Photography policy


1. One of the key characteristics of prayer spaces is that they are so visual. For those who can’t be there in person the stories, prayers, places, ideas and resources come alive when there are photos or videos to go with the words.

2. Your photos and videos are an important record and are a real help to those planning to run prayer spaces as well as an encouragement to others already doing this.

Sending images to Prayer Spaces in Schools

3. If you send us photos or videos we will make the following assumptions unless you specifically tell us otherwise.

3.1 You grant unlimited permission to Prayer Spaces in Schools to post the images on the website or to use them in publicity or promotional material, both web based and printed.

3.2 That you had permission to take the photos or video and that you have permission for them to be used in the manner described in 3.1 above.

3.3 That any clearly identifiable person has given you permission to take and use their photograph in the manner described in 3.1 above.

4. Whilst we really appreciate being able to use your images or videos we don’t acknowledge or credit photographers.

5. Copyright of any images or videos you send to us remains with you.

6. We can’t guarantee that others won’t download images or videos from the website.

7. Full details of our copyright and licensing policy can be found here.

Using images on the Prayer Spaces in Schools web site

8. Please use your own images for your websites or publicity material rather than copying them from this website. Apart from the fact that these photos are copyright, using your own photos will reflect the stye of your prayer space, rather than someone else’s.

9. If you want to use an image from the Prayer Spaces in Schools website please ask as there may be occasions when we’d prefer an image not to be re-used for reasons that may not be immediately obvious to you.

Taking photos in schools

10. It will be very tempting to want to take photographs of your prayer space in school. There is no specific legal prohibition on taking photographs in schools. However, there are a range of legal requirements, aspects of which are relevant to photography in schools. These include Data Protection (a photograph of someone who is recognisable could be considered a piece of personal data), Child Protection, and potentially standard requirements around Licensing (permission to use an image) and Model Releases (if the person is ‘recognisable’) which apply to photography in general.

11. If you wish to photograph your prayer space in school, even out of school hours, it is vital that as part of your planning with the school you discuss this with them and understand and agree with their decision about what is allowed.

12. Permission should come from a member of the senior management team (not just a subject teacher or head of department) or ideally the Head Teacher. It may help to have this in writing (or email).

Negotiating with the school

13. We can’t produce a standard set of guidelines, but here are some things you could take into account when negotiating an arrangement to photograph your prayer space in a school.

13.1 Many schools have blanket policies that allow them to photograph pupils to highlight school activities and initiatives and help the school community to identify and celebrate the school’s achievements. Consent forms are usually signed by parents at the beginning of each school year and whilst most parents generally consent to photos of their child being taken by the school, some do not give consent.

13.2 Apart from the children of parents who have not given consent for them to be photographed, some pupils may not be allowed to be included in photographs for legal or specific child protection reasons. (see 16.1)

13.3 Whilst use of photographs may inevitably identify the school there should be no need to identify a specific class or pupil by name.

Guidelines to taking photos

14. Taking photographs (or videos) in school.

14.1 Be an unobtrusive as possible – never forget that the pupils are there to take part in the prayer space and some of what they experience may be very personal. Would you want to be photographed worshipping in church?

14.2 Try to take photos that do not show pupils faces.

14.3 Where it’s not intrusive, ask a pupil if you can take a photo. This gives you a chance to explain what you’re doing and possibly to arrange a shot clearly.

14.4 If you have permission to photograph individual pupils that will be clearly identifiable you must get written permission from the school (in loco parentis) or more likely the pupil’s parents/guardians. This might be easier with children of parents who are in a local church.

Photographing or scanning pupil responses

15. It is often the written responses of pupils that give the clearest picture of the impact of a prayer space. If you decide to record some of these by photographing them they should not be shared online or on social media.

15.1 By sharing their thoughts or prayers in the prayer space the pupil can reasonably expect that others in school might read them, but not that their responses could be viewed online.

15.2 Pupils’ written response, although not usually identified by name, could be recognised through their handwriting, especially when linked to a particular school.

15.3 Sharing such responses online could reveal sensitive personal information or disclose the whereabouts of a child whose location is currently secret to protect them from harm.

15.4 If you would like to use a response online please think carefully about the implications of sharing its contents. We recommend that you photograph a version re-written by another person as the words can then be considered to have been anonymised through the use of different handwriting.

Reviewing with the school

16. If you take photographs it is good practice:

16.1 to invite the appropriate senior or designated member of staff to go through the photos with you so that they can identify any images that must be deleted. They do not have to give you a reason. (see 13.2)

16.2 to give the school a complete set for the school’s own use.

16.3 to get written confirmation (by letter or email) that they are happy for you to use the images on web sites or in publicity or promotional material.

What’s most important

17. Finally, never forget why you’re doing a prayer space in the first place. Creating a safe, creative and positive learning experience for pupils is paramount.

Photography isn’t… really!

What the pupils get out of taking part in a prayer space is way more important than any record we might like to make of it and it’s better not to attempt to take photos if this is likely to be disruptive, intrusive or inappropriate.