Acceptable Use Policy for Internet Use


Statement

Definition

The aim of the Acceptable Use Policy is to ensure that pupils will benefit from learning opportunities offered by the school’s internet resources in a safe and effective manner.

Internet use and access is considered a school resource and privilege.  Therefore, if our Acceptable Use Policy is not adhered to this privilege will be withdrawn and appropriate sanctions as outlined will be imposed.

It is envisaged that school and Board of Management Representatives will revise this Policy as necessary.

This version of Acceptable Use Policy was created in May 2007 and revised in 2011.

It was revised again in March 2014 by Mary O’Rourke, Heather McCullagh, Liam Fallon and John Murphy and subsequently ratified by the BOM.

School Strategy:

The school will employ a number of strategies in order to maximise learning opportunities and reduce risks associated with the Internet.  These strategies are as follows:

General:

  • Internet usage will always be supervised by a teacher.
  • Filtering systems will be used in order to minimise the risk of exposure to inappropriate material.
  • The school will regularly monitor pupils’ Internet safety.
  • Uploading and downloading of non-approved software will not be permitted.
  • Virus protection software will be used and updated on a regular basis.
  • The connection of any personal devices to the schools internet connection or IT equipment is strictly prohibited. This includes, but is not limited to, mobile phones, smart phones, tablet devices and all media storage devices.
  • Pupils will observe good “netiquette” (etiquette on the Internet) at all times and will not undertake any actions that may bring the school into disrepute.
  • Emerging technologies will be examined for educational benefit and a risk assessment will be carried out before use in school is allowed
  • Any personal data recorded will be processed, transferred and made available according to the Data Protection Act 1998

World Wide Web: 

Pupils:

  • Pupils will not visit Internet sites that contain obscene, illegal, hateful or otherwise objectionable materials. It is understood that unwanted or unsuitable material may sometimes be accessed accidentally. In these cases the pupil must immediately stop using the computer and inform the teacher.
  • Pupils will use the Internet for Internet educational purposes only. Internet sessions will always be supervised by a teacher.
  • Pupils will be familiar with copyright issues relating online learning.
  • Pupils will never disclose or publicise personal information. Pupils will receive training in the area of internet safety.
  • Pupils will be aware that any usage, including distributing or receiving information, may be monitored for unusual activity, security or networking management reasons.
  • Pupils are prohibited from downloading, uploading, copying or storing copyrighted media files (such as MP3 audio files or video files) of any type.
  • Media content websites, like YouTube can only be accessed under the supervision and direction of the teacher.
  • Pupils will ask permission before entering any website unless already approved by the teacher.
  • Personal social networking contact between pupils and school staff should be strictly avoided during or outside school hours. This includes sending or accepting “Friend” requests.

School Staff:

  • No on-line streaming during breaks – DVD’s may be used at these times.
  • School staff may not use the Internet for personal use during school hours, with the exception of break time.
  • School staff who connect to personal devices such as laptops, mobile phones etc. to the school wired or WiFi network must ensure that those devices have adequate anti-virus and security software.
  • School staff is strictly forbidden to access inappropriate material on the Internet at any time.
  • School staff is prohibited from downloading uploading, copying or storing copyrighted media files (such as MP3 audio files or video files) of any type.
  • School Staff are prohibited from running peer-to-peer or other internet content distribution software on school computers.
  • School staff will be made aware of internet safety issues.
  • School staff will not access social networking sites eg.Facebook, Twitter etc. during school hours.

Email:

  • Pupils will use only approved class e-mail accounts under supervision and with permission from a teacher. Email is used for educational purposes only.
  • Pupils will not send or receive material that is illegal, obscene, defamatory or anything that is intended to annoy or intimidate another person.
  • Pupils must immediately tell a teacher if they receive offensive e-mail
  • The forwarding of chain email is not permitted.
  • Pupils will not reveal their own or other pupil’s personal details, such as addresses, telephone numbers or pictures.
  • Pupils will never arrange a face-to-face meeting with someone.
  • Pupils will note that sending and receiving e-mail attachments is subject to permission from their teacher.

Internet –Based Communication

In recent years the Internet has seen the emergence of Internet-based communication systems such as Skype, Viber and Facetime. These systems have huge potential value as educational tools when used under supervision, for example allowing free video communication with classes in other countries.

  • Pupils will only use approved Internet Communication accounts under supervision and with permission from a teacher. Internet communication is used for educational purposes only.
  • Pupils will set up and use internet communication only under the direct supervision of a staff member.
  • Pupils must immediately tell a teacher if, while using such a system, they receive a request for connection from another source.
  • Pupils will not reveal their own personal details or the personal details of other pupils in Internet Communication systems.
  • Pupils will never arrange a face-to-face meeting with anyone in Internet Communication sessions.
  • Pupils will note that sending and receiving files during Internet Communication Sessions is subject to permission from their teacher.
  • Access to social networking sites or instant messaging services such as Facebook, Twitter, Ask.fm, Snapchat etc. is expressly forbidden.

School Web Site:

  • Pupils will be given the opportunity to publish projects, artwork or school work on the School Website.
  • The publication of student work will be co-ordinated by the ICT co-ordinator.
  • Pupils’ work will appear in an educational context on Web pages with a copyright notice prohibiting the copying of such work without express written permission.
  • Digital photographs, audio or video clips of individual students will not be published on the school web site. Instead photographs, audio and video clips will focus on group activities.
  • Personal pupil information including names, home address and contact details will be omitted from school web pages.
  • Pupils will continue to own the copyright on any work published.
  • The principal will take overall editorial responsibility and ensure that content is accurate and appropriate.

Legislation/Policies:

The school will provide information on the following legislation relating to use of the Internet which teachers, students and parents should familiarise themselves with:

  • Child Trafficking and Pornography Bill 1997
  • 1993 Interception Act
  • Video Recordings Act 1989
  • The Data Protection Act 1988
  • Antibullying Policy (Cyberbullying)

Support Structures:

The school will inform pupils and parents of key support structures and organisations that deal with illegal material or harmful use of the Internet.

Sanctions:

Misuse of the Internet may result in disciplinary action, including written warnings, withdrawal of access privileges and, in extreme cases, suspension or expulsion.  The school also reserves the right to report any illegal activities to the appropriate authorities.

Education

Cloonakilla NS will educate children on the safe responsible use of the internet.  Resources that may be used include:

  • NCTE Internet Safety Awareness Video

Our AUP has been revised in the context of reviewing our Anti-Bullying Policy with particular reference to Cyber Bullying.  Each family in the school will be issued with a hard copy of the policy accompanied by

  • Letter to parents
  • Responsible internet Pupil/Parent Undertaking Form (1st to 6th Class)

These forms will be placed in the child’s file and will be valid for the duration of the child’s time in school unless the principal is directed otherwise by a parent/guardian.

Ratification and Review

This policy was ratified by the Board of Management on 8th February 2017 and will be reviewed in 2019 unless legislation or circumstances determine otherwise.

Signed:_______ _________                                                             Date:   __________

Chairman  Board of Management