Teachers warned on online interaction with students
TEACHERS were warned yesterday not to use text messaging and social networking sites to communicate with pupils.
A new code of conduct from the General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS) advises against friendly relationships with pupils using technology.
The GTCS, which has the power to remove teacher status, issued the code to update 2003 rules.
The 20-page booklet highlights numerous pitfalls presented by modern methods of communication.
John Anderson, the head of professional practice at the GTC, said: "It lays out in a very public document what is expected of teachers. Contact with pupils is so much easier these days. A teacher e-mailing a pupil privately has certain risks."
Fiona Hyslop, the education secretary, described the new guidelines as an example of the teaching profession raising the bar on standards.
Teachers representatives welcomed the guidance, particularly for those new to the profession.
David Eaglesham, general secretary of the Scottish Secondary Teachers' Association, said: "Older teachers might not think of using social networking sites, but to younger teachers it is perfectly normal."
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