Internet Safety - OLSS Belmullet

Go to content

Main menu

Internet Safety


Internet Safety: Acceptable Use Policy

School Name:  Our Lady’s Secondary School

Address:  Logmore
  Co. Mayo

The aim of this Acceptable Use Policy is to ensure that students will benefit from 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 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 Therefore, if the school AUP is not adhered to this privilege will be withdrawn and appropriate sanctions as outlined in the AUP will be imposed.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 is envisaged that school and parent representatives will revise the AUP annually. Before signing, the AUP should be read carefully to ensure that the conditions of use are accepted and understood.

This version of the AUP was created on 17.12 2007

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:
• Internet sessions will always 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.
• The school will regularly monitor students’ Internet usage.
• 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, 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 into disrepute.

World Wide Web
• Students will not intentionally visit Internet sites that contain obscene, illegal, hateful or otherwise objectionable materials.
• Students will report accidental accessing of inappropriate materials in accordance with school procedures.
• Students will use the Internet for educational purposes only.
• Students will not copy information into assignments and fail to acknowledge the source (plagiarism and copyright infringement).
• Students will never disclose or publicise personal information.
• Downloading by students of materials or images not relevant to their studies is in direct breach of the school’s acceptable use policy.
• Students 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.

• Students will use approved class email accounts under supervision by or permission from a teacher.
• Students will not send or receive any material that is illegal, obscene, defamatory or 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 or pictures.
• Students will never arrange a face-to-face 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
• Students will only have access to chat rooms, discussion forums, messaging or other electronic communication fora 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.
• Usernames will be used to avoid disclosure of identity.
• Face-to-face meetings with someone organised via Internet chat will be forbidden.

School Website
• Pupils will be given the opportunity to publish projects, artwork or schoolwork on the World Wide Web.
• The publication of student work will be co-ordinated by a teacher
• Pupil’s work will appear in an educational context on Web pages with a copyright notice prohibiting the copying of such work without express written permission.
• Digital photographs, audio or video clips of individual students will not be published on the school website.  Instead photographs, audio and video clips will focus on group activities.  Video clips may be password protected.
• Personal pupil information including home address and contact details will be omitted from school web pages.
• Pupils will continue to own the copyright on any work published.

Personal Devices
Students 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 breach of the school’s acceptable use policy.

The school will provide information on the following legislation relating to use of the Internet which teachers, students and parents should familiarise themselves with:
• Data Protection (Amendment) Act 2003
• Child Trafficking and Pornography Act 1998
• Interception Act 1993
• Video Recordings Act 1989
• The Data Protection Act 1988

Support Structures
The school will inform students and parents of key support structures and organisations that deal with illegal material or harmful use of the Internet.

Misuse of the Internet may result in disciplinary action, including written warnings, 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.

Permission Form
Please review the attached school Internet Acceptable Use Policy, sign and return this permission form to the Principal.
School Name

Name of Student: ______________________

Class/Year:  ______________________

I agree to follow the school’s Acceptable Use Policy on the use of the Internet. I will use the Internet in a responsible way and obey all the rules explained to me by the school.

Student’s Signature: __________________________  Date:  

As the parent or legal guardian of the above student, I have read the Acceptable Use Policy and 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)

Signature: _____________________________ Date:  ____________

Address: _____________________________      Telephone: __________




Letter to Parents/Guardians

Dear Parent/Guardian,

Re: Internet Permission Form

As part of the school’s education programme we offer pupils supervised access to the Internet. This allows students access to a large array of online educational resources that we believe can greatly enhance students’ learning experience.

However, access to and use of the Internet requires responsibility on the part of the user and the school. These responsibilities are outlined in the school’s Acceptable Use Policy (enclosed). It is important that this enclosed document is read carefully, signed by a parent or guardian and returned to the school.

Although the school takes active steps to promote safe use of the Internet, it recognises the possibility that students may accidentally or deliberately access inappropriate or objectionable material.

The school respects each family’s right to decide whether or not to allow their children access to the Internet as defined by the school’s Acceptable Use Policy.

Having read the terms of our school’s Acceptable Use Policy, you may like to take a moment to consider how the Internet is used in your own home, and see if there is any way you could make it safer for your own family.

Yours sincerely,

AUP checklist

For an AUP to be robust it needs to be reviewed and updated regularly, taking into consideration implementation issues that may arise. The following is a checklist that may be used when developing or revising an AUP.

1. Have AUP implementation issues arisen since the AUP was designed/revised?

2. Have these issues been discussed with parents, students and teachers and incorporated into an updated AUP?

3. Given that an AUP is in place, can the school confidently address the following scenarios?
• A student is found using a chat room to arrange a face-to-face meeting with a friend.
• The school uses filtering software but a student accidentally accesses a pornographic website while in your care.
• A student publishes defamatory information on a personal website about a peer.

4. Has the AUP had a positive impact on curriculum delivery?

5. Has internal or external expertise assisted the formulation or reformulation of the AUP?

6. Has the school discussed the use of the Internet with parents and guardians?

7. Has the AUP as a code of Internet use transferred to home use?

8. Does an open dialogue exist between students and teachers relating to Internet misuse and safety issues?

9. Are teachers’ and students’ Internet safety training needs being

Back to content | Back to main menu