Planned changes to safeguarding law could see schools conducting social media checks on prospective teachers. Legal expert Sarah Linden considers the common pitfalls of social media use for teachers…

Teachers’ use of social media, both in their professional and personal lives, is increasingly under the microscope. For the unfortunate few, items posted online can have unforeseen and far-reaching consequences for their career.

The Department for Education is currently consulting on changes to Keeping Children Safe in Education, proposed to come into effect from September 2022 (DfE, 2022). If approved, the new safer recruitment guidance recommends that employers should carry out an online search in respect of candidates shortlisted for interview, to include checks on their social media.

Aside from potentially causing teachers difficulties when looking for a new job, the content of their social media posts can also threaten their existing employment.

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