Background

1.1 The following resolution was approved by the 2011 Annual General Meeting:

"This AGM calls upon Council to revise existing guidelines and policy on the appropriate use and potential misuse of communication technologies, including social networking media."

1.2 Extant EIS policy was agreed by the 2008 Annual General Meeting. This policy was developed with the support of Learning and Teaching Scotland. This policy has been updated and is appended (Appendix 1).

1.3 Since then the matter has become an issue for employers in situations where employees have posted derogatory comments on websites regarding the employer or other employees. ACAS has produced advice for employers.

1.4 This is also an issue for employees who have been subject to derogatory comments on social networks from students or pupils or from work colleagues and parents. 

1.5 Teachers and lecturers have been dismissed for inappropriate communication with pupils and students. When such dismissals are reported to GTCS the teacher has been removed from the Register.

1.6 The EIS has been clear that GTCS should produce further advice on social networking and we are pleased that this has been done (Appendix 2). This GTCS guidance summarises what is covered:

"Reference to outline communications and social media include software, applications (including those running on mobile devices), e-mail and websites, which enable users to interact, create and exchange information online. Examples, include, but are not limited to, sites such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Wikipedia and My Space. Also included is the use of SMS and instant messaging clients, such as, MSN Messenger and BBM." 

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