ICT/Internet Acceptable Use Policy

Rights, privileges, responsibilities and sanctions associated with access to and use of the Internet

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Introduction

The Internet is an essential element for education, business and social interaction. Its use is part of the revised curriculum and a necessary tool for education. The purpose of Internet use in school 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 Scoil Naomh Buithe.

This AUP was updated in March 2019 with input from staff, Parents Council committee members and BOM. It was revised again in November 2020 in line with Circular 0074/2020 and most recently revised in May 2023.

Aim

The aim of our Acceptable Use Policy is to ensure that pupils, staff and parents will benefit from the learning opportunities offered by the school’s Internet resources in a safe, responsible and effective manner.

This Acceptable Use Policy applies to pupils who have access to and are users of the internet in Scoil Naomh Buithe. Internet use and access is considered to be a valuable 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 Therefore, if the school AUP is not adhered to, this privilege will be withdrawn and appropriate sanctions – as outlined in the AUP - will be imposed.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 also applies to members of staff, volunteers, parents/guardians and others who access the internet in Scoil Naomh Buithe. 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. *See School's Child safeguarding Statement.

Strategies

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

  • Pupil internet sessions and online activity will always be supervised by a teacher/SNA.
  • Systems including filtering software will be used in order to minimise the risk of exposure to inappropriate material.
  • Scoil Naomh Buithe 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 and websites such as Facebook belonging to the Social Networking category.
  • The school will regularly monitor pupils’ Internet usage.
  • Students will not have access to passwords.
  • Students and teachers will be provided with training in the area of Internet safety, using programmes such as HTML Heroes (3rd and 4th Class). www.webwise.ie also has excellent resources to support internet safety.
  • Students will be provided with education in the area of internet safety as part of our implementation of the SPHE curriculum.
  • Teachers will be informed of continuing professional development opportunities in the area of internet safety.
  • Scoil Naomh Buithe will participate in Safer Internet Day activities to promote safer and more effective use of the internet.
  • 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 pen drives/personal memory sticks, CD-ROMs or other digital storage media in school requires a teacher’s permission.
  • 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.
  • Beginning in September 2023, Chromebook contracts will be signed by all pupils in senior classes and iPad contracts will be signed by all pupils in junior classes.
  • It is important that parents/guardians and pupils are aware of Anti Bullying policy in relation to social media;
    • 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 should be dealt with, as appropriate, in accordance with the school’s code of behaviour.
    • However, in the context of this policy, placing a once-off offensive or hurtful public message, image or statement on a social network site or other public forum where that message, image or statement can be viewed and/or repeated by other people will be regarded as bullying behaviour.

World Wide Web

  • Before students are allowed to make use of the school’s internet facility, all Parents/Guardians will be required to complete a Permission Form (See Appendix 1) and return it to the Office. Permission forms will be sent home to families during September of each year and the school’s database will be updated accordingly.
  • Websites that the children use in school will be previewed by their teacher before use, especially with regard to videos viewed on YouTube.
  • 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. They will not copy information from the internet without acknowledging the creator and referencing the source of the content.
  • Students will never disclose or publicise personal information.
  • All Internet users in Scoil Naomh Buithe should 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.
  • 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. Internet access in school includes a strict filtering service, however no filtering service is completely guaranteed.
  • Students will report accidental accessing of inappropriate materials to their teacher.
  • Students will not download or view any material that is illegal, obscene, and defamatory or that is intended to annoy or intimidate another person.
  • Downloading by students of materials or images not relevant to their studies is not allowed.
  • Students 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.
  • Use of file sharing and torrent sites is not allowed.
  • 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 service provider will be informed.

Email

  • In general, the teacher should set one e-mail address for classes for work online with partner schools, and emails will be opened by a teacher and printed for children who are participating in such projects.
  • Where teachers require student email accounts for all students in the class (e.g. using Seesaw, Google Classroom, Spellings for Me) parental permission will be sought and all accounts will be used in a closed tenurens setting ( i.e. a walled garden environment with contact limited to tenurens domain addresses).
  • Children must sign a written agreement annually, with parents and class teacher, prior to accessing school email accounts.
  • School email address and drive is to be used for educational purposes only.
  • Students will not send any material that is illegal, obscene, and defamatory or that is intended to annoy or intimidate another person.
  • Students should immediately report to their teacher (and later to their parents) the receipt of any email that makes them feel uncomfortable, is inappropriate, offensive, discriminatory, threatening or bullying in nature and they must not respond to any such communication.
  • The email address provided by the school to each student is the property of Scoil Naomh Buithe. All content will be monitored by staff at the school.
  • Students will use email in school under supervision by or permission from a teacher.
  • Students will note that sending and receiving email attachments is subject to permission from their teacher.
  • 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 or telephone numbers, pictures or passwords.
  • Students will never arrange a face-to-face meeting with someone they only know through emails or the internet.

Internet Chat

  • 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

  • School website is www.tenurens.ie .
  • Pupils may be given the opportunity to publish projects, artwork and school work on the World Wide Web with parental permission and in accordance with clear policies and approval processes regarding the content that can be loaded to the school’s website.
  • The publication of student work will be co-ordinated by a teacher. Logins/Passwords will not be shared with pupils.
  • Pupils’ work will appear in an educational context on Web pages with a copyright notice prohibiting the copying of such work without written permission.
  • Pupils will continue to own the copyright on any work published.
  • Upon enrolment, parents will complete a permission slip to allow publication of photographs on the school website.
  • Digital photographs, audio or video clips of students will not be published on the school website with the names of the featured students. In general, photographs, audio and video clips will focus on group activities. Other personal pupil information including home address and contact details will be omitted from school web pages.
  • The school will ensure that image files are appropriately named – pupils’ names will not be used in image file names.
  • The website will be regularly checked to ensure that there is no content that compromises the safety of pupils or staff.

Web 2.0

Web 2.0 tools, such as classroom blogs, Class Dojo, Seesaw and other social media may be used by the school in various educational contexts. These services, although not owned by Scoil Naomh Buithe, form part of our web services and all content that is placed on these services falls under this policy. Where such services are being used:

  • The class teacher will be responsible for setting up and maintaining the class account. Individual accounts will not be used.
  • Login/Password details will not be shared with students.
  • Use of images etc. will be limited to that specified in this policy.

Social Media

The following general statements apply to the use of messaging, blogging and video streaming services in Scoil Naomh Buithe:

  • The use of instant messaging services and apps such as Snapchat, Facebook, Whats App etc. by students is prohibited in Scoil Naomh Buithe.
  • Students will not have access to chat room or discussion forums.
  • The use of blogs is only allowed with permission and strict supervision from teaching staff for educational purposes/school based activities e.g. for a school or class blog.
  • The use of video streaming sites such as YouTube and Vimeo etc. are allowed only with permission from teaching staff for educational purposes and, if used, will be supervised at all times.
  • Staff and students must not use social media and the internet in any way to harass, insult, abuse or defame students, their family members, staff or other members of the Scoil Naomh Buithe community.
  • Staff and students must not discuss personal information about students, staff and other members of the Scoil Naomh Buithe community on social media.
  • Staff and students must not use school email addresses for setting up personal social media accounts or to communicate through such media.
  • Staff and students must not engage in activities involving social media which might bring Scoil Naomh Buithe into disrepute.
  • Staff and students must not represent their personal views as being those of Scoil Naomh Buithe on any social medium.

It is expected that Scoil Naomh Buithe staff, students and parents use social media in a respectful and responsible manner. Social media should not be used to individually insult any member of the school community. It should not be used to present offensive or inappropriate content or to misrepresent Scoil Naomh Buithe or its members in any way. All reports of cyber-bullying and other technology misuses will be investigated fully. Such matters will be dealt with under our Code of Behaviour and Anti-Bullying Policy.

Staff will plan for the inclusion of cyber safety awareness within the curriculum with guidance from relevant education authorities.

Parents are expected to be responsible for being aware of and informed about their children’s online activity and be proactive in the supervision and guidance of their children taking into account this policy and in particular the school’s core values.

Social media student guidelines

When using social media, it is expected that students will ensure that they:

  • Are aware of what they are posting online and that social media sites and applications are public forums.
  • Are not permitted to join staff members’ areas on social networking sites. If students attempt to do this, the member of staff is to refuse the student access and inform the Principal. The student’s parents will be informed if this happens.
  • Will not access social networking sites during the school day.
  • Respect the rights and confidentiality of others.
  • Do not impersonate or falsely represent another member of the school community.
  • Do not bully, intimidate, abuse, harass or threaten other members of the school community.
  • Do not make defamatory comments towards other members of the school community.
  • Do not use offensive or threatening language or resort to personal abuse towards each other or members of the school community.
  • Do not harm the reputation of SMPPS or those within its community.
  • Do not upload video, audio or photographs of any member of the SMPPS community (student, parents or staff) without consent.
  • Do not upload any video or photographs of any student where they can be identified as a SMPPS student by their uniform or any other means.

Social media parent guidelines

Classroom blogs and other Social Media tools e.g. See-Saw open up communication between students, parents and teachers. This kind of communication and collaboration can have a large impact on learning at SMPPS. The school encourages parents to participate in such activities when appropriate but requests that parents act responsibly and respectfully at all times, understanding that their conduct not only reflects on the school community, but will be a model for our students as well.

Parents should:

  • Be aware that many Social Media sites have age restrictions that have implications for their primary aged children. Parents need to monitor their children’s online social media activity, and read the terms and conditions of various Social Media sites and applications their children are interested in using. Parents need to be aware that many of them have age restrictions for their use.
  • Be aware that they are in breach of terms and conditions if they set up a personal account for their children to use if they knowingly understand that age restrictions apply.
  • Before uploading photos, audio or video, parents need to seek appropriate permission from any individual involved. This most particularly applies in relation to the privacy of the staff of SMPPS.
  • Online postings and conversations are not private. Do not share confidential information, internal school discussions, or specific information about students, staff or other parents.
  • Parents should not participate in spreading false or unsubstantiated rumours or false information in regards to the SMPPS community and its members.

Social media staff/teacher guidelines

  • Social networking sites such as Facebook or Instagram must not be used by staff as a platform for learning activities with students.
  • Staff should not accept students as ‘friends’ on their own social network sites or interact with students on social networking sites.
  • Staff and student online interaction must occur only in an educational context.
  • Staff should not post any images of pupils on their personal social media accounts.
  • Staff are personally responsible for content they publish online. Staff need to be mindful that what they publish will be public for a long time.
  • The lines between public and private, personal and professional are often blurred online. If staff identify themselves online as affiliated with SMPPS then they need to be aware that they are by definition representing the entire school community. Staff should ensure that content associated with them is consistent with their work at the school and the school’s values and ethos.
  • When contributing online, staff should not post confidential student information.
  • Staff should visit their profile’s security and privacy settings on social networking sites. At a minimum, it is recommended that staff should have all privacy settings set to ‘only friends’.

Learning Platforms

In some cases the class teacher may require individual accounts in order to utilise learning platforms such as Google Classroom, Khan Academy and TTRS. In these cases, parental permission will be sought and where possible students will use a class code rather than an email account to access the platform.

Aladdin Connect

The school uses the Aladdin Schools software service www.aladdin.ie for administrative purposes. The Aladdin Connect portal is part of this and gives secure access to messages from the school and to details of a child’s attendance, test results, reports cards etc. Teachers can use the noticeboard to communicate with parents.

Personal Devices

  • As per our Code of Behaviour, pupils are not permitted to bring personal devices such as mobile phones, smart watches or other smart devices to school.
  • On rare occasions, when students are requested and permitted to bring their own technology into school, they will follow the rules set out in this agreement in the same way as if they were using school equipment.
  • Students are only allowed to bring personal internet-enabled devices into Scoil Naomh Buithe to use in lessons with clear written permission from staff. This applies to the use of internet-enabled devices such as tablets, gaming devices, and digital music players in Scoil Naomh Buithe.
  • As per our Code of Behaviour, pupils are not permitted to use mobiles phones in Scoil Naomh Buithe or on school related activities out of school.

Images & Video

  • Care should be taken when taking photographic or video images that students are appropriately dressed and are not participating in activities that might bring the individuals or the school into disrepute.
  • At Scoil Naomh Buithe students must not take, use, share, publish or distribute images of others without their permission and the permission of a teacher. These images should be for educational purposes only.
  • Taking photos or videos on school grounds or when participating in school activities is only allowed with permission from staff.
  • Written permission from parents/guardians will be obtained before photographs of students are published on the school website. Parents will be asked to sign a consent form upon enrolment. Teachers will familiarise themselves with students whose parents have not given permission.
  • Students 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.
  • Sharing explicit images and in particular explicit images of students and/or minors is an unacceptable and absolutely prohibited behaviour, with serious consequences and sanctions for those involved.

Cyberbullying

  • When using the internet pupils, parents and staff are expected to treat others with respect at all times.
  • The prevention of cyber bullying is an integral part of the anti-bullying policy of our school.
  • Measures are taken by Scoil Naomh Buithe 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 cyber-bullying even when it happens outside the school or at night.
  • Engaging in online activities with the intention to harm, harass, or embarrass another pupil or member of staff is an unacceptable and absolutely prohibited behavior.

Support Structures

The following is a selection of websites offering support and advice in the area of Internet Safety:

Scoil Naomh Buithe also endeavours to have support structures in place to ensure the appropriate use of electronic devices in school and to ensure staff, parents and pupils feel supported in same.

  • The school will provide Internet Safety and Cyber Bullying talks annually for pupils from 2nd-6th class.
  • The school will provide Internet Safety and Cyber Bullying talks for parents and guardians annually to all parents in the school. Pupils from 5th and 6th class will be permitted to attend this talk.
  • Community Gardaí will be invited to link in with classes re Internet Safety and Cyber Bullying annually.
  • Staff will regularly partake in Continuous Professional Development in relation to AUP, Internet Safety and Cyber Bullying.

Responsibilities of Scoil Naomh Buithe Employees

Employees will:

  • Follow the guidelines set forth in this AUP.
  • Read, sign and return an AUP User Agreement (see Appendix 2), copies of which are kept on file by the ICT Co-Ordinator/Principal. Return an application form signed by the user stating the user has read, understands, agrees and will adhere to all guidelines and assume responsibility for their own actions.
  • Supervise student use.
  • Model and provide instruction in the ethical and appropriate use of technology in a school setting.
  • Maintain a curricular focus.
  • Ensure all students have signed an AUP permission form before allowing them to access the internet and network.
  • Keep the user password secure and confidential.
  • Ensure the computer is being legally used according to thesoftware's licence
  • Only install software onto a school computer or network, which has been approved by the staff member with responsibility for ICT or the Principal.
  • Not transmit, request or receive materials inconsistent with the mission and values of Scoil Naomh Buithe.
  • Respect the right to privacy of all other members of the school community.
  • Respect copyright and acknowledge creators when using online content and resources.

Sanctions

  • Should serious online safety incidents take place, the principal should be informed without delay.
  • Misuse of the Internet may result in disciplinary action in accordance with the School's Code of Behaviour and/or the school's Anti Bullying Policy and/or the school's Child Safeguarding Statement. The Code of Behaviour includes written warnings, notification of parents, withdrawal of access privileges and, in extreme cases, suspension or expulsion.

*Please Refer to the school's Code of Behaviour/Anti Bullying Policy/Child Safeguarding Statement for further information.

  • Access to the Internet will be withdrawn from pupils who fail to maintain acceptable standards of use.
  • The school also reserves the right to report any illegal activities to the appropriate authorities.
  • In exceptional circumstances, Scoil Naomh Buithe will also deal with incidents that take place outside the school that impact on the wellbeing of pupils or staff under this policy and associated codes of behaviour and anti-bullying policies. In such cases Scoil Naomh Buithe will, where known, inform parents/guardians of incidents of inappropriate online behaviour that take place out of school.
  • All of these sanctions are in line with our school’s Code of Behaviour.

GDPR

This policy is also in line with our school’s Data Protection Policy.

Ratification, communication, monitoring and review:

This policy was ratified at a Board of Management meeting on 31st May 2023. It will be saved onto the school server, published on the school website and communicated to all staff and parents by email.

The school will monitor the impact of the policy using:

• Logs of reported incidents.

• Internal monitoring data for network activity.

• Surveys and/or questionnaires of pupils, parents, and teaching staff.

This policy and its implementation will be reviewed annually by the Board of Management, all staff, parents and pupils.

_______________________________________ ________________

Patrick Logue (Chairperson BOM) Date

_______________________________________ ________________

Anne Phillips (Principal) Date


Appendix 1: Permission/Acceptance Form

Dear Parent/Guardian,

Please review the school’s Internet Acceptable Use Policy,

(http://www.tenurens.ie/aboutus/schoolpolicies) and sign and return this permission/acceptance form to the Office.

Parent/Guardian

School Name: Scoil Naomh Buithe

Name of Student: ______________________

Class: ______________________

As the parent or legal guardian of the above student, I have read the Internet Acceptable Use Policy and I grant permission for my son or daughter or the child in my care to access the Internet.

I understand that Internet access is intended for educational purposes.

I also understand that every reasonable precaution has been taken by the school to provide for online safety but the school cannot be held responsible if students access unsuitable websites.

I accept the above paragraph I do not accept the above paragraph

(Please tick as appropriate)

In relation to the school website, I accept that, if the school considers it appropriate, my child’s schoolwork may be chosen for inclusion on the website. I understand and accept the terms of the Acceptable Use Policy relating to publishing students’ work on the school website.

I accept the above paragraph I do not accept the above paragraph

(Please tick as appropriate)

Signature: _____________________________ Date: ________________________

Address: ______________________________ Telephone: ____________________


Appendix 2 – AUP User Agreement

As a school user of the network and internet at Scoil Naomh Buithe, I have read and understood the Acceptable User Policy (AUP) for the use of the internet in Scoil Naomh Buithe. By signing it I agree to abide by the policy as stated and to accept any sanctions which may be imposed due to misuse of the internet and non-adherence to the AUP.

  • I agree to follow the school rules on its use. I will use the network in a responsible way and observe all the restrictions explained in the AUP.
  • I agree to report any misuse of the network to the school Principal or the ICT Coordinator.

If I do not follow the rules, I understand that this may result in loss of access to the internet/computer network, as well as other disciplinary action.

Name: _____________________________________________

Signature: __________________________________________

Date: _________________________


Appendix 3 – Procedures for Online/Remote learning

Remote learning was a necessary feature of Scoil Naomh Buithe’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic. Should schools have to close in the future the procedures and protocols outlined in this Appendix 3 will apply.

If/when teaching and learning must take place online, staff at Scoil Naomh Buithe will endeavor to ensure a safe online learning experience for all members of the school community.

The following guidelines should be followed when engaging in online learning:

  1. Staff, families and pupils are expected to behave in an appropriate, safe, respectful and kind manner online.
  2. It is the duty of parents/guardians to supervise children while they are working online and to ensure any content which they are submitting to their teacher is appropriate.
  3. Staff members will communicate with pupils and their families using tools which have been approved by the school and of which parents have been notified eg Teams, Seesaw, Zoom, emails.
  4. Parental permission will be acquired before setting up a profile for a pupil on a communication forum.
  5. For security reasons, passwords will be provided to families where applicable.
  6. Any electronic forms of communication will be for educational purposes and to allow for communication with families.
  7. For video/Zoom calls, parental permission is implied, as the link to a video call will be communicated either via the parent/guardian’s email address or the pupil’s dedicated school email address. Essentially, by virtue of the pupil logging on to the call, permission is assumed.
  8. Under no circumstances can pictures or recordings be taken of video calls.
  9. Scoil Naomh Buithe cannot accept responsibility for the security of online platforms, in the event that they are hacked.


Guidelines for staff members using online communication methods:

  1. Staff members will communicate with pupils and families during the hours of 8.50am – 2.35pm, where possible.
  2. Staff members will have high expectations regarding pupil behaviour, with any communication which takes place online.
  3. Staff members will seek to become familiar with apps before using them with pupils. Check age requirements and the appropriateness of the platform.
  4. Staff members should familiarise themselves with the privacy settings and policy of any new online services. Teachers should also be mindful of their own privacy and boundaries. For example, it is best to avoid giving personal details, personal email or contact numbers. Use school email or contact numbers.
  1. Staff will check that consent has been given, before setting up a pupil profile for an online app.
  2. Staff are encouraged to generate a new meeting ID and password for each Zoom meeting being held.
  3. Staff members will notify parents/guardians of the date, time and password for a video call via email (parents or pupils).
  4. Staff members will only admit participants to video conferences, if they recognise the email address/username as being connected to a pupil.
  5. Under no circumstances can pictures or recordings be taken of video calls.
  6. 10.Communication using a personal mobile phone will not be frequent, but in the rare exception where it is necessary staff members will ensure that their caller ID is private.
  7. 11.Staff members will report any concerns regarding online behaviour or interactions to school management.



Rules for pupils using online communication methods:


For submitting learning:

  1. Remember our school rules - they are still in place, even online.
  2. Submit work and pictures that arecappropriate - have an adult take a look at your work before you send it.


For video calls/Zoom:

  1. Students involved in the meeting will be expected to conduct themselves in a similar manner that would be expected in a regular class.
  2. Set up your device in a quiet space, with no distractions in the background.
  3. A family member is expected to be close by when a pupil is engaging in a meeting. They should monitor all online interactions from the pupil.
  4. If you have the chance to talk, speak in your normal voice, using kind and friendly words.
  5. Show respect by listening to others while they are speaking.
  6. Ensure that you are dressed appropriately for the video call.
  7. Be on time for the video call.
  8. Pictures or recordings of the video call are not allowed.
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