Internet Acceptable Usage Policy (AUP)
The aim of this Acceptable Usage Policy is to ensure that pupils benefit from learning opportunities offered by the school’s internet resources in a safe and effective manner. The AUP forms part of our Plean Scoile (School Plan.)
This AUP should be read carefully by staff and parents to ensure that the conditions of use are accepted and understood. All teachers and special needs assistants (SNAs) are provided with copies of the AUP. The AUP is listed in our School Guide for Parents and Guardians, and the full text is posted on the school website.
This version of the AUP was created on 14th January 2009 by the school’s Board of Management. It is envisaged that the Board will revise the AUP from time to time and communicate any changes to the school community, as necessary.
Anyone with a query regarding this AUP should contact the school principal or the Chairperson of the Board of Management for clarification.
Strategies and Conditions of Use
The school employs a number of strategies and conditions of use to maximise learning opportunities and reduce risks associated with the internet. These strategies are as follows:
- The Principal delivers an age-appropriate internet safety talk to the classes, covering all the safety and procedural points in this AUP.
- Internet sessions are always supervised by a teacher or SNA.
- The children seek staff permission before connecting to the internet.
- One hard copy of the National Council for Technology in Education’s resource pack Webwise is available to our teachers and SNAs. See also the website: www.webwise.ie
- Staff are aware of different risk levels (e.g. pupils using a single interactive, educational web-site [lower risk] vs. pupils using search engines while completing project work [high risk.])
- Filtering software (as provided by the National Centre for Technology in Education) is used in order to minimise the risk of exposure to inappropriate material.
- Uploading and downloading of non-approved software is not permitted.
- Virus protection software is 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 do not intentionally visit internet sites that contain obscene, illegal, hateful or otherwise objectionable materials.
- Pupils report accidental accessing of inappropriate materials to their class teacher. (If an inappropriate image appears, pupils turn off the monitor and tell the teacher or SNA immediately.)
- Pupils use the internet for educational purposes only.
- Pupils accept that downloading materials or images not relevant to their studies is in breach of the school’s acceptable usage policy.
- Pupils do not copy information into assignments and fail to acknowledge the source (plagiarism and copyright infringement.)
- Pupils are 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 only use approved class email accounts. (Again, under the supervision of staff.)
- Pupils never reveal their own or other people’s personal details, such as addresses or telephone numbers or pictures.
- Pupils do not send or receive any material that is illegal, obscene and defamatory or that is intended to annoy or intimidate others.
- Pupils never arrange face-to-face meetings with someone they only know through e-mails or the internet.
- Pupils know that sending and receiving e-mail attachments is subject to permission from their teacher.
- Pupils do not have access to chat rooms, discussion forums, instant messaging services, social networking sites or other similar fora.
- Pupils are given the opportunity to publish projects, artwork or other work on the school website: www.goreyeducatetogether.ie. (Again, under the supervision of staff.)
- Pupils’ work appears in an educational context on school web pages, with a copyright notice prohibiting the copying of such work without permission.
- The school website is monitored to ensure that there is no content that compromises the safety of pupils or staff.
- Website facilities such as guestbooks, noticeboards or weblogs are checked to ensure that they do not contain personal details.
- The school may use digital photographs, audio or video clips that focus on the activities of groups of pupils. Content focusing on individual students will not be published on the school website without parental permission. 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 ensures that image files are appropriately named: the school does not use pupils’ names in image file names or ALT tags if published on the web.)
Parents and staff should be mindful of the following legislation relating to use of the internet. (Further information is available on the Government website: www.gov.ie)
- Data Protection (Amendment) Act 2003
- Child Trafficking and Pornography Act 1998
- Interception Act 1993
- Video Recordings Act 1989
- The Data Protection Act 1988
The school will inform pupils, parents and staff of key support structures and organisations that deal with illegal material or harmful use of the internet, as necessary.
Code of Behaviour
Misuse of the internet may result in disciplinary action, including written warnings, withdrawal of access privileges and, in extreme cases, suspension or expulsion (see Code of Behaviour, Gorey Educate
The principal or Board of Management may also report any unusual or illegal internet activity to the appropriate authorities.