Acceptable Use Policy for the Internet

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  Therefore, if the school AUP is not adhered to this privilege will be withdrawn and appropriate sanctions – as outlined in the AUP will be imposed.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 the Board of Management will revise the AUP regularly.  Before signing, the AUP should be read carefully to ensure that the conditions of use are accepted and understood.

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School’s Strategy

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:

General

  1. Internet sessions will always be supervised and monitored by a teacher.
  2. Filtering software and/or equivalent systems will be used in order to minimise the risk of exposure to inappropriate material.
  3. Pupils and teachers will be provided with guidance in the area of Internet safety e.g. by visiting www.webwise.ie
  4. Uploading and downloading of non-approved software will not be permitted.
  5. Virus protection software will be used and updated on a regular basis.
  6. The use of personal memory sticks, CD-ROMs, or other digital storage media in school requires a teacher’s permission.
  7. Children are expected to respect computers, hardware, and software and not to intentionally waste limited resources in school such as paper or ink.
  8. Pupils will treat others with respect at all times and will not undertake any actions that may bring the school into disrepute

World Wide Web

  1. Pupils will not have access to Internet sites that contain obscene, illegal, hateful or otherwise objectionable materials.
  2. Pupils will report accidental accessing of inappropriate materials in accordance with school procedures.
  3. Pupils will use the Internet for educational purposes only.
  4. Pupils will not copy information into assignments and fail to acknowledge the source (plagiarism and copyright infringement).
  5. Pupils will never disclose or publicise personal information.
  6. Downloading materials or images not relevant to their studies, is in direct breach of the school’s acceptance use policy.
  7. 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

  1. 1. Pupils will use approved class email accounts under supervision by or permission from a teacher.
  2. Pupils will not send or receive any material that is illegal, obscene, defamatory or that is intended to annoy or intimidate another person.
  3. Pupils will not reveal their own or other people’s personal details, such as addresses or telephone numbers or pictures.
  4. Pupils will never arrange a face-to-face meeting with someone they only know through emails or internet chat.
  5. Pupils will note that sending and receiving email attachments is subject to permission from their teacher.
  6. Pupils will only have access to discussion forums, messaging or other electronic communication fora that have been approved by the school.
  7. Discussion forums and other electronic communications forums will only be used for educational purposes and will always be supervised.
  8. Usernames will be used to avoid disclosure of identity.

iPads/ Tablets

  1. Pupils should follow teacher’s instructions accessing only the applications to which the teacher has agreed.
  2. Pupils require permission before sending any form of electronic message.
  3. Audio or vision taken at school cannot be transmitted, broadcast or transferred without the teachers permission.
  4. The camera and audio recording functions may only be used under the teachers’ direction.
  5. Identity theft (Pretending to be someone else) is in direct breach of the school’s acceptable use policy.
  6. Pupils will be advised that in the event of a child accidently accessing inappropriate material or images during a lesson, the student will immediately minimize the page and report the incident to the class teacher without attracting the attention of other students.
  7. iPads must be handled with care at all times.
  8. Any damage to the device must be reported immediately to the teacher.

School Website

  1. 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.
  2. The website will be regularly checked to ensure that there is no content that compromises the safety of pupils or staff.
  3. Website using facilities such as guestbooks, noticeboards or weblogs will be checked frequently to ensure that they do not contain personal details.
  4. The publication of pupil work will be co-ordinated by a teacher.
  5. 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.
  6. The school will endeavour to use digital photographs, audio or video clips for focusing on group activities.  Content focusing on individual pupils will not be published on the school website without parental permission.
  7. Personal pupil information including home address and contact details will never be published on school web pages.
  8. The school website will avoid publishing the names of individual children in a photograph.
  9. 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.
  10. Pupils will continue to own the copyright on any work published.

Personal Devices (i.e. mobile phones, iPods, tablets and gaming consoles)

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 unauthorized taking of images with a mobile phone camera, still or moving is in direct breach of the school’s acceptable use policy. Any devices used within the school grounds will be confiscated on the spot and returned to the child via his /her parents.

Staff

The Internet is available for Staff personal and professional use. Personal use of the Internet should not occur during class time.

Legislation

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

  1. General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) 2018
  2. Child Trafficking and Pornography Act 1998
  3. Interception Act 1993
  4. Video Recordings Act 1989
  5. The Data Protection Act 1988

Support Structures

The school will inform pupils and parents of key support structures and organisatons that deal with illegal material or harmful use of the Internet e.g.www.webwise.ie.

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.

Roles and Responsibilities

Each class teacher is responsible for the conduct of their own class. Any breaches of the AUP policy will be brought to the immediate attention of the Principal and Deputy Principal.

Policy ratified by the Board of Management