Photographing, Filming and Recording Students Policy


Fitzroy High School values children as individual learners who are full of potential and capable of excellence. Our students will be lifelong learners, reflective and creative thinkers, responsible and active citizens, and resilient and adaptable problem solvers able to navigate through an uncertain and constantly changing future. Fitzroy is a learning community where students and teams of teachers work together to:

  • Achieve high standards so that all students fulfil their capabilities in academic, intellectual, social, emotional and physical development
  • Celebrate diversity and embrace individual differences, including class, culture, race, gender, sexuality and ethnicity
  • Build a cohesive, compassionate and proud school community with a productive legacy for the future
  • Develop beyond our current capacity through continuous change and review
  • Participate in and contribute to our wider community. 


Fitzroy High embraces a bold and ambitious dream: striving for excellence and equity. We aim to be a humane learning community in which teachers use relationships to deepen their knowledge of students. This is in order to engage all of them in an intellectually challenging education based on powerful ideas, help them toward social maturity, and prepare them for a life of meaningful possibilities and active participation as Australian and global citizens.


To explain to parents/carers how Fitzroy High School will collect, use and disclose photographs, video and recordings of students, how parent/carer consent can be provided and how it can be withdrawn.


This policy applies to the general collection, use and disclosure of photographs, video and recordings (“images”) of students. It does not cover the use of Closed Circuit Television (CCTV). The use of CCTV is covered in our school’s CCTV policy.


This policy outlines the practices that Fitzroy High School has in place for the collection, use and disclosure of images of students to ensure compliance with the Privacy and Data Protection Act 2014 (Vic). It also explains the circumstances in which Fitzroy High School will seek parent/carer consent and how consent can be provided and/or withdrawn. 

As a general rule, use relates to images which are shared and distributed only within the school for school purposes (i.e. ID photos, Compass), whilst disclosure is used for images which are shared and distributed outside of the school staff and are available to other students, parents/carers and the wider school community.

Fitzroy High School will ensure that parents/carers are notified upon enrolment and at the commencement of each school year of the ways in which our school may use images of students. There are many occasions during the school year where staff photograph, film or record students participating in school activities or events, for example classroom activities, sports events, concerts, excursions, camps etc. We do this for many reasons including to celebrate student participation and achievement, showcase particular learning programs, document a student’s learning journey/camps/excursions/sports events, communicate with our parents/carers and school community in newsletters and on classroom blogs/apps etc.

Fitzroy High School will use student images reasonably, appropriately and sensitively, consistent with our obligations under the Child Safe Standards and our school’s Statement of Commitment to Child Safety. If at any time a parent/carer or student has a concern about the use of any images they should contact the Assistant Principal by telephone on 9488 1900 or email at

In addition to the processes outlined below, parents/carers can contact the Assistant Principal in writing by sending an email to at any time to withdraw their consent for any future collection, use or disclosure of images of their child. However:

  • if the images have already been published and are in the public domain, it may not be possible for consent to be withdrawn.
  • There may be occasions when the school will record whole of school or large group events [and make those recordings available to the school community through DVD sales etc], such as [school productions and cabarets] and if your child participates, they may appear in these recordings which will be available to the whole school community.
  • The school can still collect, use and disclose images in circumstances where consent is not required (see below for more information).

Official school photographs

Each year Fitzroy High School will arrange for a professional photographer to take official school photographs of students. This will generally involve both individual photos being taken as well as the whole Year 12 cohort as a group.

Official school photographs may be:

  • purchased by parents/carers
  • used for school identification cards
  • stored on CASES21 for educational and administrative purposes
  • stored on Compass School Manager for student identification and role marking purposes

Fitzroy High School will notify parents/carers in advance of the official school photographs being taken to give them an opportunity to decide whether their child will be included in the official school photographs. 

Parents/carers who choose to opt-out of having their child participate in official school photographs must contact the Assistant Principal by email before the date photos are scheduled to be taken to advise that their child will not participate. There is no obligation on any parent or carer to purchase any photographs taken. 

Images for use and disclosure within the school community and ordinary school communications

From time to time Fitzroy High School may photograph, film or record students to use within the school community, including:

  • in the school’s communication, learning and teaching tools (for example, emails, classroom blogs or apps that can only be accessed by students, parents or school staff with passwords eg Compass, Google Classroom etc)
  • for display in school classrooms, on noticeboards etc
  • in student work, where students have collaborated on films, recorded interviews etc
  • to support student’s health and wellbeing (eg photographs of pencil grip to assist in OT assessments)
  • recording major school events like sports carnivals, performances, exhibition nights and school camps
  • in the Year 12 Graduation Book

An Annual Consent Form and Collection Notice will be distributed to parents/carers on enrolment and also at the end of each school year.

Images to be used or disclosed outside the school community

External use or disclosure by the school

Photographs, video or recordings of students may also be used in publications that are accessible to the public, including: 

  • on the school’s website, including in the school newsletter which is publicly available on the website

The Annual Consent Form and Collection Notice also covers these types of uses and will be distributed to parents/carers on enrolment and also at the end of each school year. We will notify you individually if we are considering using any images of your child for specific advertising or promotional purposes.


The media, or the Department of Education and Training’s media team, may seek to photograph, film or record students for a news story or school event. This may include broadcast media, online or social media or print media, including newspapers and magazine publications.

When our school receives such requests Fitzroy High School will:

  • provide parents/carers with information about the organisation involved and when/for what purposes the photography, filming or recording will occur
  • seek prior, express parent/carer consent in writing.

Students will only be photographed, filmed or recorded by the media at school if express consent is provided for that specific media event. Neither the school nor the Department own or control any photographs, video or recordings of students taken by the media.

Other external collection, use or disclosure

If there is a situation which will involve the collection, use or disclosure of images of students by or to third parties which is not otherwise covered by this policy, Fitzroy High School will:

  • provide parents/carers with information about the event or activity, the organisation involved and when the photography, filming or recording will occur
  • seek prior, express parent/carer consent in writing.

School performances, sporting events and other school approved activities

Fitzroy High School requests that parents/carers, students and invited guests who photograph, film or record school activities only do so for their own personal use and do not publish the images in any form, including on social media, without the prior consent of persons whose children also appear in the images.

Neither the school nor the Department own or control any images of students taken by parents/carers, students or their invited guests at school activities.

Images to manage student behaviour or fulfil our school’s legal obligations

On occasion it may be necessary for school staff to photograph, film or record students when necessary to:

  • fulfil legal obligations, including to:
    • take reasonable steps to reduce the risk of reasonably foreseeable harm to students staff and visitors (duty of care)
    • provide a safe and suitable workplace (occupational health and safety law)
  • for identification purposes, when necessary to implement discipline and/or behaviour management policies.

Fitzroy High School does not require or obtain consent from parents/carers or students to photograph, film or record students for these reasons. However, when Fitzroy High School photographs, films or records a student for any of these purposes, staff will only collect and use such images in a way that is reasonable and appropriate in the circumstances.

Staff use of personal devices

Fitzroy HighSchool staff may use their own personal devices to capture images of students for reasonable and legitimate educational purposes. If this occurs, staff are expected to upload the images to the school database and delete the images from their device within a week of the images being captured.

Further information and resources

Review cycle and evaluation

This policy was last updated on 14/02/2019 and is scheduled for review in February 2023.

Date Implemented February 2019
Approved By  
Approval Authority (Signature & Date)    
Date Reviewed  
Responsible for Review    
Review Date



For students

  • All students should feel safe to speak to any staff member to raise any concerns about their safety or any other concerns that they have.
  • If a student does not know who to approach at Fitzroy High School they should start with their Advisory teacher.

Managing disclosures made by students

When managing a disclosure you should:

  • listen to the student and allow them to speak
  • stay calm and use a neutral tone with no urgency and where possible use the child’s language and vocabulary (you do not want to frighten the child or interrupt the child)
  • be gentle, patient and non-judgmental throughout
  • highlight to the student it was important for them to tell you about what has happened
  • assure them that they are not to blame for what has occurred 
  • do not ask leading questions, for example gently ask, “What happened next?” rather than “Why?”
  • be patient and allow the child to talk at their own pace and in their own words
  • do not pressure the child into telling you more than they want to, they will be asked a lot of questions by other professionals and it is important not to force them to retell what has occurred multiple times
  • reassure the child that you believe them and that disclosing the matter was important for them to do
  • use verbal facilitators such as, “I see”, restate the child’s previous statement, and use non-suggestive words of encouragement, designed to keep the child talking in an open-ended way (“what happened next?”)
  • tell the child in age appropriate language you are required to report to the relevant authority to help stop the abuse, and explain the role of these authorities if appropriate  (for a young child this may be as simple as saying “I will need to talk to people to work out what to do next to help you”).

When managing a disclosure you should AVOID:

  • displaying expressions of panic or shock
  • asking questions that are investigative and potentially invasive (this may make the child feel uncomfortable and may cause the child to withdraw)
  • going over the information repeatedly (you are only gathering information to help you form a belief on reasonable grounds that you need to make a report to the relevant authority)
  • making any comments that would lead the student to believe that what has happened is their fault
  • making promises to the child about what will occur next or that things will be different given the process can be unpredictable and different for each child depending on their circumstances (instead reassure them that you and others will do your best to help).

General procedures

Our school will follow the Four Critical Actions for Schools: Responding to Incidents, Disclosures and Suspicions of Child Abuse (Four Critical Actions) when responding to incidents, disclosures and suspicions of child abuse. 

All staff at our school who believe that a child is in need of protection, even if it doesn’t meet the threshold required for mandatory reporting or the staff member is not a mandatory reporter, should in the first instance, speak to their Team Leader or should make the required reports to DHHS Child Protection and/or Victoria Police as necessary.

At our school the Principal will be responsible for monitoring overall school compliance with this procedure.

Nothing in this procedure prevents a staff member or any other person from reporting to the relevant authorities if they form a reasonable belief that a child is at risk of abuse.

Reporting suspicions, disclosures or incidents of child abuse

Responsibilities of all school staff

If a school staff member reasonably suspects or witnesses an incident of child abuse or receives a disclosure of child abuse, they must:

  • If a child is at immediate risk of harm, separate alleged victims and others involved, administer first aid and call 000.
  • Speak to Team Leader or Wellbeing Leader as soon as possible, who will follow the Four Critical Actions.
  • Make detailed notes of the incident or disclosure and ensure that those notes are kept and stored securely in the Wellbeing filing cabinet. The template for this is in the Internal Procedures for Managing Incidents document
  • If the staff member is a mandatory reporter and reasonably believes that a student has suffered physical and/or sexual abuse from which the child’s parents have not protected the child, they must ensure that a report to DHHS Child Protection or Victoria Police has been made by themselves or the Wellbeing Leader If the report has not been made by another staff member, the mandatory reporter must make the report.
  • If the staff member has formed a ‘reasonable belief’ that a sexual offence has been committed by an adult against a child, they must ensure that a report to Victoria Police has been made by themselves or the Wellbeing Leader. If the report has not been made by another staff member, the staff member must make the report.

In circumstances where a member of the leadership team disagrees that a report needs to be made, but the staff member has formed a ‘reasonable belief’ that the child is in need of protection and/or has been the victim of sexual abuse, the staff member must still contact DHHS Child Protection and/or Victoria Police to make the report.

Responsibilities of Principal/Leadership Team Member/Wellbeing Staff

The Wellbeing Leader is responsible for promptly managing the school’s response to an incident, suspicion or disclosure of child abuse, and ensuring that the incident, suspicion or disclosure is taken seriously. The Wellbeing Leader is also responsible for responding appropriately to a child who makes or is affected by an allegation of child abuse.

If the Principal/Leadership Team Member/Wellbeing Leaderreceives a report from a school staff member or member of the school community of a suspicion, disclosure or incident of child abuse, they must:

  • Follow the Four Critical Actions as soon as possible, including:
    • Responding to an emergency
    • Reporting to authorities/referring to services
    • Contacting parents/carers and
    • Providing ongoing support.
  • Make detailed notes of the incident or disclosure, including actions taken using the Internal Procedures for Managing Incidents document and ensure that those notes are kept and stored securely in the Wellbeing Office filing cabinet. They are also responsible for ensuring that any staff member who reported the incident, disclosure or suspicion to them also makes and keeps notes of the incident.
  • At Fitzroy High School, the school Principal and Wellbeing Leader will be responsible for ensuring that there is a prompt response to the disclosure and that the child is appropriately supported.

If the Principal or Wellbeing Leader are unavailable, Assistant Principal or Team Leaders will take on the role and responsibilities described in this section.

Duty of care and ongoing support for students

Fulfilling the requirements in this procedure does not displace or discharge any other obligations that arise if a person reasonably believes that a child is at risk of abuse.

All staff have a duty of care to take reasonable steps to prevent reasonably foreseeable harm to students. All staff must ensure that Principal/Leadership Team Member/Wellbeing Staff are aware of any incidents, suspicions or disclosures of child abuse as soon as possible after they occur. This will allow appropriate supports to be put in place for the student affected.

For school visitors, volunteers and school community members

All community members aged 18 years or over should be aware of their legal obligations – see Failure to disclose offence above, in this Policy.

Any person can make a report to DHHS Child Protection if they believe on reasonable grounds that a child is in need of protection. For contact details see the Four Critical Actions –

Approved Document (pdf)