The aim of this Internet Acceptable Usage Policy (AUP) is to ensure that Scoil Mhuire pupils will benefit from the 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 a privilege.
This Internet Acceptable Usage Policy applies to pupils who have access to, and are users of, the internet in Scoil Mhuire. It also applies to members of staff, parents/guardians, volunteers and others who access the internet in Scoil Mhuire.
When using the internet, pupils, staff, parents/guardians, volunteers and others are expected:
- To treat others with respect at all times.
- Not to undertake any actions that may bring the school into disrepute.
- To respect the right to privacy of all other members of the school community.
- To respect copyright and acknowledge creators when using online content and resources.
2. Promotion of Safer Use of the Internet
Scoil Mhuire implements the following strategies to promote safer use of the internet:
- Pupils will be provided with education in the area of internet safety as part of our implementation of the SPHE curriculum.
- Teachers will be provided with continuing professional development and opportunities in the area of internet safety.
- Parents/guardians will be invited to participate in school-based internet safety information sessions annually, facilitated by experts in the field.
- Scoil Mhuire participates in Safer Internet Day activities to promote safer more effective use of the internet.
3. Misuse of the Internet
Misuse of the internet may result in disciplinary action, including written warnings, withdrawal of access privileges, detention and, in extreme cases, suspension or expulsion. The school also reserves the right to report any illegal activities to the appropriate authorities.
Scoil Mhuire will deal with incidents that take place outside the school that impact on the wellbeing of pupils or staff under this policy and our school’s associated Child Safeguarding Statement, Code of Behaviour and Anti-bullying Policy. In such cases, Scoil Mhuire will, where known, inform parents/guardians of incidents of inappropriate online behaviour that take place out of school and impose appropriate sanctions.
4. Content Filtering
Scoil Mhuire has chosen to implement Level 4 content filtering on the Schools Broadband Network. This level allows access to millions of websites including games and YouTube but blocks access to websites belonging to the personal websites category, such as Facebook, and belonging to the Social Networking category.
Pupils taking steps to by-pass the content filter by using proxy sites or other means may be subject to disciplinary action, including written warnings, withdrawal of access privileges, detention and, in extreme cases, suspension or expulsion.
5. Web Browsing and Downloading
- 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 the classroom to their teacher.
- Pupils will report accidental accessing of inappropriate materials in school but outside the classroom to their teacher.
- Pupils and staff 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 use the school’s internet connection only for educational and career development activities.
- Pupils will not engage in online activities such as uploading or downloading large files that result in heavy network traffic which impairs the service for other internet users.
- Pupils will not download or view any material that is illegal, obscene, and defamatory or that is intended to annoy or intimidate another person.
- Use of file sharing and torrent sites is not allowed.
- Downloading by pupils of materials or images not relevant to their studies is not allowed.
6. Email and Messaging
- The use of personal email accounts is only allowed at Scoil Mhuire with expressed permission from members of the teaching staff.
- Pupils will use approved class email accounts only under supervision by or permission from a teacher.
- Pupils should be aware that email communications are monitored.
- Pupils will not send any material that is illegal, obscene, and defamatory or that is intended to annoy or intimidate another person.
- Pupils should immediately report the receipt of any communication that makes them feel uncomfortable, is offensive, discriminatory, threatening or bullying in nature and must not respond to any such communication.
7. Social Media
- Staff and pupils must not use social media and the internet in any way to harass, insult, abuse or defame pupils, their family members, staff, and other members of the Scoil Mhuire community.
- Staff and pupils must not discuss personal information about pupils, staff and other members of the Scoil Mhuire community on social media.
- Staff and pupils must not use school email addresses for setting up personal social media accounts or to communicate through such media.
- Staff and pupils must not engage in activities involving social media which might bring Scoil Mhuire into disrepute.
- Staff and pupils must not represent their personal views as those of being of Scoil Mhuire on any social medium.
8. Personal Devices
- Pupils using their own technology in school should follow the rules set out in this agreement, in the same way as if they were using school equipment.
9. Images & Video
- Care should be taken when taking photographic or video images that pupils are appropriately dressed and are not participating in activities that might bring the individuals or the school into disrepute.
- Scoil Mhuire pupils must not take, use, share, publish or distribute images of others without their permission.
- Taking photos or videos on school grounds or when participating in school activities are not allowed under any circumstances.
- Written permission from parents/guardians will be obtained before photographs of pupils are published on the school website.
- Pupils must not share images, videos or other content online with the intention to harm another member of the school community regardless of whether this happens in school or outside.
- When using the internet, pupils, parents/guardians and staff are expected to treat others with respect at all times.
- Engaging in online activities with the intention to harm, harass, or embarrass another pupil or member of staff is an unacceptable and absolutely prohibited behaviour, with serious consequences and sanctions for those involved.
- Measures are taken by Scoil Mhuire to ensure that staff and pupils are aware that bullying is defined as unwanted negative behaviour, verbal, psychological or physical, conducted by an individual or group against another person (or persons) and which is repeated over time. This definition includes cyberbullying even when it happens outside school.
- Isolated or once-off incidents of intentional negative behaviour, including a once-off offensive or hurtful text message or other private messaging, do not fall within the definition of bullying and will be dealt with, as appropriate, in accordance with the school’s Code of Behaviour.
- The prevention of cyberbullying is an integral part of the Anti-bullying Policy of our school.
11. School Website
- Pupils will be given the opportunity to publish projects, artwork or school work on the internet in accordance with clear policies and approval processes regarding the content that can be uploaded to the school’s website.
- The website will be regularly checked to ensure that there is no content that compromises the safety, privacy, or reputation of pupils or staff.
- Webpages allowing comments or user-generated content will be pre-moderated and checked frequently to ensure that they do not contain any inappropriate or offensive content.
- The publication of pupil work will be coordinated by a teacher.
- Scoil Mhuire will use only digital photographs, audio or video clips focusing on group activities. Content focusing on individual pupils will only be published on the school website with parental permission.
- Personal pupil information including home address and contact details will not be published on Scoil Mhuire web pages.
- Scoil Mhuire will avoid publishing the first name and last name of pupils in video or photograph captions published online.
12. Links to other Policies
The following policies are particularly relevant to the implementation of the Internet Acceptable Usage Policy:
- Anti-bullying Policy
- Code of Behaviour
- Child Safeguarding Statement
- Supervision of Pupils
- After School/Out of School Activities
- Attendance Strategy
- Sporting Activities
- Smart Phone Policy
13. Ratification & Communication
This Internet Acceptable Usage Policy was considered and ratified by the Board of Management on 5 February 2019, following consultation with staff, pupils and parents/guardians. The policy has been made available to school personnel, published on the school website and provided to the Parents Association.
14. Monitoring & Evaluation
The implementation of this Internet Acceptable Usage Policy will be monitored by the ICT Team, Principal, staff and Board of Management. It will be reviewed and evaluated at regular intervals, including through formal and informal feedback from parents/guardians, pupils, staff and others. The policy will be revised as necessary in the light of such review and evaluation.
Monsignor Denis Lennon
Chairperson of Board of Management
5 February 2019
Dr Mags Jordan
Principal/Secretary to Board of Management
5 February 2019