Nottingham Portland Swimming Club acknowledges that, although the great majority of images are appropriate and are taken in good faith, it is a fact that images can be misused and children can be put at risk if common-sense procedures are not observed.
In the interest of the best possible child safeguarding, the Club requests that swimmers, parents and spectators do not use mobile phones in or around the pool, changing or spectator areas at any time.
The Club is committed to establishing and developing good practice and following the guidance and procedures set out in the ASA Photography Policy, aimed at helping clubs to avoid three potential sources of child abuse:
- The use, adaptation or copying of images for child abuse, either on the internet or in print.
- The possible identification of a child when an image is accompanied by significant personal information, which can lead to the child being ‘groomed’.
- The identification and locating of children where there are safeguarding children concerns. Such cases would include, for example, children who could be compromised by an image because:
- they are removed from their family for their own safety;
- there are restrictions on their contact with one parent following a parental separation;
- they are a witness in criminal proceedings.
This guidance applies to all photographs taken on film or digital camera (including mobile phones) and any form of moving pictures including video recordings (and video streaming). The terms “child” or “children” include anyone under the age of 18 years.
In order to achieve these aims, Nottingham Portland Swimming Club will implement the ASA recommended best practice:
- The publishing of a photograph of swimmers under 18 either on a noticeboard or in a published article or video recording (including video streaming) of swimming competitions (“Publication”) should only be done with parents’ consent and in line with ASA guidelines.
- A parent or guardian has a right to refuse to have their children photographed. The exercise of this right of refusal should not be used as grounds for refusing entry into a swimming competition. Therefore, any photo that may go to press or on a noticeboard, be it through a member of the Club or official photographer, should have received parental consent before publication/display, preferably in writing.
- Published photographs may identify the swimmer by name and club but should not state the swimmer’s place of residence or school attended.
- If the Club holds a gala and chooses to permit photography, under ASA guidance on the taking of photos, once a parent has signed the Club’s Photography Book Register, they may take photos on the understanding that their swimmer is the main subject of the photograph. Other competitors nearby may be included in the shot but should not be the main subject of the photo. However, another person can object to a parent/carer taking a photo if they believe their child, not the child of the photographer, to be the main subject of the photo.
- At open meets and other competitions, the host club often has an official photographer present. Parents have the right to withhold consent to publication of photos, in which instance they should contact the meet organisers direct.
THE ASA GUIDELINES ON PHOTOS FOR PUBLICATION
- All photographs must observe generally accepted standards of decency in particular:
- Action shots should be a celebration of the sporting activity and not a sexualised image in a sporting context.
- Action shots should not be taken or retained where the photograph reveals a torn or displaced swimming costume.
- Poolside shots of children should normally be above the waist only in a swimming costume, though full length tracksuit shots are approved.
- Photographs should not be taken from behind swimming blocks at the start of a race or exhibit young swimmers climbing out of the swimming pool.
The official photographer
In some cases, clubs may ask a club member/officer to act as an official photographer for an event and in some cases it may employ a specialist photographer. Their role is to take appropriate photos that celebrate and promote swimming.
When taking any images they should be asked to:
- Focus on the activity rather than the individual child.
- Include groups of children rather than individuals if possible.
- Ensure all those featured are appropriately dressed.
- Represent the broad range of youngsters participating in swimming – boys and girls, children with disabilities, members of minority ethnic communities.
- Clubs should screen applicants for their suitability (just as they would check any other member of staff or volunteer working with children) and then provide training for them in the club’s child safeguarding policies and procedures.
- The official photographer (whether a professional photographer or member of club staff) should receive clear instructions, preferably in writing, from the club at an early stage.
- Clubs should provide them with a copy of this guidance and a clear brief about what is appropriate in terms of content. Images should not be allowed to be taken outside the activity being covered.
- Clubs should determine who will hold the images recorded and what is to be done with them after they have served their purpose.
Good practice guidance on filming children during club sessions
The filming of children during club sessions is not recommended. Any filming must be justified by the club as to why the film has been made (e.g. to assist in swimming stroke development).
Assuming filming is justified, written consent is required from the parents of the children with an invitation to the parents to attend the videoing and subsequently view the video.
Filming should cease and/or the footage destroyed should any concerns be raised or if consent is withdrawn.
After filming, unless it can be justified as to why the footage is to be kept, it should be destroyed once it has served its purpose.
Additionally, the individual filming should be extremely careful in the content of the footage.
Where photography is expressly permitted at a special event, a mobile phone should be registered as a camera, if it has that facility, in line with the ASA policy. Though the ASA does not support the banning of phones, as children need them to keep in touch with parents, particularly in emergencies, they support a requirement that manufacturers ensure they add a “noticeable sound” which is audible if a phone camera is used.
Any photos taken should fall within the ASA’s guidelines and if mobile phones are taken into changing rooms, the facility to take photos must not be used.
Should photographs or filmed footage (with or without) names of children be posted on a club website?
It is recommended that individualised photographs should not be kept on a club’s website and certainly not with identifying names as this could lead to a child being approached and placed in a vulnerable position. The same applies to a club’s printed materials such as a club’s annual report or the club kit.
Many clubs with parental consent will use a child’s first name or surname only or a child’s swimming nickname so as not to identify them fully.
The only exception to this guidance is where the child’s parent or carer provides specific written consent to the club publishing photographs.
This consent may be withdrawn at any time and clubs should take all reasonable steps to respect the wishes of the parent/carer.