exactly what is happening. On the 14th April 2019, almost 7 years to the day later, the Teaching Council published gudlelines for teachers about appropriate social media usage.

As I said back in 2012, this is stepping into 1984 territory and is a threat to our private lives. I have no problem with the Teaching Council dealing with inappropriate behaviours relating to my job but outside of my job, whatever I do is none of its business. Not that I would, but if I decided to “troll” a celebrity on Twitter, that’s my own business and I would expect the backlash to come from the celebrity’s solicitor, not the Teaching Council.

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