As featured in Parentdish

Tuesday, 28 December 2010


Well that’s the nativity plays over for another year, and as always we were not allowed to video or take pictures of our children. Does this annoy you? If so check out this blog – It is run by Stuart Waiton, a lecturer at the University of Abertay, Dundee.

Waiton urges us to sign his petition which opposes the restrictions and regulations placed on parents taking photographs at nativity plays and school events. I have signed.

For anyone unsure, there is no law against taking photographs of children – your children or otherwise. More people need to know about this. I know several people who have been threatened by the police, or been under suspicion from the police for taking photographs with children present.

I want to keep paedophilia out of my family’s lives. I resent these people who are making it part of everyday life, telling us that we can’t take pictures for risk of a paedophile getting hold of them.


  1. It's not illegal to take photos of children. However, images are covered under the Data Protection Act and people (or parents, in the case of children) have the right to a say in how their image is used. This isn't really anything to do with paedophilia. If, say, I take a photo of my child and a group of other children on Sports Day, and put it on my blog or my Facebook page, then that picture is in the public domain and could be copied by others and used in all sorts of dubious ways. Some parents might object to their child's pic being used in this way, and might complain to the school about unauthorised use.

    Some parents do in fact refuse permission for their child's photograph to be taken at school, which makes it very difficult at public events such as sports days or nativity plays. Headteachers have to resort to saying, "You can take photos of the play, but not of child X in year 2 or child Y in year 6."

    The final issue is one of child protection - a parent may conceivably want to keep a child's location a secret if, for example, they are hiding from an abusive ex-partner. That would include not having photos of the child taken that might become publicly available.

    Headteachers have to tread a difficult line on this. Some choose to operate a blanket ban simply because it's easier than having to make announcements at every school event about what kinds of photos can be taken and how they can be used. When I was a school governor, we didn't opt for a blanket ban, because we knew it would upset parents, but I can see why some schools do.

  2. Thank for commenting Kim. I can see why parents would be annoyed at images of their children being published. I think this is one of the problems the internet has brought.