The Board of Management of Holy Family NS has formulated this ICT Acceptable Use Policy. Their work was informed by existing policies in local schools.
The Internet is rapidly becoming an increasingly popular research and communication tool at home and at school. Due to the fact that it is an unregulated medium, and has the capacity to host any type of information from online communities all over the world, the need for information and resources on Internet Safety and related issues has never been more essential.
Just like in the real world, the Internet has access to people and certain kinds of information that are unsuitable for children – and may potentially have a negative impact on children’s attitudes, behavior and well being.
Although it is widely believed that the potential benefits of using the Internet as a learning tool far outweigh any risks involved, it is, however, important to be aware of the risks and their impact from the outset in order to equip students with the necessary information and skills to navigate safely on the net.
Relationship to characteristic spirit of the school
In keeping with the school ethos that encourages equality, participation and respect for difference, the ICT Acceptable Use Policy values all members of the school community and welcomes their role in its development.
The aim of this ICT 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 Therefore, if the school ICT Acceptable Use Policy is not adhered to this privilege will be withdrawn and parents notified.
Guidelines – Pupils
- 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.
- The school will monitor pupils’ Internet usage.
- Students and staff will be provided with training in the area of 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 use of personal USB keys, CD-ROMs or any other form of removable data device in school requires a teacher’s permission.
- Students will observe good ‘netiquette’ at all times and will not undertake any actions that may bring the school into disrepute.
- Should access to computers be available to pupils at break times, access will be supervised and in line with AUP guidelines.
- Passwords for Internet access will not be given to pupils or visitors.
World Wide Web:
- Students will use the Internet for educational purposes only – there should be no aimless surfing.
- In accordance with the school filtering system, students will not visit Internet sites that contain obscene, illegal, hateful or otherwise objectionable materials.
- Students will never disclose or publicise personal information.
- Students will be aware that their usage will be monitored closely.
- Students will be advised to inform their teacher if they discover any unsavory material or messages.
- The use of chat rooms, social networking sites and web cams is forbidden unless prearranged by the teacher and must be closely monitored.
- Any and all email traffic may be monitored by the school at any time.
- Any email access will be via an approved class e-mail account under supervision from a teacher.
- E-mails must be printed, read and delivered by the 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, telephone numbers or pictures.
- Students will only send or receive e-mail attachments with permission from the teacher.
Guidelines – Staff
Computer resources are the property of the school and are not intended for any other use.
In general, these computers may not be used for illegal acts, breach of school policies or personal use unrelated to school activities, unless specifically authorised by the Principal.
All approved users should have access to the computer resources of the school insofar as
they are relevant and provided that material accessed is appropriate for the users in question.
Where a class is being taught by a substitute teacher, the teacher should be made aware of the need for Internet supervision.
Supervision by a full time member of teaching staff is required for any ordinary Internet use.
Limits of use
Users may not use the computing resources to play entertainment games or to store, create, play or transmit any offensive, obscene or indecent images, data or other material.
It is not acceptable to attempt to access any school files, data or records for which you are not authorised by the Principal or his representative.
School computers may not be used to publish or transmit anything libellous or defamatory or damaging to another computer system or to facilitate children’s access to unsuitable material.
Such actions will be regarded as a serious disciplinary matter.
It is the responsibility of the staff of the school to ensure, in so far as is practicable, that school computers are not used for unauthorised purposes.
It is not acceptable to engage in any activity which:
- Disrupts the intended use of the resources.
- Wastes resources (people, capacity, computer, network, data etc.)
- Compromises the legal rights of others.
- Modifies, damages or destroys computing resources or the data on them.
Users must respect the laws of Ireland and specifically, but not exclusively, be aware of the responsibilities under:
- Copyright Act (1963) as amended
- Data Protection Act (1988)
- Prohibition of Incitement to Hatred Act (1989)
- Criminal Damage Act (1991)
- Freedom of Information Act (1997)
- Child Trafficking and Pornography Act (1998)
- Employment Equality Act (1998)
- Children’s Act (2001)
Details of this legislation may be obtained at www.oasis.gov.ie
Sanctions for Misuse
Misuse of the Internet may result in disciplinary action, including verbal warnings, notification of parents, withdrawal of 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 on acceptable computer use will be amended from time to time as required.
Any member of Staff who uses the computer resources is deemed to have made him/herself aware of these policies.
Our school policy on ICT use will be deemed successful if the following criteria are achieved:
- Staff training has been provided on the use of the Internet
- Computers are providing an additional resource for teaching and learning.
- Computers are regarded as an effective tool in preparation, planning and record keeping.
- Staff understand, and use computer resources following training.
- Staff encourage equal pupil use of computer resources.
- Pupils experience the Internet as an enjoyable, safe medium.
Roles and Responsibilities
The IT coordinator, Principal and teachers have responsibility for ICT within Holy Family NS.
All issues or problems should be reported to the IT coordinator; who will respond to the issue, seeking technical support among colleagues or the school’s IT professional (where available) or bring it to the attention of the Principal who will seek additional funding from the Board of Management if necessary.
The Board of Management has responsibility for ratification for this Acceptable Use Policy and for the provision of funding for additional resources.
Teachers have responsibility to develop their own ICT skills in accordance with the curriculum and to instruct students in appropriate use.
The Principal has responsibility for informing parents of the Policy and obtaining their consent for their child to avail of ICT resources within the guidelines of the Policy.
Implementation and Review
The policy takes immediate effect and will be viewed in the school year of 2019.