The aim of this 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 Therefore, if the school AUP is not adhered to this privilege will be withdrawn and appropriate sanctions – as outlined in the AUP – will be imposed.
It is envisaged that school and parent representatives will revise the AUP as necessary. Before signing, the AUP should be read carefully to ensure that the conditions of use are accepted and understood.
The school employs a number of strategies in order to maximise learning opportunities and reduce risks associated with the Internet. These strategies are as follows:
- Internet sessions will always be supervised by a teacher.
- Filtering software and/or equivalent systems will be used in order to minimise the risk of exposure to inappropriate material. Our filtering system is provided by ‘Fortiguard Web Filtering’ through the NCTE. Internet usage is monitored at all times by this system.
- The school will regularly monitor pupils’ Internet usage.
- Students and teachers will be provided with training in the area of Internet safety.
- Parents can access advice on safe internet usage by visiting http://www.webwise.ie/.
- Uploading and downloading of non-approved software will not be permitted.
- Virus protection software will be used and updated on a regular basis.
- The use of personal floppy disks, memory sticks, CD-ROMs, or other digital storage media in school requires a teacher’s permission.
- Students will observe good “netiquette” (i.e. etiquette on the Internet) at all times and will not undertake any actions that may bring the school into disrepute.
World Wide Web
- Students will not visit Internet sites that contain obscene, illegal hateful otherwise objectionable materials.
- Students will use the Internet for educational purposes only.
- Pupils will be familiar with copyright issues relating to online learning.
- Students will never disclose or publicise personal information.
- Downloading materials or images not relevant to their studies, is in direct breach of the school’s acceptable use policy.
- Students will be aware that any usage, including distributing or receiving information, school-related or personal, may be monitored for unusual activity, security and/or network management reasons.
- Students will only use approved class email accounts (if relevant/available) under supervision by a teacher.
- Students will not send or receive any material that is illegal, obscene, defamatory or that is intended to annoy or intimidate another person.
- Students will not reveal their own or other people’s personal details, such as addresses or telephone numbers or pictures.
- Students will never arrange a face-to-face meeting with someone they only know through emails or the internet.
- Students will note that sending and receiving email attachments is subject to permission from their teacher.
- Pupils will only have access to discussion forums or other electronic communication forum that have been approved by the school.
- Discussion forums and other electronic communication forums will only be used for educational purposes and will always be supervised.
- Usernames will be used to avoid disclosure of identity.
- Face-to-Face meetings with someone organised via an electronic communication forum will be forbidden.
- It is intended to expand and develop the school website during 2012/2013.
- Pupils will be given the opportunity to publish projects, artwork or school work on the World Wide Web in accordance with clear policies and approval processes regarding the content that can be loaded to the school’s website.
- The website will be regularly checked to ensure that there is no content that compromises the safety of pupils or staff.
- Website using facilities such as guestbook, noticeboards or weblogs, if used, will be checked frequently to ensure that they do not contain personal details.
- The publication of student work will be co-ordinated by a teacher.
- 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.
- The school will endeavour to use digital photographs, audio or video clips focusing on group activities. Content focusing on individual students will not be published on the school website without the parental permission. Video clips may be password protected.
- Personal pupil information including home address and contact details will not be published on school web pages.
- The school website will not publish the names of individuals in a photograph.
- The school will ensure that the image files are appropriately named – will not use pupils’ names in image file names or ALT tags if published on the web.
- Pupils will continue to own the copyright on any work published.
Pupils using their own technology in school, such as bringing a mobile phone to school and using it in class, sending nuisance text messages, or the unauthorized taking of images with a mobile phone camera, still or moving are in direct breach of the school’s acceptable use policy.
This policy has been drafted to be in line with the following legislation relating to use of the Internet, which teachers and parents should familiarise themselves with:
- Data Protection (Amendment) Act 2003
- Child Trafficking and Pornography Act 1998
- Interception Act 1993
- Video Recordings Act 1989
- The Data Protection Act 1988
The school will inform students and parents of key support structures and organisations that deal with illegal material or harmful use of the Internet.
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.