ICT Acceptable Use Policy (AUP)
As part of the school’s IT programme we offer pupils supervised access to the Internet, the global network of computers you will have read about and seen on television. Before being allowed to use the Internet, all pupils must obtain parental permission and both they and you must sign and return the enclosed form as evidence of your approval and their acceptance of the school rules on this matter. Access to the Internet will enable pupils to explore thousands of libraries, databases and bulletin boards while exchanging messages with other Internet users throughout the world. Families should be warned that some material accessible via the Internet might contain items that are illegal, defamatory, inaccurate or potentially offensive to some.
All activity on the computer system is logged, in particular the students’ use of the Internet; these activity logs are closely monitored and frequently reviewed. The Internet activity logs store a variety of information, including: the user identity of the student, the date and time of access, the computer used by the student and the Internet address of every page and image that was accessed. In addition, e-mails are routinely scanned for offensive language by the computer system and, any that “fail” this preliminary scan are redirected to the I.T. Coordinator for further scrutiny. Access to websites providing external e-mail accounts are blocked, allowing the school to ensure and enforce the appropriate use of e-mail via the school’s computers.
Whilst our aim for Internet use is to further educational goals and objectives, pupils may find ways to access other materials as well. We believe that the benefits to pupils from access to the Internet, in the form of information resources and opportunities for collaboration, exceed any disadvantages. Whilst the school will endeavour to “police” the use of the Internet in school, ultimately, parents and guardians of minors are responsible for setting and conveying the standards that their children should follow when using media and information sources. To that end, the school supports and respects each family's right to decide whether or not to apply for access.
During school, teachers will guide pupils toward appropriate materials. Outside of school, families bear the same responsibility for such guidance as they exercise with information sources such as television, telephones, movies, radio and other potentially offensive media. Parents are advised to visit the following website www.thinkuknow.co.uk, which expores some of the specific dangers that children could face and provides practical advice and guidance that should make the online experience safer for all.
In order to match electronic resources as closely as possible to the national and school curriculum, teachers need to review and evaluate resources in order to offer "home pages" and menus of materials that are appropriate to the age range and ability of the group being taught. The IT co-ordinator will provide appropriate guidance to pupils as they make use of telecommunications and electronic information resources to conduct research and other studies. All pupils will be informed by staff of their rights and responsibilities as users, before their first use, either as an individual user or as a member of a class or group.
As much as possible, the school’s chosen information provider has organised information resources in ways that point pupils to those that have been reviewed and evaluated prior to use. While pupils may be able to move beyond those resources to others that have not been evaluated by staff, they shall be provided with guidelines and lists of resources particularly suited to the learning objectives. Pupils may pursue electronic research independent of staff supervision only if they have been granted parental permission and have submitted all required forms. Permission is not transferable and may not be shared.
The school has developed a set of guidelines for Internet use by pupils. These rules will be made available to all pupils, and kept under constant review. All members of staff are responsible for explaining the rules and their implications. All members of staff need to be aware of possible misuses of on-line access and their responsibilities towards pupils.
Every year students will be required to complete a Parent & Student agreement Form regarding the use of the Internet which outlines the Accetable Usage Policy (AUP) of the school. In addition, students are required to re-affirm their agreement, to follow the AUP, everytime they login and everytime they attempt to access the Internet and/or E-Mail systems. The agreement form will be issued by form tutors during the first couple of weeks of every new academic year. Internet access will be removed for any student who does not have a current agreement returned and on file.
A copy of the Parent & Pupil Internet Agreement Form can be downloaded by clicking here.