Internet Acceptable Use Policy


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 Therefore, if the school AUP is not adhered to this privilege will be withdrawn and appropriate sanctions – as        outlined in the AUP – will be imposed.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 regularly.

Before signing, this AUP should be read carefully to indicate that the conditions of use are accepted and understood.

School’s 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

o         Internet sessions will always be supervised by a teacher.

o         Filtering software and/or equivalent systems will be used in order to minimise the risk of exposure to inappropriate material.

o         The school will regularly monitor pupils’ Internet usage.

o         Students and teachers will be provided with training in the area of Internet safety.

o         Uploading and downloading of non-approved software will not be permitted.

o         Virus protection software will be used and updated on a regular basis.

o         The use of personal floppy disks, memory sticks, CD-ROMs or other digital storage media in school requires a teacher’s permission.

o         Students will treat others with respect at all times and will not undertake any actions that may bring the school into disrepute.

o         Students will not visit Internet sites that contain obscene, illegal, hateful or otherwise objectionable materials.

o         Students will use the Internet for educational purposes only.

o         Students will not copy information into assignments and fail to acknowledge the source (copyright infringement).

o         Students will never disclose or publicise personal information.

o         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.

Email

o         Students will use approved class email accounts under supervision by or permission from a teacher.

o         Students will not send or receive any material that is illegal, obscene, defamatory or that is intended to annoy or intimidate another person.

o         Students will not reveal their own or other people’s personal details, such as addresses or telephone numbers or pictures.

o         Students will never arrange a face-to-face meeting with someone they only know through the internet.

o         Students will note that sending and receiving email attachments is subject to permission from their teacher.

Internet Chat

o         Students will only have access to chat rooms, discussion forums or other electronic communication forums that have been approved by the school.

o         Chat rooms, discussion forums and other electronic communication forums will only be used for educational purposes and will always be supervised.

o         Usernames will be used to avoid disclosure of identity.

o         Face-to-face meetings with someone organised via Internet chat will be forbidden.

School Website

o         Pupils may be given the opportunity to publish projects, artwork or school work on the World Wide Web.

o         The publication of student work will be co-ordinated by a teacher.

o         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.

o         Digital photographs, audio or video clips of individual students will not be published on the school website. Instead photographs, audio and video clips will focus on group           activities. Video clips may be password protected.         

o         Personal pupil information including home address and contact details will be omitted from school web pages.

o         Pupils will continue to own the copyright on any work published.

Personal Devices

Pupils using their own technology in school, such as leaving a mobile phone turned on or using it in class, sending nuisance text messages, or the unauthorised taking of images with a mobile phone camera, still or moving, is in direct breach of the school’s acceptable use policy.

Legislation

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

o         Data Protection (Amendment) Act 2003

o         Child Trafficking and Pornography Bill 1998

o         Interception Act 1993

o         Video Recordings Act 1989

o         The Data Protection Act 1988

Support Structures

The school will inform students 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.

This policy was approved by the Board of Management at a meeting on 14th March 2011