Acceptable Use Policy (access to Internet)

St. Declans School Acceptable Use Policy (Access to Internet)
(Acceptable Use Policy governing access to internet at school)

Educationalists believe in the benefits of curriculum-based internet use. The purpose of the Internet Acceptable Usage Policy is to ensure that pupils at St. Declans will benefit from learning opportunities offered by the school’s internet resources, and will be protected from harmful and illegal use of the Internet.

It is envisaged that school and parent representatives will revise the AUP annually.
This version of the AUP was created in September 2014 and endorsed by the Board of Management. Before you sign the form, the policy should be read carefully to ensure that the conditions of use are acceptable to you and your child/children.
School Strategies
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:
• Access to internet 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 internet is protected by the firewall provided by the NCTE (National Centre for Technology in Education).
• The school will regularly monitor pupils’ Internet usage.
• Pupils and teachers 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, external storage devices or CD-ROMS in school is not permitted.
• Pupils 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
• Pupils will use the Internet for educational purposes only.
• Pupils will become familiar with copyright issues relating to online learning.
• Pupils will never disclose or publicise personal information.
• Pupils 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.
• Pupils will not visit Internet sites that contain obscene, illegal, hateful or otherwise objectionable materials
• Pupils will not have access to email facilities at school. Any emails to other children/schools, will be sent through the school email address.
• Skype may be used for contacting other children/schools for project work . This will only be done under teacher supervision.
School Website
• Pupils will be given the opportunity to publish projects, artwork or school work on the school website.
• The publication of student work will be co-ordinated by a teacher.
• Pupils’ work will appear in an educational context on Web pages.
• No photographs, or video clips of individual pupils will be published on the public gallery of the school website. Instead photographs or video clips will focus on group activities and children’s work.
• Personal pupil information including surnames, home address and contact details will not be used on school web pages.
• Pupils will continue to own the copyright on any work published.
Every site that is accessed within the school network or by a school machine is monitored and reports of all access are sent to the management team on a weekly basis. Each laptop has a number and the children of each class will be designated a specific laptop. Teachers check computer logs of all information accessed by pupils. An audit of internet usage may be run at any time.
The rules for the use of school tablets are the same as those for the PC’s. There is a custom browser installed on the tablets which only allows child safe content to be accessed. This browser is the only way children can access the internet on the tablets. Access to Apps or google play store is password protected to disallow students from installing accessing inappropriate content. Use of the Apps are supervised by a teacher/SNA at all times.
Education and Internet Awareness
St Declans will undertake an education programme to educate children on the safe, responsible use of the Internet. Cyber-bullying has become a significant threat for teenagers. Through education and awareness, we aim to limit our children’s susceptibility to it as they progress to secondary school. 21st century life presents dangers including violence, racism and exploitation from which children and young people need to be protected. At the same time, they need to learn to recognise and avoid these risks – to become internet wise.
Resources that may be used to implement this programme include:
NCTE Internet Safety Awareness Video
Relevant and suitable documentation from , The Irish Government’s Office for Internet Safety website
Use of the ‘Kids’ section on the website
The school will use the Internet provided and filtered by the NCTE (National Centre for Technology). ‘Filtering’ is a term used to describe a way of limiting the content of web pages and other electronic data to which users may be exposed. St Declans also uses additional filtering software on all our machines, which, while not foolproof, filters pupils’ access to the internet further. No filter is 100% accurate. The most effective filtering tool is adult vigilance. At St Declans, we believe that the advantages to pupils having access to information resources and increased opportunities for collaboration far exceed the risk of disadvantages.
The access to websites from all school computers is monitored and regularly reviewed by the NCTE. Websites are only allowed through following a verification of their suitability.
The school is governed by the following legislation relating to use of the internet :
• Data Protection (Amendment) Act 2003
• Child Trafficking and Pornography Act 1998
• Interception Act 1993
• Video Recordings Act 1989
• The Data Protection Act 1988
Misuse of the Internet may result in disciplinary action, including written warnings, withdrawal of access privileges and, in extreme cases, suspension. The school also reserves the right to report any illegal activities to the appropriate authorities.
This policy was developed in 2014 and will be updated regularly as developments in technology continue to impact on education in particular.
This policy was adopted by the Board of Management on 23rd September 2014

Signed: __________________________ Signed: __________________________
Brian Flannery                                       Íde Tynan
Chairperson of Board of Management Secretary/Principal

Date: 23rd September 2014 Date: 23rd September 2014

To be reviewed annually

Responsible Internet Use – Pupil Undertaking

We use the School computers and Internet connection for learning. These rules will help us to be fair to others and keep everyone safe.

• I will ask permission before entering any website, unless my teacher has already approved that site
• I will not bring external storage devices such as pen drives (or memory sticks/USB keys/DVD/CD etc) into school without permission
• I will not use email for personal reasons
• Any content I post/write/create will be polite and sensible
• I will not use email
• I will not use internet chat rooms
• If I see anything I am unhappy with, or if I receive a message I do not like, I will tell a teacher immediately
• I know that the school may check my computer files and may monitor the sites I visit
• I understand that if I deliberately break these rules, I could be stopped from using the Internet and computers and my parents will be informed.

Signed: __________________________________________________________Pupil(s)

Signed: _________________________ Parent/Guardian

Date: _______________

Permission Form
Please review the attached school Internet Acceptable Use Policy, sign and return this permission form to the class teacher. This form will be kept on file until your child is finished in St. Declans.

Name of Pupil: ______________________

As the parent or legal guardian of the above pupil, I have read the Acceptable Use Policy of St. Declans School and grant permission for my son or daughter or the child in my care to access the Internet. I understand that Internet access is intended 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. I accept my own responsibility for the education of my child(ren) on issues of Internet Responsibility and Safety.

I accept the above paragraph □ I do not accept the above paragraph □
(Please tick as appropriate)

In relation to the school website, I accept that, if the school considers it appropriate, my child’s schoolwork may be chosen for inclusion on the website. I understand and accept the terms of the Acceptable Use Policy relating to publishing children’s work on the school website.
I accept the above paragraph □ I do not accept the above paragraph □
(Please tick as appropriate)

Signature: _____________________________ Date: ___________________

Signature: _____________________________ Date: ___________________
Address: _____________________________ Telephone: ________________