Social Media

Social media is a common part of everyday life. Westcountry SEN Limited has its own Facebook page and social media is a vital tool for connection and sharing if used properly.

However social media is not as harmless or as private as some may think. It can quickly tarnish relationships and in the case of Westcountry SEN, could cause professional damage or mistrust of tutor.

It is Westcountry SEN policy that no staff member is to accept friend requests from past or present parents or students or any service user on any social media platform.

Whilst Westcountry SEN would not want to dictate how you should organise your private affairs, it is recommended that you have your Facebook profile settings set to private. However even the strictness of settings will not guarantee your privacy.

Dorset is a very intertwined place, ‘Friend of a friend’ interconnectedness is common. So, whilst a parent of a child is not on your friend list or social media account, it is almost certain they will know of someone who is and can access your information if they wish.

Parents that use Westcountry SEN service hold a great deal of trust in you as a tutor and your professional standing will be tarnished by inappropriate use of social media

So please think about the following:

Public family and friends disputes: Any public displays of relational difficulties either explicit anger/guilt inducing or passive aggressive relational difficulties may be a demonstration that you are unable to communicate your feelings in a mature adult way.  You might be seen as aggressive, passive aggressive, or simply not able to be trusted. It may demonstrate you are not able to deal with your own emotions, so will be unable to help their child’s.

Emotional outburst and cries for help:  This may indicate you are unable to process your emotions in a contained way. Also, that you might be emotionally unstable and not trusted to work with children who are vulnerable.

Statuses that reflect you are overwhelmed may indicate you are emotionally struggling which is your choice to publicly ask for help. However, for parents to have professional trust, they may not feel able to if you are demonstrating you are struggling with your own life on a regular basis.  Especially as one of the main roles of a tutor is to help children organise and manage their education.

Statuses that depict extreme views (e.g. homophobic, racists anti-religion): These types of statuses will demonstrate you are unable to tolerate difference and if reported to Westcountry SEN will lead to an instant termination of your employment.

Statuses that discredit Westcountry SEN. Any public displays of disgruntlement or dissatisfaction will be viewed by the company as an emotional immaturity and lack of ability to communicate directly to the source of the issue, that is, to your Mentor, or company representative.  A full investigation will need to happen to continue with your employment,

It is also important to understand it is not just your personal social media pages, all social media pages can have repercussions, and the same rules and guidelines apply for communication on all social platforms, e.g., Local community Facebook pages, or local Instagram pages etc.

We all have a professional requirement to understand our responsibility as professionals working with children, and that any social media statuses that show a lack of thought and regard for our professionalism, can in turn bring you and then the company into disrepute or will have a negative impact on the company and may result in disciplinary procedures or a termination of contract.