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Headteacher's saucy Facebook site FURY

PUBLISHED: 16:54 24 June 2009 | UPDATED: 10:48 23 August 2010

TEACHERS have been urged to close or secure accounts on social networking sites after a national newspaper criticised a headmistress for allegedly commenting on her breasts on her Facebook page. Simon Webb, Kent County Council s (KCC) children s services

TEACHERS have been urged to close or secure accounts on social networking sites after a national newspaper criticised a headmistress for allegedly commenting on her breasts on her Facebook page.

Simon Webb, Kent County Council's (KCC) children's services officer, has sent letters to all school staff in north Kent advising them to remove profiles on sites, such as Facebook, MySpace, Bebo and Twitter, that could potentially be seen by pupils.

He warned that posting information on such sites can be risky as users are unable to control who sees their pages.

The letter reads: "I would urge and recommend and individual member of staff to either close any personal accounts or secure them (not a reliable option) to safeguard themselves against future hacking or abuse."

The move follows a national newspaper article about Wilmington Enterpirse College, Common Lane, Wilminigton, headmistress Belinda Langley-Bliss' Facebook page on which she allegedly made comments about the size of her breasts.

Geoff Wybar, headteacher at Gravesend Grammar School in Church Walk, says he will be speaking to his staff about social networking sites.

He said: "I think teachers do have to be careful with the internet and social networking sites. It's a sensible precaution. So much of the information on the sites can be taken right out of context and you could get into hot water for nothing at all. It is a wise precaution for people who work with young people to take. You have to be so careful.

"I'm sure a number of my staff do have Facebook sites - it's a very popular phenomenon and I'm sure it can be very positive in a lot of ways but it is a double-edged sword. I don't have one personally but I will be passing on the advice to my staff and I expect them to do what they think is reasonable and professional."

Brian Chadwick, secretary of Gravesham Teachers' Association, also agrees with the move.

He said: "Once you have put information in Facebook it's then free for anybody to view, which would of course include pupils, therefore I think for any teacher to put any personal details or comments about themselves onto it is very ill-advised.

"I know what teachers do in their private lives is their choice so long as it doesn't impinge on what goes on in the classroom but professionally what KCC has done is right and is good advice.

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