Internet Usage Policy

 

ACCEPTABLE USE OF THE INTERNET AND DIGITAL TECHNOLOGIES

This policy is based on and complies with DENI Circular 2007/1 and addendum 2011/22 on Acceptable Use of the Internet and Digital Technologies in Schools

  1. Introduction

In Carnlough CIPS we believe that the Internet and other digital technologies are very powerful resources which can enhance and potentially transform teaching and learning when used effectively and appropriately.  The Internet is an essential element of 21st century life for education, business and social interaction.  This school provides pupils with opportunities to use the excellent resources on the Internet, along with developing the skills necessary to access, analyse and evaluate them.

The above circular states that:

“Used well, digital technologies are powerful, worthwhile educational tools; technical safeguards can partly protect users, but education in safe, effective practices is a key goal for schools.”

This document, and recent addendum, set out the policy and practices for the safe and effective use of the Internet in Carnlough CIPS.

 

  1. Management of Internet Safety

The principal, with the support of the Board of Governors, will take a lead in embedding safe Internet practices into the culture of the school.

The ICT Co-ordinator holds day to day responsibility for all Internet safety issues within the school: ensuring that policies are in place, current and adhered to; that instances of breaches and misuse are monitored and reported, and that all staff receive relevant information about emerging issues.

This policy has been drawn up by the staff of the school under the leadership of the Principal and ICT Co-ordinator.

It has been approved by governors and circulated to all parents.

The policy and its implementation will be reviewed annually.

 

  1. Code of Safe Practice

When using the Internet, email systems and digital technologies, all users must comply with all relevant legislation on copyright, property theft, libel, fraud, discrimination and obscenity. The Code of Safe Practice for Carnlough CIPS makes explicit to all users (staff and pupils) what is safe and acceptable and what is not.

The scope of the Code covers fixed and mobile Internet; school PCs, laptops, and digital video equipment.  It should also be noted that the use of devices owned personally by staff and pupils but brought onto school premises (such as mobile phones, camera phones, PDAs, iPads, tablets) is subject to the same requirements as technology provided by the school.

The ICT Co-ordinator will monitor the effectiveness of the Code of Practice, particularly in the light of new developments in technology.

 

  • Code of Practice for pupils

Pupil access to the Internet is through a filtered service provided by C2K, which should ensure educational use made of resources is safe and secure, while protecting users and systems from abuse.

In addition, the following key measures have been adopted by Carnlough CIPS to ensure our pupils do not access any inappropriate     material:

  • The school’s Code of Practice for use of the Internet and other digital technologies is made explicit to all pupils and is displayed prominently;
  • Our Code of Practice is reviewed each school year;
  • Pupils using the Internet will normally be working in highly-visible areas of the school;
  • All online activity is for appropriate educational purposes and is supervised, where possible;
  • Pupils will, where possible, use sites pre-selected by the teacher and appropriate to their age group;
  • Pupils in Key Stage 2 are educated in the safe and effective use of the Internet, through a number of selected programmes.
  • Pupils take part in Safer Internet Day

It should be accepted, however, that however rigorous these measures may be, they can never be 100% effective.  Neither the school nor C2K can accept liability under such circumstances.

The use of mobile phones by pupils is not normally permitted on the school premises during school hours, unless in exceptional        circumstances, where permission may be granted by a member of staff.

During school hours pupils are forbidden to play computer games or access social networking sites.

  • Sanctions

Incidents of technology misuse which arise will be dealt with in accordance with the school’s discipline policy.  Minor incidents will be        dealt with by the Principal/ICT Co-ordinator and may result in a temporary or permanent ban on Internet use.

Incidents involving child protection issues will be dealt with in accordance with school child protection procedures.

 

  • Code of practice for staff

Staff have agreed to the following Code of Safe Practice:

  • Pupils accessing the Internet should supervised by an adult at all times.
  • All pupils are aware of the rules for the safe and effective use of the Internet. These are displayed in classrooms and discussed with pupils.
  • All pupils using the Internet have written permission from their parents.
  • Recommended websites for each year group are available under Favourites. Any additional websites used by pupils should be checked beforehand by teachers to ensure there is no unsuitable content and that material is age-appropriate.
  • Deliberate/accidental access to inappropriate materials or any other breaches of the school code of practice should be reported immediately to the Principal/ICT Co-ordinator.
  • In the interests of system security staff passwords should only be shared with the network manager.
  • Teachers are aware that the C2K system tracks all Internet use and records the sites visited. The system also logs emails and messages sent and received by individual users.
  • Teachers should be aware of copyright and intellectual property rights and should be careful not to download or use any materials which are in breach of these.
  • Photographs of pupils should, where possible, be taken with a school camera and images should be stored on a centralised area on the school network, accessible only to teaching staff.
  • School systems may not be used for unauthorised commercial transactions.

 

  1. Internet Safety Awareness

In Carnlough CIPS we believe that, alongside having a written safety policy and code of practice, it is essential to educate all users in the safe and effective use of the Internet and other forms of digital communication.  We see education in appropriate, effective and safe use as an essential element of the school curriculum. This education is as important for staff and parents as it is for pupils.

  • Internet Safety Awareness for pupils

Rules for the Acceptable use of the Internet are discussed with all pupils and are prominently displayed in classrooms.  In addition, Key Stage 2 pupils follow a structured programme of Internet Safety Awareness using a range of online resources.

  • Internet Safety Awareness for staff

The ICT Co-ordinator keeps informed and updated on issues relating to Internet Safety and attends regular courses.  This training is then disseminated to all teaching staff, classroom assistants and supervisory assistants on a regular basis.

  • Internet Safety Awareness for parents

The Internet Safety Policy and Code of practice for pupils is sent home at the start of each school year for parental signature.  Internet safety leaflets for parents and carers also are sent home annually.   We hold regular ICT evenings for parents when Internet safety is one of the issues addressed.

  • Community Use of School ICT Resources

The school’s ICT facilities are used as a community resource under the Extended Schools programme.  Users are issued with separate usernames and passwords by C2K.  They must also agree to the school’s Acceptable Use of the Internet policy before    participating and only access pre-selected and appropriate websites under the guidance of a tutor.

 

  1. Health and Safety

Carnlough CIPS have attempted, on so far as possible, to ensure a safe working environment for pupils and teachers using ICT resources, which has been designed in accordance with health and safety guidelines.  Pupils are supervised at all times when Interactive Whiteboards and Digital Projectors are being used.

 

  1. Digital and Video Images of Pupils

Parental permission is sought at the start of each school year to cover the use of photographs of pupils on the school website, in the local press and for displays etc within school and written permission must be obtained from parent/carer.

 

  • School Website

Our school website promotes and provides up to date information about the school, as well as giving pupils an opportunity to showcase their work and other aspects of school life.  In order to minimise risks of any images of pupils on the school website being used inappropriately the following steps are taken:

  • Group photos are used where possible, with general labels/captions;
  • Names and images are kept separate – if a pupil is named their photograph is not used and vice-versa;
  • The website does not include home addresses, telephone numbers, personal e-mails or any other personal information about pupils or staff.

 

  • Storage of images

Digital and video images of pupils are, where possible, taken with school equipment.  Images are stored on a centralised area on the school network, accessible only to teaching staff.  Photographs of pupils are removed when they leave the school.

 

   6.Social Software

Chatrooms, blogs and other social networking sites are blocked by the C2K filters so pupils do not have access to them in the school environment.

However, we regard the education of pupils on the safe and responsible use of social software as vitally important and this is addressed through our Internet Safety Education for pupils.

Instances of cyber bullying of pupils or staff will be regarded as very serious offences and dealt with according to the school’s discipline policy and child protection procedures.

Pupils are aware that any misuse of mobile phones/websites/email should be reported to a member of staff immediately.