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Acceptable Use Policy (2010)

Mission Statement

Ramsgrange Community School is a welcoming, open and inclusive school. Our aim is to develop each of our students as a whole person by promoting an atmosphere of respect, honesty, and fairness in which all in the school community can achieve their full potential.

Rationale

Ramsgrange Community School have herewith formulated the following Internet Acceptable Use policy, or AUP in accordance with the school’s fundamental aim to foster in students a sense of self-reliance, independence, co-operation and responsibility and to provide them with skills for life-long learning, where the school believes that access to the school’s vast ICT resources plays an important role.

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 Therefore, if the school AUP is not adhered to this privilege will be withdrawn and appropriate sanctions – as outlined in the AUP – will be imposed.

Goal

The Internet and World Wide Web is an integral part of society and so too will be a part of our students’ learning programmes. 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.

School’s Strategy

 The school employs 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 be supervised by a teacher.
  • Filtering software and/or equivalent systems will be      used in order to minimise the risk of exposure to inappropriate material.
  • Each student will be assigned a specific computer to      use whilst in the computer room as per the seating plan. Students may not      use any other computer without the permission of the supervising teacher.
  • Uploading and downloading of non-approved software,      data files, image files, audio and video files will not be permitted.
  • Virus protection software will be used and updated on      a regular basis.
  • The use of personal floppy disks, memory sticks,      CD-ROMs, or other digital storage media in school requires a teacher’s      permission.
  • Students will treat others with respect at all times      and will not undertake any actions that may bring the school or its staff      members into disrepute.
  • Students will observe good “netiquette” (ie:      etiquette on the Internet) at all times and will not undertake any actions      that may bring the school into disrepute.
  • Any use of the schools computing resources or      Internet connection that could be considered “bullying” is in breach of      this policy and in breach of the anti-bullying policy and will be treated      accordingly.

World Wide Web

  • Students      will not visit Internet sites that contain obscene, illegal, hateful or      otherwise objectionable materials.
  • Students      will report accidental accessing of inappropriate materials to the      supervising teacher. The teacher must then record the incident in the      Computer Room Record Book.
  • Students      will use the Internet for educational purposes only.
  • Students      will be made aware not to copy information into assignments and fail to      acknowledge the source. (This constitutes Plagiarism and Copyright      Infringement).
  • Students      will be asked to never disclose or publicise personal information unless      for educational purposes under the supervision of the teacher.
  • Downloading      and uploading materials or images not relevant to their studies, is in      direct breach of the school’s acceptable use policy.
  • Students      will be made 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.

Email

  • Students      will not send or receive any material that is illegal, obscene, and/or      defamatory or that is intended to annoy or intimidate another person.
  • Students      will be asked to use a school email address where necessary, and not      personal email accounts. Students will use these approved email accounts      in class under supervision by, or with permission from a teacher. Students      will note that sending and receiving email attachments using the approved      school email account is subject to permission from their teacher.
  • Students      will not reveal their own or other people’s personal details, such as      addresses or telephone numbers or pictures unless for educational purposes      and under the supervision of the teacher.
  • Students      are asked to 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 chat rooms, discussion forums, messaging or other      electronic communication forums for educational purposes, and with the      permission of the supervising teacher.
  • Social      networking sites including Bebo, MSN Messenger and any other similar sites      are not allowed to be accessed.
  • Proxy      servers are strictly forbidden.
  • Students      will be encouraged where possible to use Usernames in order to avoid      disclosure of identity.
  • Face-to-face      meetings with any third party organised via Internet chat are forbidden.

School Website

  • The website will be regularly checked to ensure that there is no content that compromises the safety of pupils or staff.
  • The publication of students’ work will be coordinated 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.
  • The school will endeavour to use digital photographs video and audio clips focusing on group activities. Content focusing on individual students will not be published on the school website without parental approval.
  • Personal pupil and staff information including home address and contact details will be omitted from school web pages.
  • The school website will avoid publishing the surname of any student 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.

Pupils will continue to own the copyright on any of their work published on the school website.

 

Personal Devices

Pupils using their own technology in school, such as leaving a mobile phone turned on or using it in class, sending nuisance text messages, or the unauthorized taking of images with a mobile phone camera, still or moving is in direct breech of the school’s acceptable use policy and of the school’s mobile phone policy and will be dealt with accordingly.

Legislation

There is no specific legislation governing Internet safety at school level.** This is complicated by the fact that the Internet functions in a global context whereas the law functions in a localized one. The following pieces of legislation, however, have relevance to Internet safety:

• Data Protection (Amendment) Act 2003

• Child Trafficking and Pornography Act 1998

• Interception Act 1993

• Video Recordings Act 1989

• The Data Protection Act 1988

**A recent government Circular (2013) deals with the specific issue of cyberbullying and this is currently under review by school management.

Sanctions

Misuse of the Internet will result in disciplinary action, including discipline slips or written warnings; withdrawal of access privileges and, in extreme cases, suspension or expulsion or other in accordance with the school Code of Behaviour. The school also reserves the right to report any illegal activities to the appropriate authorities.

Roles and Responsibilities

Teachers

Teachers will assign specific places in the computer rooms, and where necessary, approved school email accounts, to each student in each class.

Teachers will closely supervise students’ use of computers at all times.

Teachers will explain and revisit the AUP in September and in January of each academic year.

Teachers will ensure that students’ Internet use will be planned, task-orientated and educational within a regulated and managed environment.

Review and Evaluation:

This policy will be reviewed annually from 2013.