They are some of the best (and occasionally the funniest) mementoes of our younger years.
But the obligatory school siblings photo has been dropped by one north school – with bosses citing Covid as the cause.
Thurso High School allowed a photographer in late last month to take some snaps of pupils.
But they said there could be no sibling photos “in line with Covid procedures”.
One parent group said the decision – and the rules at an Argyll school – were “ridiculous and abnormal” restrictions.
Complaints about school photo restrictions
UFTScotland said this week that members have reported complaints about the restrictions to school photos.
In a Facebook post, Thurso High School said: “School photographers will be in school on Thursday, 26 August to take individual photos of our pupils.
“Unfortunately, in line with covid procedures, no family groups will be photographed at this time.
“All covid procedures will be adhered to to allow photos to be taken.”
Parent Elizabeth Jones was not happy.
She said: “I was surprised to learn that school photos would be individual only. No siblings and no groups.”
She said this had been a tradition.
“It was always common practice for siblings to be photographed together at school.
“My eldest two had sibling photos taken all throughout their primary school years – until it was knocked off after March 2020.”
Distancing and masks, except during photos
UFTScotland also referenced a letter from Hermitage Academy in Argyll and Bute. School representatives told parents about the protocol surrounding school photos.
“The photographs will be taken by trained staff wearing PPE and all staging has been checked, sanitised and ready for use. The photographers will work at a safe 2-metre distance from everyone.
“In the interests of minimising the transmission risk, the school will work with the photographers to carefully manage the situation so that our young people arrive and depart in a safe and organised manner.”
“All verbal interaction between the young people will be minimised as far as possible, particularly for the brief few moments where masks are removed for the purpose of the photograph.”
UFT: ‘Daft restrictions need to end’
Jo Bisset, organiser for UFTScotland, called the school photo restrictions ‘ridiculous’.
“It seems it’s fine for people in nightclubs and at football matches to drape their arms around each other and pose for photographs all night long.
“But children are being treated like lepers during what is an important formative experience of school.
“These daft restrictions need to end now.
“It may sound like a small matter in the grand scheme of things, but the longer these ridiculous and abnormal practices remain, the more social and educational damage will be caused to young people.”
Health is the priority, councils say
When asked if photo restrictions were any different than what students face during a regular school day, a spokeswoman for Argyll and Bute said: “The health and wellbeing of pupils and staff is our priority and full risk assessments are carried out in accordance with national Covid guidance set out by the Scottish Government.”
A Highland Council spokeswoman said this to the same question: “The Highland Council has one of the largest school estates in Scotland with over 200 schools spread across an area which covers a third of Scotland.
“All of our schools have protective measures in place, in line with national guidance, to reduce the risk of transmission of the virus.
“There may be a need for additional precautionary measures to be in place depending on local circumstances.”
What do you think about restrictions on school photos?
Changes to school photos are one of the many ways that Covid-19 protocols are affecting pupils this year.
What are your thoughts on how schools should handle photos this year?
How is your school handling school photos? Let us know at email@example.com