Acceptable Use Policy

Policy Title: Acceptable Use Policy
Policy Ratified 18th September 2017
Review Date: This policy should be reviewed every three years or/and in view of the rapid changes occurring in information technology will be reviewed on an ongoing basis. This policy was reviewed during the Covid 19 Pandemic School Closure at the staff meeting held on May 19th 2020. The next review will take place in March 2023.
Policy Implementation Date: With immediate effect.

Acceptable Use Policy

The aim of this Acceptable Use Policy is to ensure that pupils and teachers  will benefit from the teaching and 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 Therefore, if the school AUP is not adhered to this privilege will be withdrawn and appropriate sanctions – as outlined in the AUP – will be imposed. This policy has also been adapted to reflect the facilitation of Distance Learning during the COVID 19 School Closure.

School’s Strategy

The school employs a number of strategies in order to maximise learning opportunities and reduce risks associated with the Internet and Internet Enabled Devices. These strategies are as follows:

General

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 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 memory sticks, CD-ROMs, or other digital storage media in school requires a teacher’s permission.

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

Pupils will not intentionally visit Internet sites that contain obscene, illegal, hateful or otherwise objectionable materials.

Pupils will report accidental accessing of inappropriate materials in accordance with school procedures to the class teacher or person in charge

Pupils will use the Internet for educational purposes only.

Pupils will never disclose or publicize personal information.

Downloading materials or images not relevant to their studies, is in direct breach of the school’s Acceptable Use Policy.

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 type in URL addresses without the permission of their teacher

Email

During the Covid 19 closure, pupils will use their parents email account to contact their class teacher or learning support teacher.

The email accounts are as follows

1stclass@stpatricksgirls.net

2ndclass@stpatricksgirls.net

3rdclass@stpatricksgirls.net

4thclass@stpatricksgirls.net

5thclass@stpatricksgirls.net

6thclass@stpatricksgirls.net

learningsupport@stpatricksgirls.net

Initally, pupils will email one piece of work to the class teacher per week. They may also use this email address to contact the teacher with a question relating to work. Two teachers will monitor this email account-Either the Class teachers or the class teacher and a learning support teacher.

Pupils will not send or receive any material that is illegal, obscene, defamatory or that is intended to annoy or intimidate another person.

Pupils will not reveal their own or other people’s personal details, such as addresses, email addresses or telephone numbers or pictures.

Pupils will never arrange a face-to-face meeting with someone they only know through emails or the internet.

Pupils will note that sending and receiving email attachments is subject to permission from their teacher.

Staff will not use their personal email account for corresponding with pupils and parents.

Internet Chat

Pupils will only have access to chat rooms, discussion forums, messaging or other electronic communication fora 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 will be forbidden.

Parents and pupils will be alerted as to the dangers of Internet social networking sites. Their attention will be drawn on a regular basis to such sites as Webwise which offers detailed advice and guidelines re: internet safety.

School Website

Pupils will be given the opportunity to publish projects, artwork or school work on the School Website in accordance with clear policies and approval processes regarding the content that can be loaded to the school’s website

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.

Digital photographs, audio or video clips will focus on group activities. Video clips may be password protected

The school website will avoid publishing the first name and last name of individuals in a photograph.

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.

Parents’ Group Facebook Page

Participants must be parents of pupils in the school and need to request membership of the page.

This is an information page for upcoming events and dates to note in the Parents’ Group Calendar.

There will be 4 administrators on the page plus an administrator from the school.

A banned words feature will be used to ensure that comments are appropriate.

Comments need approval before being published

No photos or comments about individual teachers or pupils will be used.

Personal Devices

Pupils are not allowed to bring mobile phone or internet enabled devices into school. 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.

Staff members do not give out their phone number or that of any other staff member to pupils or parents/guardians. Mindful of the duties and responsibilities assigned to staff in working with children, it is vital that staff be engaged with children at all working times. Staff are trusted to use their phones accordingly.

In terms of data, staff are also advised to use any mobile devices responsibly. Staff may use their devices to record any school-related work if they wish. However, the school cannot take any responsibility for these recordings. Staff are trusted that they will use these recordings responsibly for school-related activities, e.g. on the school website.

Staff should also note that no unauthorised recordings of school business must take place. This includes all meetings and events. If a meeting needs to be recorded for any reason, all participants must agree to the recording before it can take place. Any unauthorised recordings of meetings will be dealt with as a breach of disciplinary procedures.

Work Calls

During Covid 19, staff are requested to contact their pupils. This freequency of this contact is agreed upon at staff level. Teachers keep note of the calls or attempted calls. Sna’s to report to the teachers, the calls they have made. Purpose of the calls is to check in with the pupils. Teachers fill in online questionnaire regarding the contact.  Staff are directed to block their mobile numbers.

Calls to parents/guardians should be kept as short as possible. Where a lengthy conversation with parents/guardians is required, appointments should be made to meet parents. Calls to other professionals and organisations should be made in consultation with the Principal and classroom supervision will be arranged where appropriate.

Personal Calls

In general, personal calls should be carried out outside of teaching time. In cases of urgency, a staff member should use discretion in making calls and ensure that their classroom is supervised during the call. Incoming personal calls should be reserved for urgent matters

Parents, Guardians, Visitors and Others

Adults are also reminded that they must not use devices to record audio, images or video unless specifically permitted by the school. Any meetings with staff should not be recorded without the permission of the staff member. Visitors must also be vigilant in terms of child safeguarding with regards to recording children in the school. Visitors must ensure that they never share any media of pupils in school online, including their own social media profiles unless expressly permitted by the school and anyone appearing in the media.

Newspapers and media organisations are permitted to take photographs, audio and video of pupils for their respective organisations.  In accordance with our GDPR policy, express permission will be sought for photographs where children are not in a big group. However, if there are children opted out from appearing in the media they cannot be recorded.

Legislation

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

Data Protection (Amendment) Act 2003

Child Trafficking and Pornography Act 1998

Interception Act 1993

Video Recordings Act 1989

the EU General Data Personal Regulation (GDPR) 2018

Support Structures

The school will inform pupils and parents of key support structures and organizations that deal with illegal material or harmful use of the Internet e.g.  Webwise, Internet Information sessions organised through HSCL and the Parents’ Group

Sanctions

Misuse of the Internet may result in disciplinary action, including verbal warning, written warning, informing parents, withdrawal of access privileges and, in extreme cases, suspension or expulsion as per the School’s Code of Behaviour.  The school also reserves the right to report any illegal activities to the appropriate authorities.

Related Policies

Email Etiquette Policy; GDPR; Child Safeguarding Statement, Code of Behaviour

Review

This policy was ratified by the Board of Management on 18th September 2017. This policy will be reviewed every three years or/and in view of the rapid changes occurring in information technology will be reviewed on an ongoing basis. This policy was reviewed during the Covid 19 Pandemic School Closure at the staff meeting held on May 19th 2020.

Signed: Available from Office