ICT and Internet Acceptable Use Policy

1. Introduction and aims

ICT is an integral part of the way our school works, and is a critical resource for pupils, staff, governors, volunteers and visitors. It supports teaching and learning, pastoral and administrative functions of the school

However, the ICT resources and facilities our school uses also pose risks to data protection, online safety and safeguarding

This policy aims to:

  • Set guidelines and rules on the use of school ICT resources for staff, pupils, parents and governors
  • Establish clear expectations for the way all members of the school community engage with each other online
  • Support the school’s policy on data protection, online safety and safeguarding
  • Prevent disruption to the school through the misuse, or attempted misuse, of ICT systems Support the school in teaching pupils safe and effective internet and ICT use
  • This policy covers all users of our school’s ICT facilities, including governors, staff, pupils, volunteers, contractors and visitors
  • Breaches of this policy may be dealt with under our disciplinary policy/behaviour policy/staff discipline policy/staff code
    of conduct which can be obtained in the school office

This policy refers to, and complies with, the following legislation and guidance:

  • Data Protection Act 2018
  • The General Data Protection Regulation Computer Misuse Act 1990
  • Human Rights Act 1998
  • The Telecommunications (Lawful Business Practice) (Interception of Communications) Regulations 2000 Education Act 2011
  • Freedom of Information Act 2000
  • The Education and Inspections Act 2006
  • Keeping Children Safe in Education 2018
  • Searching, screening and confiscation: advice for schools

“ICT facilities”: includes all facilities, systems and services including but not limited to network infrastructure, desktop computers, laptops, tablets, iPads, phones, music players or hardware, software, websites, web applications or services, and any device system or service which may become available in the future which is provided as part of the ICT service

Users: anyone authorised by the school to use the ICT facilities, including governors, staff, pupils, volunteers, contractors and visitors

Personal use: any use or activity not directly related to the users’ employment, study or purpose

Authorised personnel: employees authorised by the school to perform systems administration and/or monitoring of the ICT facilities

Materials: files and data created using the ICT facilities including but not limited to documents, photos, audio, video, printed output, web pages, social networking sites, and blogs

The following is considered unacceptable use of the school’s ICT facilities by any member of the school community. Any breach of this policy may result in disciplinary or behavioural proceedings (see section 4.2 below)

Unacceptable use of the school’s ICT facilities includes:

  • Using the school’s ICT facilities to breach intellectual property rights or copyright
  • Using the school’s ICT facilities to bully or harass someone else, or to promote unlawful discrimination
  • Breaching the school’s policies or procedures
  • Any illegal conduct, or statements which are deemed to be advocating illegal activity
  • Accessing, creating, storing, linking to or sending material that is pornographic, offensive, obscene or otherwise inappropriate
  • Activity which defames or disparages the school, or risks bringing the school into disrepute
  • Sharing confidential information about the school, its pupils, or other members of the school community
  • Connecting any device to the school’s ICT network without approval from authorised personnel
  • Setting up any software, applications or web services on the school’s network without approval by authorised personnel, or creating or using any program, tool or item of software designed to interfere with the functioning of the ICT facilities, accounts or data
  • Gaining, or attempting to gain, access to restricted areas of the network, or to any password-protected information,
    without approval from authorised personnel
  • Allowing, encouraging, or enabling others to gain (or attempt to gain) unauthorised access to the school’s ICT facilities
  • Causing intentional damage to ICT facilities
  • Removing, deleting or disposing of ICT equipment, systems, programs or information without permission by authorised personnel
  • Causing a data breach by accessing, modifying, or sharing data (including personal data) to which a user is not
    supposed to have access, or without authorisation
  • Using inappropriate or offensive language
  • Promoting a private business, unless that business is directly related to the school Using websites or mechanisms to bypass the school’s filtering mechanisms
  • Access any inappropriate websites including social networking sites, chat rooms and gaming sites unless my teacher has expressly allowed this as part of a learning activity
  • I will not open any attachments in emails, or follow any links in emails, without first checking with a teacher
  • I will not Log in to the school’s network using someone else’s details
  • I will not Arrange to meet anyone offline without first consulting my parent/carer, or without adult supervision

When I use the school’s ICT systems (like computers) and get onto the internet in school I will:

  • Always use the school’s ICT systems and the internet responsibly and for educational purposes only
  • Only use them when a teacher is present, or with a teacher’s permission
  • Keep my username and passwords safe and not share these with others
  • Keep my private information safe at all times and not give my name, address or telephone number to anyone without the permission of my teacher or parent/carer
  • Tell a teacher (or sensible adult) immediately if I find any material which might upset, distress or harm me or others
  • Always log off or shut down a computer when I’m finished working on it

If I bring a personal mobile phone or other personal electronic device into school:

  • I will hand it over to my class teacher for safe keeping as soon as I arrive to school
  • I will not use it during lessons, tutor group time, clubs or other activities organised by the school, without a
    teacher’s permission

I agree that the school will monitor the websites I visit and that there will be consequences if I don’t follow the
rules

This is not an exhaustive list. The school reserves the right to amend this list at any time. The head teacher or any other relevant member of staff will use professional judgement to determine whether any act or behaviour is not on the list above is considered an unacceptable use of the school’s ICT facilities

Where the use of school ICT facilities is required for a purpose that would otherwise be considered unacceptable use exemptions to the policy may be granted at the head teacher’s discretion

A request would be put in and the ICT lead would then agree/disagree

If a website is required for educational purposes then the user would put the request into the ICT lead who in turn will then log a call with LGFL to have the site released

4.2 Sanctions

Pupils and staff who engage in any of the unacceptable activities listed above may face disciplinary action in line with the school’s policies on behaviour/discipline/staff discipline/staff code of conduct which can be obtained in the school office

5.1 Access to school ICT facilities and materials

The school’s ICT manager manages access to the school’s ICT facilities and materials for school staff. That includes, but is not limited to:

  • Computers, tablets and other devices
    Access permissions for certain programs or files Access permissions for network drives
  • Staff will be provided with unique log-in/account information and passwords that they must use when accessing the school’s ICT facilities
  • Staff who have access to files they are not authorised to view or edit, or who need their access permissions updated or changed, should contact the ICT manager

5.1.1 Use of phones and email

The school provides each member of staff with an email address. This email account should be used for work purposes only

All work-related business should be conducted using the email address the school has provided

Staff must not share their personal email addresses with parents and pupils, and must not send any work-related materials using their personal email account

Staff must take care with the content of all email messages, as incorrect or improper statements can give rise to claims for discrimination, harassment, defamation, breach of confidentiality or breach of contract

Email messages are required to be disclosed in legal proceedings or in response to requests from individuals under the Data Protection Act 2018 in the same way as paper documents. Deletion from a user’s inbox does not mean that an email cannot be recovered for the purposes of disclosure. All email messages should be treated as potentially retrievable

Staff must take extra care when sending sensitive or confidential information by email. Any attachments containing sensitive or confidential information should be encrypted (Egress or some form of agreed encryption software) so that the information is only accessible by the intended recipient

If staff receive an email in error, the sender should be informed and the email deleted. If the email contains sensitive or confidential information, the user must not make use of that information or disclose that information

If staff send an email in error which contains the personal information of another person, they must inform the ICT manager immediately and follow our data breach procedure

Staff must not give their personal phone numbers to parents or pupils. Staff must use phones provided by the school to conduct all work-related business

School phones must not be used for personal matters

Staff who are provided with mobile phones as equipment for their role must abide by the same rules for ICT acceptable use as set out in section 4

Staff are permitted to occasionally use school ICT facilities for personal use subject to certain conditions set out below. Personal use of ICT facilities must not be overused or abused. The ICT manager/head teacher may withdrawn permission for it at any time or restrict access at their discretion

Personal use is permitted provided that such use:

Does not take place during contact time/teaching hours/non-break time. Does not constitute ‘unacceptable use’, as defined in section 4 takes place when no pupils are present

Does not interfere with their jobs, or prevent other staff or pupils from using the facilities for work or educational purposes

Staff may not use the school’s ICT facilities to store personal non-work-related information or materials (such as music, videos, or photos)

Staff should be aware that use of the school’s ICT facilities for personal use may put personal communications within the scope of the school’s ICT monitoring activities (see section 5.5). Where breaches of this policy are found, disciplinary action may be taken

Staff are also permitted to use their personal devices (such as mobile phones or tablets) in line with the school’s procedures

Staff should be aware that personal use of ICT (even when not using school ICT facilities) can impact on their employment by, for instance putting personal details in the public domain, where pupils and parents could see them

Staff should take care to follow the school’s guidelines on social media (see appendix 1) and use of email (see section 5.1.1) to protect themselves online and avoid compromising their professional integrity

Members of staff should ensure that their use of social media, either for work or personal purposes, is appropriate at all times

The school has guidelines for staff on appropriate security settings for Facebook accounts (see appendix 1)

We allow staff to access the school’s ICT facilities and materials remotely

The school uses this link to access the school system. Managed by ICT lead LGFL (Atomwide)

Security arrangements are set in place by LGFL (Atomwide) Protocols for remote access – any browser

Staff can request remote access by informing the ICT lead

Staff accessing the school’s ICT facilities and materials remotely must abide by the same rules as those accessing the facilities and materials on-site. Staff must be particularly vigilant if they use the school’s ICT facilities outside the school and take such precautions as the ICT manager/head teacher may require from time to time against importing viruses or compromising system security

Our ICT facilities contain information which is confidential and/or subject to data protection legislation. Such information must be treated with extreme care and in accordance with our data protection policy

The school reserves the right to monitor the use of its ICT facilities and network. This includes, but is not limited to, monitoring of:

  • Internet sites visited Bandwidth usage
  • Email accounts Telephone calls
  • User activity/access logs
  • Any other electronic communications
  • Only authorised ICT staff may inspect, monitor, intercept, assess, record and disclose the above, to the extent permitted by law
  • The school monitors ICT use in order to:
  • Obtain information related to school business
  • Investigate compliance with school policies, procedures and standards Ensure effective school and ICT operation
  • Conduct training or quality control exercises Prevent or detect crime
  • Comply with a subject access request, Freedom of Information Act request, or any other legal obligation

6.1 Access to ICT facilities

“Computers and equipment in the school’s ICT suite are available to pupils only under the supervision of staff”

“Specialist ICT equipment, such as that used for music or design and technology must only be used under the supervision of staff”

“Pupils will be provided with an account linked to the school’s virtual learning environment, which they can access from any device by using the following URL

Under the Education Act 2011, and in line with the Department for Education’s guidance on searching, screening and confiscation, the school has the right to search pupils’ phones, computers or other devices for pornographic images or any other data or items banned under school rules or legislation

The school can, and will, delete files and data found on searched devices if we believe the data or file has been, or could be, used to disrupt teaching or break the school’s rules

 

The school will sanction pupils via CPOMs. If a pupil engages in any of the following at any time (even if they are not on school premises):

  • Using ICT or the internet to breach intellectual property rights or copyright
  • Using ICT or the internet to bully or harass someone else, or to promote unlawful discrimination Breaching the school’s policies or procedures
    Any illegal conduct, or statements which are deemed to be advocating illegal activity
  • Accessing, creating, storing, linking to or sending material that is pornographic, offensive, obscene or otherwise inappropriate
  • Activity which defames or disparages the school, or risks bringing the school into disrepute
  • Sharing confidential information about the school, other pupils, or other members of the school community gaining or attempting to gain access to restricted areas of the network, or to any password-protected information, without approval from authorised personnel
  • Allowing, encouraging, or enabling others to gain (or attempt to gain) unauthorised access to the school’s ICT facilities
  • Causing intentional damage to ICT facilities or materials
  • Causing a data breach by accessing, modifying, or sharing data (including personal data) to which a user is not supposed to have access, or without authorisation
  • Using inappropriate or offensive language

7.1 Access to ICT facilities and materials

Parents do not have access to the school’s ICT facilities as a matter of course

However, parents working for, or with, the school in an official capacity (for instance, as a volunteer or as a member of the PTA) may be granted an appropriate level of access, or be permitted to use the school’s facilities at the headteacher’s discretion

Where parents are granted access in this way, they must abide by this policy as it applies to staff

We believe it is important to model for pupils, and help them learn, how to communicate respectfully with, and about, others online

Parents play a vital role in helping model this behaviour for their children, especially when communicating with the school through our website and social media channels

We ask parents to sign the agreement in appendix 2

The school takes steps to protect the security of its computing resources, data and user accounts. However, the school cannot guarantee security. Staff, pupils, parents and others who use the school’s ICT facilities should use safe computing practices at all times

All users of the school’s ICT facilities should set strong passwords for their accounts and keep these passwords secure

Users are responsible for the security of their passwords and accounts, and for setting permissions for accounts and files they control

Members of staff or pupils who disclose account or password information may face disciplinary action. Parents or volunteers who disclose account or password information may have their access rights revoked

All of the school’s ICT devices that support software updates, security updates, and anti-virus products will be configured to perform such updates regularly or automatically

Users must not circumvent or make any attempt to circumvent the administrative, physical and technical safeguards we implement and maintain to protect personal data and the school’s ICT facilities

Any personal devices using the school’s network must all be configured in this way

All personal data must be processed and stored in line with data protection regulations and the school’s data protection policy

All users of the school’s ICT facilities will have clearly defined access rights to school systems, files and devices

These access rights are managed by the ICT lead (Mr Khan)

Users should not access, or attempt to access, systems, files or devices to which they have not been granted access

If access is provided in error, or if something a user should not have access to is shared with them, they should alert the ICT lead (Mr Khan) immediately

Users should always log out of systems and lock their equipment when they are not in use to avoid any unauthorised access

Equipment and systems should always be logged out of and closed down completely at the end of each working day

The school ensures that its devices and systems have an appropriate level of encryption

School staff may only use personal devices (including computers and USB drives) to access school data, work remotely, or take personal data (such as pupil information) out of school if they have been specifically authorised to do so by the headteacher

Staff are reminded that all use of such personal devices must have appropriate levels of security and encryption, as defined by the [network manager/ICT manager/SBM/ICT service provider/etc.]

The school’s wireless internet connection is secured. Filtering is set by Virgin Media on our switches

There is a staff connection and a guest connection available

Wi-Fi for pupils is only available on iPads and school laptops which are already setup for Internet access

Parents and visitors to the school will not be permitted to use the school’s wifi unless specific authorisation is granted by the head teacher

The headteacher will only grant authorisation if:

Parents are working with the school in an official capacity (e.g. as a volunteer or as a member of the PTA)

Visitors need to access the school’s wi-fi in order to fulfil the purpose of their visit (for instance, to access materials stored on personal devices as part of a presentation or lesson plan)

Staff must not give the wi-fi password to anyone who is not authorised to have it. Doing so could result in disciplinary action

The head teacher and ICT manager monitor the implementation of this policy, including ensuring that it is updated to reflect the needs and circumstances of the school

This policy will be reviewed every year

The governing board is responsible for approving this policy

This policy should be read alongside the school’s policies on:

  • Online safety
  • Safeguarding and child protection
  • Behaviour
  • Staff discipline
  • Data protection

Facebook cheat sheet for staff

Don’t accept friend requests from pupils on social media

10 rules for school staff on Facebook

  1. Change your display name – use your first and middle name, use a maiden name, or put your surname backwards instead
  2. Change your profile picture to something unidentifiable, or if not, ensure that the image is professional
  3. Check your privacy settings regularly
  4. Be careful about tagging other staff members in images or posts
  5. Don’t share anything publicly that you wouldn’t be just as happy showing your pupils
  6. Don’t use social media sites during school hours
  7. Don’t make comments about your job, your colleagues, our school or your pupils online – once it’s out there, it’s out there
  8. Don’t associate yourself with the school on your profile (e.g. by setting it as your workplace, or by ‘checking in’ at a school event)
  9. Don’t link your work email address to your social media accounts. Anyone who has this address (or your personal email address/mobile number) is able to find you using this information
  10. Consider uninstalling the Facebook app from your phone. The app recognises wifi connections and makes friend suggestions based on who else uses the same wifi connection (such as parents or pupils)

Check your privacy settings

Change the visibility of your posts and photos to ‘Friends only’, rather than ‘Friends of friends’. Otherwise, pupils and their families may still be able to read your posts, see things you’ve shared and look at your pictures if they’re friends with anybody on your contacts list

Don’t forget to check your old posts and photos – go to to find out how to limit the visibility of previous posts

The public may still be able to see posts you’ve ‘liked’, even if your profile settings are private, because this depends on the privacy settings of the original poster

Google your name to see what information about you is visible to the public

Prevent search engines from indexing your profile so that people can’t search for you by name – go to bit.ly/2zMdVht to find out how to do this

Remember that some information is always public; your display name, profile picture, cover photo, user ID (in the URL for your profile), country, age range and gender

A pupil adds you on social media

In the first instance, ignore and delete the request. Block the pupil from viewing your profile

  • Check your privacy settings again, and consider changing your display name or profile picture
  • If the pupil asks you about the friend request in person, tell them that you’re not allowed to accept friend requests from pupils and that if they persist, you’ll have to notify senior leadership and/or their parents. If the pupil persists, take a screenshot of their request and any accompanying messages
  • Notify the senior leadership team or the head teacher about what’s happening

A parent adds you on social media

It is at your discretion whether to respond. Bear in mind that:

  • Responding to one parent’s friend request or message might set an unwelcome precedent for both you and other teachers at the school
  • Pupils may then have indirect access through their parent’s account to anything you post, share, comment on or are tagged in
  • If you wish to decline the offer or ignore the message, consider drafting a stock response to let the parent know that you’re doing so

You’re being harassed on social media, or somebody is spreading something offensive about you

  • Do not retaliate or respond in any way
  • Save evidence of any abuse by taking screenshots and recording the time and date it occurred Report the material to Facebook or the relevant social network and ask them to remove it
  • If the perpetrator is a current pupil or staff member, our mediation and disciplinary procedures are usually sufficient to deal with online incidents
  • If the perpetrator is a parent or other external adult, a senior member of staff should invite them to a meeting to address any reasonable concerns or complaints and/or request they remove the offending comments or material
  • If the comments are racist, sexist, of a sexual nature or constitute a hate crime, you or a senior leader should consider contacting the police

Acceptable use of the internet: agreement for parents and carers

Acceptable use of the Internet: agreement for parents and carers

  • Name of parent/carer:
  • Name of child:

Online channels are an important way for parents/carers to communicate with, or about, our school

The school uses the following channels:

  • Email/text groups for parents (for school announcements and information)
  • Our virtual learning platform (MS Teams, ClassDojo)

Parents/carers also set up independent channels to help them stay on top of what’s happening in their child’s class. For example, ClassDojo, email and text

When communicating with the school via official communication channels, or using private/independent channels to talk about the school

I will:

  • Be respectful towards members of staff, and the school, at all times
  • Be respectful of other parents/carers and children
  • Direct any complaints or concerns through the school’s official channels, so they can be dealt with in line with the school’s complaints procedure

I will not:

  • Use private groups, Facebook, or personal social media to complain about or criticise members of staff
  • This is not constructive and the school can’t improve or address issues if they aren’t raised in an appropriate way
  • Use private groups, Facebook, or personal social media to complain about, or try to resolve, a behaviour issue involving other pupils
  • I will contact the school and speak to the appropriate member of staff if I’m aware of a specific behaviour issue or incident
  • Upload or share photos or videos on social media of any child other than my own, unless I have the permission of other children’s parents/carers

Date of last review:
October 2021

Date of next review:
October 2022