The Internet is an essential element for education, business and social interaction. Internet use is part of the revised curriculum and a necessary tool for education. The purpose of Internet use in Bunscoil Rinn an Chabhlaigh is to raise educational standards, to promote pupil achievement, to support the professional work of staff and to enhance the school’s management, information and business administration systems.
This Acceptable Use Policy will address all rights, privileges, responsibilities and sanctions associated with access to and use of the Internet in Bunscoil Rinn an Chabhlaigh. The AUP will be revised regularly.
The aim of our Acceptable Use Policy is to ensure that pupils, teachers and parents will benefit from the learning opportunities offered by the school’s Internet resources in a safe, responsible 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 Therefore, if the school AUP is not adhered to, this privilege will be withdrawn and appropriate sanctions – as outlined in the AUP – will be imposed.
Staff/People employed by the school/student teachers/volunteers etc who breach the AUP may be dealt with by the Board of Management’s disciplinary procedures and/or child protection procedures.
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 Safety Precautions
- Internet sessions will always be supervised
- Systems including filtering software will be used in order to minimise the risk of exposure to inappropriate material
- The school will regularly monitor Internet usage
- Students will not have access to passwords
- Students 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, pen drives, CD-ROMs or DVDs in school requires permission and all external software must be scanned with anti-virus software 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
World Wide Web Use Precautions
- Sites that the children use in school will be previewed by their teacher before use
- Students will use the Internet for educational purposes and/or as deemed appropriate by the teacher -e.g as a reward or for golden time etc
- Teachers and students will be familiar with copyright issues relating to online learning
- Students will never disclose or publicise personal information
- All Internet users in Bunscoil Rinn an Chabhlaigh should be aware that any usage, including distributing or receiving information, school-related or personal, may be monitored
- Students and staff (including people employed by the school/contractors etc) will not visit Internet sites that contain obscene, illegal, hateful or otherwise objectionable materials
- Children should inform their teacher if they inadvertently access information that makes them in any way uncomfortable. In the unlikely event that this should happen, the children will be reassured and their parents will be notified. Also, where possible, the offending URL will be noted and the NCTE will be informed
- The teacher should set one e-mail address for classes for work online with partner schools.
Emails will be opened by a teacher and printed for children who are participating in such projects
- Students will not send or receive by any means any material that is illegal, obscene, defamatory or any material that is intended to annoy or intimidate another person
- Students will not reveal their own or other people’s personal details, such as addresses, telephone numbers or pictures
- Students will never arrange a 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
Internet Chat Precautions
- Students will only have access to closed 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
- Students will not have access to closed chat room passwords
- Usernames will be used to avoid disclosure of identity
- Meetings with someone organised via Internet chat rooms and discussion forums is forbidden
School Website Precautions
- Pupils will be given the opportunity to publish projects, artwork and school work on the World Wide Web
- 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 written permission
- The school will endeavour to use digital photographs, audio or video clips focusing on group activities. 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 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 will be asked to give permission for photographs of their children to be used on the website in the Enrolment Form from August 2014 forward
- Parents of children enrolled in the school prior to August will be asked to notify the school if they do not wish photographs of their children to be used on the website under the conditions outlined in this policy
- Personal pupil information including name, home address and contact details will be omitted from school web pages
- Pupils will continue to own the copyright on any work published
Pupils using their own technology in school, such as leaving a mobile phone turned or using it in class, sending nuisance text messages, or the unauthorised taking of images with a mobile phone camera, still or moving is in direct breach of the school’s acceptable use policy.
Teachers have been made aware of legislation relating to use of the Internet. Links have been provided on the Teachers section of the School Server, to the following:
- Data Protection (Amendment) Act 2003
- Child Trafficking and Pornography Act 1998
- Interception Act 1993
- Video Recordings Act 1989
- The Data Protection Act 1988
Websites offering support and advice in the area of Internet Safety have been listed on the
“Favourites” menu of each computer connected to the Internet. The following is a selection:
- NCTE – http://www.ncte.ie/InternetSafety/
- Webwise – http://www.webwise.ie/
- Make IT Secure – http://makeitsecure.ie
- Safe Internet – http://www.saferinternet.org/ww/en/pub/insafe/
The following guides/manuals are available in school:
- Be Wise on the Net …Information and Advice for Schools NCTE
- Internet Safety Awareness Education Programme Teachers’ Handbook SAFTEY Project(NCTE)
Misuse of the Internet may result in disciplinary action according to the School’s Code of Conduct, and/or the school’s Anti Bullying Policy and/or the school’s Child Protection Policy. The Code of Conduct includes written warnings, notification of parents, 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.
This policy will be reviewed annually by the BOM, in consultation with the Teaching Staff and Parents Council