Acceptable Use Policy (Access to Internet)

Acceptable Use Policy
governing access to internet at school

The aim of this Acceptable Use Policy ( AUP) 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 Therefore, if the school AUP is not adhered to this privilege will be withdrawn and appropriate sanctions – as outlined in the AUP – will be imposed.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 annually.
This version of the AUP was created in November 2004 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:
General
• 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 floppy disks or CD-ROMs in school is not allowed.
• 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 be 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 be taught appropriate use of the internet, using the www.webwise.ie teaching materials.

Email
• Pupils will not have access to email facilities at school. Any emails to other children/schools, will be sent through the school email address.

Internet Chat ( Very restricted use only)
• Pupils will only have access to chat rooms, discussion forums or other electronic communication forums that have been approved by the school.
• Chat rooms, 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 is forbidden.
• Skype may be used for contacting other children/schools for project work, or penpals. 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, audio or video clips of individual pupils will be published on the public gallery of the school website. Instead photographs, audio or video clips will focus on group activities and children's work. Photographs, audio or video clips in the Parents Gallery will include individual pupils; parents may only access this gallery via password. It is school policy that this password must be kept secure and not shared with others.
• 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.

Legislation
The school will provide information on the following legislation relating to use of the
Internet which teachers and parents should familiarise themselves with:
• Data Protection (Amendment) Act 2003 ( see school policy)
• Child Trafficking and Pornography Act 1998
• Interception Act 1993
• Video Recordings Act 1989
• The Data Protection Act 1988

Support Structures
The school will inform pupils and parents of key support structures and organisations that deal with illegal material or harmful use of the Internet. Teachers will give instruction on appropriate use of the internet and how to use it safely.
We also provide workshops on internet safety for pupils in 4th, 5th and 6th classes, and their parents. We use the services of the NCTE , www.webwise.ie and www.safety.ie


Sanctions
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.

 

Review
This policy was developed in 2006 and updated regularly as developments in technology continue to impact on education in particular. Over the past few years we have installed Interactive Whiteboards in all classrooms, and have purchased two laptop banks for use by the pupils. We will be undertaking a full review of the policy during the school year 2011-12. This review will involve input from teachers, parents, pupils and Board of Management.

 

 

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.Brigids.

Name of Pupil: ______________________Class:______________________

Parent/Guardian
As the parent or legal guardian of the above pupil, I have read the Acceptable Use Policy 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 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:  ___________________


Address: ______________________________  Telephone: _______________

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