Social Media for Schools

Red Box – Virtual Business Support, recently undertook some social media training for schools for London Grid for Learning (@LGfL) along with the wonderful Katy Potts (@katypotts) and Matthew Beevor (@mbeevor) from Islington Council.

They  focused on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram but also looked at how to utilise your Google Local Entry.

The session covered types of content best suited for each platform; ensuring your social media accounts are optimised and set up correctly; social media policy and GDPR; then finally some best practise and practical tips for managing your social media.

A school’s social media and digital footprint is now an essential part of their marketing and PR strategy.  It is not only a great way to improve communications with parents but it is also used by prospective parents and indeed even Ofsted will search out a school online before a visit.  It is therefore essential for schools to take ownership of their online reputation rather than leave it to chance.

Social media can show your school is active and engaging as part of your local community and indeed even globally.  Many schools look for sponsorship from local businesses for their school fairs and fundraisers, and what better way than to reach out to them on twitter for example.  All small businesses are using twitter as a cost effective form of marketing so they will be delighted if your school engages with them online.

social media for schoolsSocial media is a great way of building connections with outside organisations, use it to join an already established campaign or indeed create your own campaign and hashtag.  Use it to highlight your school and your pupils’ achievements.  In this way the advantages from social media far outweigh the negatives, as long as you set out a clear social media policy.

When creating a social media policy, decide who will have access, what type of content you will share and what tone you will use.  Ensure your parents have consented to images of their children being used but also have a policy around what sort of images can be used, (perhaps you don’t allow close ups of pupils but rather cleverly set up images that convey the event without highlighting individuals).  Your social media policy should also include how school trips are represented, locations should not be divulged so perhaps share the trips images the following day rather than immediately.

Your school’s Google Local Entry is more than likely going to be the first thing a user sees when searching online, even before your website, so it makes sense to make the most of it.  Claim your entry and add good images and location details.  Google have recently created the option of ‘posting’ to your entry, this is added content that will be tagged to your entry and is a brilliant way to market upcoming events and even available school places.

There is a great deal to think about when setting up your school’s social media but using it well could greatly improve your schools profile and sharing positive content will only help to maintain your school’s online reputation.

Many thanks to Red Box for this blog post.

You can find more information on managing your schools’s online reputation from LGfL here.

GDPR advice here.

Range of template policies here.

 

Managing a sudden death in the school community.

Child Bereavement UK are experts in supporting schools within the context of bereavement within a school community.  Through their work they have identified some of the key barriers for schools in responding appropriately and quickly to the needs of those affected by a bereavement. By working in partnership with LGfL, Managing a sudden death in the school community has been produced. This open access resource has been designed to bring the key information in both a video and text format with a quick and accessible interface.

Grief is a normal and natural response to loss, yet how pupils are supported can have significant impacts on long term outcomes. Young people tell us that how their school responds is something they never forget. This resource aims to provide an accessible support gateway to the effective response to death within school community. Simple, short guidance through quotes, external inks and video interviews with experts helps provide the information you need at the right time to ensure the whole school community can work together to support each other.

There are two ways in which this resource has been designed to be used.

  • General Staff CPD – Preparing in advance
    Raising awareness through staff CPD in advance of a predicted (or unpredicted) death within the school community ensures that when an event occurs staff know where to go immediately to receive appropriate guidance.
  • Use in a time of need
    The portal is designed to provide immediate support for schools that find themselves unexpectedly managing a sudden unpredicted death within their community. The resource is structured to make the guidance clear and accessible for fast assimilation of immediate actions for staff members.

The Support Gateway includes

  • The first 30 minutes
  • Breaking bad news
  • Supporting a bereaved family
  • Supporting the school staff
  • Traumatic deaths
  • Social media and media relations
  • Looking to the future

Video clips, information packs and external links are provided for staff to deliver comprehensive support.

‘This resource development has been an important piece of work to undertake in partnership with Child Bereavement UK. In times of need and extreme pressure following a sudden death within the community, we have utilised the power of online technology to provide invaluable and time critical guidance for different members of school communities. Sadly, recent events in London and Manchester, featured in the media highlight the impact of loss of life and the impact on local and school communities. In reality, many school communities are managing complex situations at short or no notice every day. We hope the format of the guidance through the use of short format video answers to key questions and relevant links and simple guidance can help manage the pressures for school leaders.’

 Bob Usher – LGfL Content Manager

‘From our experience of running a national helpline for over 15 years, Child Bereavement UK is acutely aware of the very real challenges schools experience when they are faced with the sudden, unexpected death of a pupil, a parent or a member of staff.  Many head teachers have shared with us that they feel ill-equipped to respond in the immediate aftermath of these sudden and often traumatic incidents; they are concerned to do their best, but are unsure as to how they should inform staff and pupils and what support to offer. 

Child Bereavement UK has therefore greatly valued the opportunity to work with London Grid for Learning, drawing on their experience in online technology, to create a resource that can enable schools to access information and guidance simply and quickly around the key considerations when responding to a death in the school community.   How schools manage these events is so important; bereaved children and young people tell us that the way their school responds at such a difficult time is something they never forget.’

Dr Ann Rowland – Director of Bereavement Support and Education

16th-22nd November is Children’s Grief Awareness Week UK, this  is designed to raise awareness of bereaved children and young people in the UK, and how providing those affected with free, professional support can make the world of difference to their future. More resources to support schools can be found on our blog.