Social media

Direction and guidance on the department’s standards for employee use of social media in connection with their role, when engaging in personal use and for managing department accounts (including schools).


All ongoing, temporary, casual and seconded employees; members of the public service senior executive (PSSE); volunteers; graduate program participants; pre-service teachers; contractors and agency staff engaged to perform work for, or on behalf of, the department; special religious educators; and consultants where their engagement requires adherence to this policy.

Version Date Description of changes Approved by
V02.0.0 08/05/2024 Updated under the 2023 Policy and procedure review program, including conversion into the new template, and improving readability. Clarified reporting requirements, departmental use and personal use. Noted that Twitter (X) is no longer a supported platform for schools. Secretary, NSW Department of Education

Document history

2023 Feb 17 - updated contact details.

2020 Sep 03 - updated link and name of Student use of digital devices and online services policy (section 3.1); deleted obsolete related documents from Policy Library:

  • How to manage negative or controversial online conversations (video)
  • Identifying influencers to monitor (video)
  • NSW DoE social media policy explained (video)
  • The Basics of Online Listening (video)
  • The Principles of Community Management (video).

2020 Aug - updated implementation document, Social Media Procedures DOC20/779931, embedded Social Media Procedures hyperlink within the policy statement and added section in 1.4, minor typo changes to policy statement.

2020 Jun - updated contact details.

  1. Policy statement
    1. The department supports all staff to responsibly participate in social media for both personal and department use.
    2. Social media provides an opportunity to engage and interact with various audiences, promote expertise and share achievements.
    3. When engaging with social media for department or school use, employees apply general principles in accordance with the Social media procedures:
      1. protect privacy of students, staff and others including not publishing any material or item identifying, about or including students, unless it is in accordance with the Social media procedures
      2. obtain consent to use student information, employee information or information about others
      3. act in a way that does not cause harm to students or other staff members
      4. must uphold the values and good reputation of the department
      5. act lawfully
      6. protect the department’s reputation, including complying with the Code of conduct
      7. obtain consent to use works by others
      8. share information obtained through work only with explicit permission.
    4. When engaging with social media for personal use, employees apply general principles in accordance with the procedures:
      1. interact respectfully with other users
      2. protect the privacy of students and other department employees
      3. avoid interaction with students
      4. only make statements about the department or education-related matters in accordance with the procedures
      5. avoid disclosing confidential information
      6. avoid conflicts of interest
      7. avoid sharing department or student works on personal social media.
    5. Employees respond to issues arising on social media in an appropriate and timely manner.
    6. Schools use social media as a secondary communication channel to parents and the school community.
  2. Context
    1. Use of social media is part of everyday online activities. This policy should be read and interpreted in conjunction with the Code of conduct policy and Values in NSW public schools policy to guide appropriate online behaviour.
    2. The Social media procedures support this policy.
  3. Policy contact
    Manager, Social Media and Campaigns
  4. Monitoring the policy
    The Executive Director, Communications and Engagement monitors the implementation of this policy, regularly reviews its contents to ensure relevance and accuracy, and updates it as needed.
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