Acceptable User Policy

Background Information

The use of the Internet by teaching staff, ancillary staff and any visiting personnel shall not in any way negate the school ethos. This AUP is in two sections. Section A relates to the use of the Internet as regards the children in the school and personnel working on their behalf. Section B is an addendum to the policy, which relates to staff and visitors to the school who are using the Internet and / or the school network and its devices.


Section A


Aim of the AUP

The aim of this AUP is to ensure that pupils 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 Therefore, if the school AUP is not adhered to, this privilege will be withdrawn and appropriate sanctions, outlined in the AUP, will be imposed.


This AUP will be revised regularly and as necessary by the ICT co-ordinator/team, taking into account any issues raised by parties affected by the AUP (including, Staff, Board of Management, Parents) and any changes in IT circumstances. Before signing, the AUP should be read carefully to indicate that the content is accepted and understood. [Appendix 1]


The Policy Committee

This AUP was devised by the ICT team in the school. It has then been read and sanctioned as acceptable by the Board of Management and representatives of the Parents’ Committee.


School’s Strategy

The school will employ certain strategies, taking into account the age of the pupils, in order to maximise learning opportunities and reduce risks associated with the Internet. These strategies are as follows:

1. Children do not have access to direct Internet use. If a teacher wishes to integrate a web page into a lesson, that page will be downloaded into a word processing package and all hyperlinks will be removed / validated as necessary.

2. Any websites being integrated into lessons will be previewed / evaluated in advance.

3. Uploading /downloading of non-approved software will not be permitted.

4. Virus protection software is used and updated regularly.

5. The use of personal floppy discs of CD-ROMs in school is subject to non-violation of licence agreements and adheres to point 2 above.



As stated above, children do not have access to the World Wide Web except for material adhering to above strategy, which has been downloaded by the teacher.


Internet Chat

Students have no access to Internet chat rooms.



Although email is currently not available to students, in the event of future arrangements being made, the following points will be adhered to:

1. Students will only use approved class email accounts under supervision by or permission of a teacher.

2. Students will not send or receive any material that is illegal, obscene, defamatory, or that is intended to annoy or intimidate another person.

3. Students will refrain from sending on chain letters or forward messages without the permission of the sender.

4. Students will not reveal their own or other people’s personal details such as addresses, telephone numbers, pictures or full names.

5. Students will not arrange to meet someone outside of school via school email.

6. Students will note that sending and receiving email attachments is subject to permission from their teacher.

7. All emails being sent by pupils or sent to pupils will be read by the teacher to ensure content is appropriate. If the content is considered inappropriate the email will be deleted.


School Website

The school website is being developed all the time. Note the following:

1. Any student work, such as projects, artwork or school work, to be placed on the WWW, will be done by the teacher and not the students themselves.

2. 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. Taking into account the age of our students, if permission for reproduction is requested from a source outside of the school, a standard permission letter will be sent home with the pupil, with permission for reproduction granted only when it is returned to the teacher with both the child’s and a guardian’s signature on it. (See Appendix 2)

3. Digital photographs, audio or video clips of individual students will not be published on the school website. Any photographs, audio or video clips published will focus on group activities. Video clips may be password protected.

4. Personal pupil information including full name, home address and contact details will be omitted from school web pages.

5. The pupil will continue to own the copyright on any work published.


Data Protection Act

The Data Protection Act 1998 was passed to deal with privacy issues arising from the increasing amount of personal information contained on computers. In accordance with the Act, the school will only publish pupil information that is relevant to the context of the web page. Parents will be kept informed about the school website and about any pupil information on this site.


Other Legislation

Teachers and Parents are advised to familiarise themselves with the following legislation relating to use of the Internet:

• Data Protection (Amendment) Act 2003

• Child Trafficking and Pornography Act 1998

• Child Trafficking and Pornography (Amendment) Act 2004

• Interception of Postal Packets and Telecommunications Messages Act 1993

• Video Recordings Act 1989 www.irishstatute

• The Data Protection Act 1988 Page 3 of 9



Misuse of the Internet may result in disciplinary action, including written warnings, withdrawal of access privileges. The school also reserves the right to report any illegal activities to the appropriate authorities.


Section B


The computer system is provided and managed by the school and is made available to staff to further their professional development and the education of the students in the school. Access to the school’s computer facilities is a privilege and not a right. Any staff member and / or visitor who abuses this privilege will immediately be excluded from accessing and using the computing facilities.


It is a requirement of Swords Educate Together National School that all users of its network or services accept and adhere to the school’s Acceptable Use Policy for Internet Access. All staff members and / or visitors who wish to use the school computing facilities should sign the AUP and return it to the school for approval. [Appendix 3]


The Board of Management of Swords Educate Together N.S. may change this policy to include changes in the law or in the acceptable practice of internet use and reserves the right to make such changes without notice and whenever required. All users are responsible for ensuring that they have read and understand the current policy.


Compliance with this Acceptable Use Policy is a contractual requirement. If you fail to observe the terms of this policy your account or service may be liable to termination or suspension. In the event that an account is suspended, Swords Educate Together N.S. may be prepared, at its sole discretion, to restore the account on receipt of a written statement that the user will not commit any further abuse of the service.


The school reserves the right to examine or delete any files that may be held on its computer system, to monitor internet sites visited, to monitor all on-line activity and to view any email messages passing through or saved on the system.


Use of Networks and the Internet in general


• You must not use the service for the transmission of illegal material. The user agrees to refrain from sending or receiving any materials which may be deemed to be offensive, abusive, indecent, hard-core or paedophile pornography, defamatory, obscene, menacing or otherwise as prohibited by current and future statutes in force. The user agrees to refrain from sending or receiving any material, which may be in breach of copyright (including Intellectual Property Rights), confidence, privacy or other rights.

If you are in any doubt as to the legality of what you are doing, or propose to do, you should either take independent legal advice or cease that usage.

• You should be aware that the storage, distribution of or transmission of illegal materials may lead to investigation and possible prosecution by the authorities

• You must not gain or attempt to gain unauthorised access to any computer systems for any purpose. In addition to being a breach of this AUP, such action may lead to criminal prosecution under the Computer Misuse Act.

• You must not send data to the Internet using forged addresses or data, which is deliberately designed to adversely affect remote machines (including but not limited to denial of service, ping storm, trojans, worms and viruses).

• You must not participate in the sending of unsolicited commercial or bulk email (commonly referred to as ‘Spam’ or ‘UCE’).

• You are prohibited from running ‘port scanning’ or other software intended to probe, scan, test the vulnerability of or access remote systems or networks except in circumstances where the remote user has given express permission for this to be done.

• You may not divulge your network passwords to third parties and you should take all reasonable steps to ensure that such information remains confidential.

• Exclusion from using the school’s computer network will prevent the user from recovering files and using the facilities.

• Access should only be made via the authorised logon name and password.

• Activity that threatens the integrity of the school ICT systems, or activity that attacks or corrupts other systems, is forbidden. Such activities include browsing system files, and changing any system settings.

• Use of floppy disks is discouraged as this causes the spread of computer viruses. While the school network is regularly swept for viruses and anti-virus software is used to prevent virus activity, the school accepts no responsibility for damage caused by computer viruses on other systems.

• Other users’ files must not be accessed.

• Use of the network to access and / or store inappropriate materials such as pornographic, racist, or offensive material is forbidden.

• Downloading of programs, games, screensavers, wallpaper from the Internet or uploading the same from disc or CD-Rom is forbidden.

• Use of the computing facilities for personal financial gain, gambling, political purposes or advertising is forbidden.

• Copyright of materials must be respected.

• Posting anonymous messages and forwarding chain letters is forbidden.

• Should a user give their own name, address, credit card, bank details etc. on the Internet then it is at their own risk and the school accepts no responsibility.




Sending and receiving email involves the same responsibilities and approach as would be used when sending or receiving any other form of communication – written or printed mail, fax, telephone call etc. Most users fully understand what would be considered appropriate and acceptable when communicating with others and apply these considerations to their use of email. There are occasions when some users send mail or engage in online communication that others consider unacceptable – generally regarded as abuse by the online community.


If you find it difficult to determine what might be considered ‘abuse’ with online communication, you should realise that, in general terms, anything that might be unacceptable, and possibly illegal, in other forms of communication will be equally unacceptable and possibly illegal online.

• Users are responsible for all email sent and for contacts made that may result in email being received.

• You should not send any emails likely to cause distress or any material which is offensive, indecent, obscene, menacing or in any way unlawful.

• You must not use the network to send email to any user who does not wish to receive it.

• You must not use the network to send unsolicited commercial email, in bulk (commonly known as ‘Spam’) or individually.

• You must not use the network with intent to deprive others of service (e.g. ‘mail bomb’).

• You must not use false mail headers or alter the headers of mail messages in such a way as to conceal the identity of the sender.

• You must not use any email address that you are not authorised to use

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