Using social media: Do you know what the rules are for teachers?

NASUWT provides advice for teachers usig social media

Published on 21st October 2017

Do not accept friend requests from parents or pupils, teachers have been warned.

After NASUWT has received increasing numbers of contacts involving incidents of social media usage that have compromised the professional position of teachers, the union is reiterating messages around using sites like Facebook and Twitter.

Indeed, cases that come before the National College for Teaching and Leadership often involve examples of teachers having sent pupils messages using social media.

“Ensure your privacy settings are adequate. You can determine who sees your posts and most importantly, ensure that you get to approve any pictures in which you may be tagged before the picture is published. You can also disable your profile from certain search engines,” said the union.

Using social media has many benefits for teachers in terms of keeping in touch with colleagues, sharing ideas and providing/receiving support, and enhancing the learning process. It also plays a fundamental role for trade unions like NASUWT in communicating with members and receiving feedback that contributes to union policy.

Here, the union provides a few general guidelines on how to use social media safely and wisely.

General Guidelines

  • Do not post anything that could be construed as defamatory or discriminatory against others.

  • Do not get embroiled in online arguments - they can escalate quickly! 

  • Remember that any post can potentially be quoted by the media.

  • Employers increasingly use social media to look at candidates before or after a job interview. If you would not want your employer to see something, take it down!

  • If in doubt, don't put it up!



  • Do not accept friend requests from parents or pupils.
  • Revisit your privacy settings to ensure they are adequate and protect you.
  • Consider using a separate account for school-related purposes which does not contain your real name.
  • If you receive any abusive messages, do not respond but keep a record of them.




  • Remember Twitter is a much more public forum than Facebook.

  • Retweeting can be viewed as a sign of endorsement which may be inappropriate in some circumstances.


NASUWT: Protecting Your Privacy Online



Share this article:

Back to top
Subscribe to Teacher Today
Post a comment

Receive the latest interviews, features and news stories in the Teacher Today monthly email newsletter, designed and produced for locum social workers in the UK.

Type in your email address below and click Subscribe.

Leave a comment

Latest articles

What to look for when recruiting a supply teacher or teaching assistant

What to look for when recruiting a supply teacher or teaching assistant

Published on 26 July 2017

It is inevitable that your school will need to hire a supply teacher, or teachers, and teaching assistants at some point. Even schools with the widest pools of contacts they can draw on to cover classes will at some point need to employ locum teachers to cover either a few days’ work or a longer-term contract such as a maternity cover.

School leaders slam Autumn Statement as “a huge disappointment” for education

School leaders slam Autumn Statement as “a huge disappointment” for education

Published on 25 November 2016

School leaders’ pleas for increased investment in school budgets ignored in Philip Hammond’s Autumn Statement