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Middlesex Online and Social Media Policy

Middlesex Online and Social Media Policy

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Middlesex Cricket understands the importance of social media in today’s society and how it can be used in a positive way for communication and promotion. This policy provides guidance on how Middlesex Cricket uses the internet and social media, and the procedures for doing so. It also outlines how we expect our staff, workforce, and volunteers, as well as the participants who engage with our programmes, to behave online.

The aims of our online policy are:

• To protect all children and young people involved with our organisation and who make use of technology (mobiles, phones, game consoles and the internet) whilst engaged with our programmes.

• To provide staff and volunteers with policy and procedure information regarding online safety and inform them how to respond to incidents.

• To ensure our organisation is operating in line with our values and within the law regarding how we behave online.

As part of using the internet and social media, our organisation will:

• Understand the safety aspects – including what is acceptable and unacceptable behaviour for staff, workforce, volunteers, children and young people when using websites, social media, apps, and other forms of digital communication.

• Be aware that it does not matter what device is being used for digital interaction, but that the same safety aspects apply whether it is a computer, mobile phone, games console or any other device.

• When using social media platforms (including Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram), ensure that we adhere to relevant legislation and good practice guidelines.

• Regularly review existing safeguarding policies and procedures to ensure that online safeguarding issues are fully integrated, including:

o making sure concerns of abuse or disclosures that take place online are written into our reporting procedure incorporating online bullying (cyberbullying) in our anti-bullying policy.

o provide training for the person responsible for managing our organisation’s online presence.

Managing our online presence

Our online presence through our website or social media platforms will adhere to the following guidance:

• All social media accounts will be password protected, and at least 3 members of staff will have access to each account and password.

• The account will be monitored by a designated person, who will have been appointed by the Head of Marketing and Communications.

• The designated person managing our online presence will seek advice from the County Safeguarding Officer (CSO) to advise on safeguarding requirements.

• The Head of Marketing and Communication and or CSO will ensure that all inappropriate posts by children, young people or staff are removed, explaining why, and informing anyone who may be affected (as well as the parents, guardians/carers of any children and young people involved).

• Identifying details such as a child or young person’s home address, school name or telephone number should NEVER be posted on social media platforms.

• Any posts or correspondence will be consistent with our aims.

• Will make sure children and young people are aware of who manages our social media accounts and who to contact if they have any concerns about the running of the account.

• Parents, Guardians/carers will need to give permission for photographs or videos of their child or young person to be posted on social media.

• All of our accounts will be appropriate and fit for purpose.

What we expect of staff, workforce, and volunteers:

• Should be aware of this policy and behave in accordance with it.

• Should seek the advice of the County Safeguarding Officer if they have concerns about the use of the internet and social media.

• Should not friend or follow children or young people on social media.

• Should make sure any content posted is accurate and appropriate, as children and young people may follow them on social media.

• Should not communicate with children and young people via personal accounts or private messages.

• Rather than communicating with parents, guardians/carers through personal social media accounts, staff should choose a more formal means of communication, such as face to face, in an email or in writing, or use an organisational account, profile or website.

• At least one other member of staff should be copied into any emails sent to children or young people.

• Emails should be signed off in a professional manner, avoiding the use of emojis or symbols such as kisses (x’s).

• Any disclosures of abuse reported through social media should be dealt with in the same way as a face-to-face disclosure, according to our reporting procedures.

• Should not communicate directly with children and young people outside of Middlesex Cricket organisational need.

• Smart phone users should respect the private lives of others and not take or distribute pictures of other people if it could invade their privacy.

• Should not engage in sexting or send pictures to anyone that are obscene, indecent, or menacing.

What do we expect of children and young people:

• Children and young people should be aware of this online safety policy and agree to its terms.

• We expect children and young people’s behaviour online to be consistent with the guidelines set out above.

• Not to contact any adults in a position of authority at Middlesex Cricket via personal accounts or direct messenger of any Middlesex Cricket channels. Using mobile phones during sports activities So that all children and young people can enjoy and actively take part in sports activities, we discourage the use of mobile phones during such activities.

As part of this policy, we will:

• Make children and young people aware of how and who to contact if there is an emergency or a change to previously agreed arrangements.

• Inform parents, guardians/carers of appropriate times they can contact children and young people who are away at camps or on tour and discourage them from attempting contact outside of these hours.

• Advise parents, guardians/carers that it may not be possible to contact children and young people during activities and provide a contact within the organisation who will reachable should there be an emergency.

• Explain to children and young people how using mobile phones during activities has an impact on their safe awareness of their environment, and their level of participation and achievement.

Use of other digital devices and programmes:

The principles in this policy apply no matter which current or future technology is used – including computers, laptops, tablets, web-enabled games consoles and smart TV’s – and whether an app, programme or website is used.

As an organisation, we commit to implementing this policy and addressing any concerns quickly and within these guidelines.

Reviewed 07.11.2022

Next review date November 2023