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. 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 Therefore, if the school AUP is not adhered to this privilege will be withdrawn and appropriate sanctions – as outlined in the AUP – will be imposed.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. Before signing, the AUP should be read carefully to ensure that the conditions of use are accepted and understood.

This AUP was revised on 07/12/2016 and ratified by the Board of Management January 2017

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School’s Strategy

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

● Internet sessions will always be supervised by a teacher or an assistant.
● 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.
● Students, teachers and assistants 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 storage devices in school requires a teacher’s permission. These must be scanned before use.
● Students 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.
● Teachers are advised to regularly check the “History” of web sites visited on any devices used by the children in their care.
World Wide Web
● Students will not visit Internet sites that contain obscene, illegal, hateful or otherwise objectionable materials.
● If a child unintentionally previews a site/email containing inappropriate material, they must tell the teacher immediately and close down the site.
● Students will use the Internet for educational purposes only.
● Students will be familiar with copyright issues relating to online learning.
● Students will never disclose or publicise personal information.
● Students 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.
● Teachers will preview and evaluate web sites before children use.
● Appropriate search engines will be used.
Using information from the internet:
● In order to use information from the internet effectively, it is important for pupils to develop an understanding of the nature of the internet and the information available on it. In particular, they should know that, unlike the school library for example, most of the information on the internet is intended for an adult audience, much of the information on the internet is not properly audited/edited and most of it is copyright
● Pupils will be taught to expect a wider range of content, both in level and in audience, than is found in the school library or on TV;
● Teachers will ensure that pupils are aware of the need to validate information whenever possible before accepting it as true,
● When copying materials from the Web, pupils will be taught to observe copyright; pupils will be made aware that the writer of an e-mail or the author of a web page may not be the person claimed.
Email
● Students will use approved class email accounts under supervision by or permission from a teacher.
● Students will not send or receive any material that is illegal, obscene, defamatory or that is intended to annoy 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 they only know through emails or the internet.
● Students will note that sending and receiving email attachments is subject to permission from their teacher.
● Teacher must be aware of who emails are being sent to.
● All emails are the property of the school, and must not be deleted without the permission of the teacher.
Internet Chat
● Students will only have access to chat rooms, discussion forums, messaging or other electronic communication forums that have been approved by the school under close supervision by a teacher.
School Website
● Pupils will be given the opportunity to publish projects, artwork or school work on the school website or teacher approved websites e.g. Fís.
● The publication of student work will be co-ordinated by a teacher.
● 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 of individual students will not be published on the school website. Instead photographs, audio and video clips will endeavour to 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.

School Facebook page
● The official school FB page will be used as a communication tool between school and home.
● In line with current legislation, users of FaceBook must be over 13 years of age, therefore current pupils cannot be accepted as “friends” of the page.
● Users should not post anything on the page that could be deemed as offensive, inappropriate or harmful.
● Users may not tag or post photographs of children on the page
● Users should not ask to become “friends” with staff as failure to respond may cause offence.

Media
● Photographs/students work/videos or audio clips may be published on suitable education websites where it may be used to promote St. Edward’s N.S. and/or may appear in other media such as newspaper articles or television clips.

Personal Phones
● Only children who have completed the relevant permission form may bring phones to school, which are left in the office during the day.
● Some phones (including Smart Phones) are internet enabled. The school’s wifi details will not be shared with any students, and these phones may not be used to access the internet for any purpose.
● Leaving a mobile phone turned on, using it in class, sending nuisance text messages or the unauthorised taking of images and/or video with a mobile phone is prohibited.

Legislation
The following legislation relates to use of the Internet which teachers, students 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 Data Protection Act 1988

Support Structures
The school will inform students and parents of key support structures and organisations that deal with illegal material or harmful use of the Internet.

Sanctions
● Misuse of the Internet may result in disciplinary action, including written warnings, withdrawal of access privileges and, in extreme cases, suspension or expulsion. The school also reserves the right to report any illegal activities to the appropriate authorities.
● Mobile phones found in the possession of children during the school day will be confiscated and left in the office,where they may only be collected by a parent or guardian.