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’s 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 Therefore, if the school AUP is not adhered to this privilege will be withdrawn and appropriate sanctions – as outlined in the AUP – will be imposed.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 deemed necessary. Before signing, the AUP should be read carefully to indicate that the conditions of use are accepted and understood.
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:
- Internet sessions will always be supervised by a teacher.
- Filtering software will be used in order to minimise the risk of exposure to inappropriate materials.
- The school will regularly monitor Internet usage.
- Students and teachers will be provided with training in the area of Internet safety.
- Uploading and downloading of non-approved software is not permitted.
- Virus protections software will be used and updated on a regular basis.
- The use or personal memory sticks or CD-ROMS in school requires a teacher’s permission.
- Students and staff will observe good “netiquette” at all times and will not undertake any actions that may bring the school into disrepute.
World Wide Web:
- Students or staff will not visit internet sites that contain obscene, illegal, hateful or otherwise objectionable materials.
- Students or staff will use the Internet for educational purposes only.
- Students or staff will be familiar with copyright issues relating to online learning.
- Students or staff will never disclose or publicise personal information.
- Students or staff 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 use approved class e-mail accounts under the supervision of or with permission from a teacher.
- Students or staff will not send or receive any material that is illegal, obscene or defamatory or that is intended to harm 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.
- Students will note that sending and receiving e-mail attachments is subject to permission from their teacher.
- Students will only have access to discussion forums or other electronic communication forums 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 Internet chat will be forbidden.
- Pupils will be given the opportunity to publish projects, artwork or school work on the World Wide Web.
- The publication of student work will be co-ordinated by a teacher.
- Pupil’s work will appear in an educational context on Web pages.
- 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.
- Personal pupil information including home address and contact details will be omitted from school web pages.
- Pupils will continue to own the copyright on any work published.
There is no specific legislation governing Internet safely at school level. Complicating this issue is the fact that the Internet functions in a global context whereas the law operates in a localised one. There are, however; a number of legislations that have relevance to Internet safety. Copies of each of these Acts are available in the school on request. Alternatively they may be accessed on the Internet. All teachers, students and parents should familiarise themselves with these Acts. They are briefly described as follows:
- The Child Trafficking and Pornography Act 1998.
This Act legislates against anyone who knowingly produces, prints, publishes, distributes, exports, imports, shows, possesses or sells child pornography.
- 1993 Interception Act
(The Interception of Postal Packets and Telecommunications Messages Regulation Act 1993). This Act stipulates that telecommunication messages can be intercepted for the purpose of an investigation of a serious offence. Authorisations are subject to certain conditions.
- Video Recordings Act 1989
The 1989 Video Recordings Act prohibits the distribution of videos which contain obscene or indecent material which may lead to the depravation or corruption of the viewer.
- The Data Protection Act 1988.
This Act was passed in order to deal with privacy issues arising from the increasing amount of information kept on computer about individuals.
- If any of the above conditions/rules are broken, it will result in a temporary or permanent ban on Internet and/or computer use.
- Additional disciplinary action may be taken in line with existing approved school practice on inappropriate language or behaviour.
- Remember that school staff has access to all files and disks used on school computers, including e-mail messages sent and received by pupils. School computers also record details of what pupils have viewed on the Internet.
AUP Letter to Parents
Re: Internet Permission Form
As part of the school’s education programme we offer pupils supervised access to the Internet.
This will allow students vast educational opportunities by helping them for example, to locate material that meets their educational needs, communicate with subject experts and participate in school projects with students in similar circumstances or from different cultures. In addition to the educational aspects of the Internet, students will learn valuable skills for participation in the information age which may be useful for their chosen career.
The Internet is a global computer network which is not controlled by any organisation. This means that information may change, disappear and be controversial or potentially harmful. Although the school actively seeks to promote safe use of the internet, it recognises the possibility that students may accidentally or deliberately access objectionable material.
Usage to the Internet therefore requires responsibility on the part of the user and the school. These responsibilities are outlined in the school Acceptable Use Policy. For the reasons stated above, it is important that the enclosed policy is read carefully and signed by a parent or guardian.
We appreciate that parents and guardians are responsible for setting and conveying the standards that their children should follow when using media and information sources. To that end, the school supports and respects each family’s right to decide whether or not to allow access to the Internet as defined by the school’s Acceptable Use Policy.
INTERNET USE PERMISSION FORM
Please review the attached school Acceptable Use Policy(AUP),
sign and return this permission form to the Principal.
St Philomena’s National School,
Name of Pupil: _________________ Class:___________________
I agree to follow the school’s AUP on the use of the Internet. I will use the Internet in a responsible way and obey all the rules explained to me by the school.
Pupil’s Signature: ________________________ Date: ___________________
As the parent or legal guardian of the above pupil, I have read the AUP and grant permission for my son or daughter to access the Internet. I understand that Internet access is designed for educational purposes. I also understand that every reasonable precaution has been taken by the school to provide for online safety but the school cannot be held responsible if pupils access unsuitable websites.
Signature: _________________________ Date: ___________________
Address: __________________________ Telephone: _________________
In relation to the school website, I understand that, if the school considers it appropriate, my child’s schoolwork may be chosen for inclusion on the school’s website. I understand and accept the terms of the AUP relating to publishing children’s work on the school website.
Signature: _________________________ Date: ___________________