Acceptable Use Policy - St Patricks BNS

Go to content

Main menu:

Acceptable Use Policy

School Policies

St. Patrick's B.N.S. Acceptable Use Policy

This Policy applies to all of the school’s “Devices”, which means all computers, laptops, tablets, smart phones and other IT resources that connect to the school’s network. This Policy applies to staff and students of St. Patrick’s BNS (“the School”). The School reserves the right to amend this policy from time to time entirely at its discretion. This Policy should be read carefully to ensure that the content is accepted and understood.
The aim of the Acceptable Use Policy (“AUP” or “the Policy”) is to ensure that students benefit from the learning opportunities offered by internet access in a safe and positive manner. This Policy also aims to establish minimum standards for, and let the students, parents/guardians know of the school’s administration and monitoring of, the school’s devices, equipment and networks.
The School employs a number of strategies in order to maximise learning opportunities and reduce risks associated with the Internet. These strategies include, but are not limited to the following:
A firewall is used on school Devices to minimise the risk of exposure to inappropriate material and to block unsuitable sites. This is regularly updated.
• Students and teachers will be provided with training by teachers in the area of research techniques specific to the Internet.
• Online safety training will be provided to teachers and will be taught to all students.
• Uploading and downloading of non-approved software on school Devices will not be permitted.
• Virus protection software is used on school Devices and updated regularly.
• A teacher will always supervise Internet sessions which are conducted on school Devices.
• Websites will be previewed / evaluated by a teacher using a filtering system, before being integrated into lessons conducted on school Devices. The School’s search engine has a built in ‘safe search’ feature. The ‘safe search’ feature will be enabled on all search engines on school Devices.
• It is important to note that the school’s Anti-Bullying Policy should be read in conjunction with this Policy. Parents/guardians and students should be aware that placing a once-off, offensive or hurtful internet message, image or statement on a social network site or other public forum where that message, image or statement can be viewed and/or repeated by other people will be regarded as bullying behaviour.
Use of the Internet
• Students will be taught specific lessons on online safety by teachers.
• Students will not knowingly attempt to visit Internet sites on school Devices that contain obscene, illegal, hateful or otherwise objectionable materials and the school will not be responsible for any attempts taken in this regard.
• In the event of accidentally accessing any of the above sites, the student will be expected to immediately turn off the monitor and report the incident to a teacher or supervisor.
• The internet will be used to enhance learning and will be used for educational purposes. All websites used by the teacher will be vetted in advance by the teacher.
• Students will not upload, download or otherwise transmit material that is copyrighted on school Devices.
• Students will not disclose or publicise personal or confidential information to others online. Examples of this are, but not limited to, their own or classmates’ home addresses, telephone numbers, email addresses, online profile information or name and location of their school.
• Students will not examine, change or use another person’s files, username or passwords.
• Students will be aware that any usage, including distributing or receiving any information, school-related or personal, may be monitored for unusual activity, security, and/or network management reasons.
• The school takes every reasonable precaution to provide for online safety, but it cannot be held responsible if students access unsuitable websites either deliberately or inadvertently.

Email / Google Drive
• When using Google Classroom and the G-Suite Apps, students will use approved class email accounts under supervision of a teacher or parent/guardian.
• 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.

Distance Learning
● In circumstances where teaching cannot be conducted on the school premises, teachers may use Google Classroom, Google Meet, Zoom, SeeSaw, Study Ladder, Padlet or other platforms approved by the Principal as platforms (the “Online Platforms”) to assist with remote teaching where necessary.
● The School has signed up to the terms of service of the Online Platforms in use by the School.
● The School has enabled the most up to date security and privacy features which these Online Platforms provide.
● In the case of Google Classroom and Google Meet, parents/guardians must grant access to their child to have a school Gmail address such as
● Parents/guardians will be provided with the password and will be expected to monitor their child’s use of the Gmail address and Online Platforms.
● If teachers are using Zoom, parents/guardians must consent to their child having a school email address as above to allow their child access to the lessons. Where the child does not have a school email address, parents can consent by submitting their own email address for their child to access lessons on Zoom.
● Parents/guardians must also agree to monitor their child’s participation in any such lessons conducted on the Online Platforms.

Internet Chat
• Discussion forums on Google Classroom will only be used for educational purposes and will always be supervised.
•Students will never arrange a face-to-face meeting with someone they only know through emails or the Internet. This is forbidden.

School Website and Affiliated Social Media Sites
• The school’s website address is:
● The School’s Facebook account is St. Patrick’s Boys’ School, Gardiner’s Hill.
● Students will be given the opportunity to have photos, projects, artwork and other work relating to curricular and extra-curricular school activities published on the school website as per the consent form filled in upon enrolment. Teachers will coordinate the publication of this material.
• Personal information relating to the student including their name, home address and contact details will not be included on school social media or the school’s website.
• Digital photographs and audio or video clips of individual students will not be published on the school website and/or affiliated pages, without prior parental/guardian permission. Instead, photographs etc. will focus on group activities, where children will not be named.
• Photos/Videos may be used for the production of the school newsletter Le Chéile or specific school events e.g. Communion etc. These photos/videos and the photos/videos on our website should not be copied or posted to any social media or other website or published in any way.
• Parent(s)/guardian(s) are requested not to ‘tag’ photographs or any other content which would identify any children or staff in the school.
• Parent(s)/guardian(s) are requested to ensure that online messages and/or comments to the school’s social media sites are respectful. Any messages written on social media are treated in the same way as written messages to the school.
● The Principal will review the content of the website and the social media sites regularly. The Principal and the Board welcome any suggestions about how the content may be improved.
● If any parent or guardian has any concern about the appropriateness of the content of the website or social media sites, then the Board asks that the matter be brought to the attention of the Principal as a matter of urgency.

Personal Devices
• Students may not use any personal device with recording or image taking capability while in school or on a school outing. Any such breach of the Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) will be sanctioned accordingly.
• Any images or recordings taken by class teachers on smartphones or other personal devices must be downloaded onto the school server and/or on to the school website/relevant school affiliated website and then immediately deleted from source.

Legislation and Regulation
The school will provide information on the following legislation relating to use of the Internet with which teachers, students and parents/guardians should familiarise themselves where appropriate:
• EU General Data Protection Regulations 2018
• Anti-Bullying Guidelines for Primary Schools 2013
• Data Protection (Amendment) Act 2003
• Child Trafficking and Pornography Act 1998
• Video Recording Act 1989
• The Data Protection Act 1988
• Interception Act 1963

Support Structures and Education
• The School will inform students and parents/guardians of key support structures and organisations that deal with illegal material or harmful use of the Internet.
• On an annual basis, the school will run a programme on acceptable internet usage, for 5th and 6th Class pupils and parents/guardians. This will cover several topics including cyber-bullying.
• Staff will regularly partake in Continuous Professional Development in relation to the development of AUPs, internet safety and cyber-bullying.

Use of Information Technology Resources
St. Patrick’s B.N.S’s IT resources (e.g. e-mail, computers, computer applications, networks, internet, intranet, facsimile, phone and other wireless communications devices, telephone, paging and voice mail systems and the like) are school property and are provided solely for school related activities.
Inappropriate use including hacking, pirating software, using school resources for non-school commercial activities, soliciting, distributing literature for outside entities, disclosing confidential information of the school, sending inappropriate e-mail or accessing inappropriate web sites (such as those advocating hate or violence, containing sexually explicit material promoting illegal activities), or using school resources in a way that violates the letter or spirit of the school’s policies or reflects negatively on the school is forbidden. Users of the school’s information and technology resources must not share passwords. If you allow others to use your password or assigned resource, you will be held responsible for their use.
The school may give pupils who have special educational needs access to laptops or tablets or other IT equipment which they may be allowed to bring home. This equipment remains the property of St. Patrick’s B.N.S. at all times and the provisions laid out in this policy apply to this equipment at all times. The school reserves the right to request the return of this equipment at any time.  
Consistent with national laws, the Board of Management reserves the right to monitor the use of its information and technology resources and to take appropriate disciplinary actions, or denying future access privileges in cases of misuse. Staff/student use of the school’s information and technology resources constitutes consent to such monitoring. All such monitoring will be conducted in accordance with law including, where applicable, the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”).

Misuse of the Internet or any activity which is in contravention with this Policy, may result in disciplinary action, including written warnings, withdrawal of access privileges, and, where appropriate, suspension or expulsion in line with the Code of Behaviour. The school also reserves the right to report any illegal activities to the appropriate authorities. Access to the Internet will be withdrawn from students who fail to maintain acceptable standards of use.

This Acceptable Use Policy was formulated by the Principal of St. Patrick’s B.N.S. in consultation with the Staff in May 2020.
This Policy was ratified on 28/05/202 by the Board of Management of St. Patrick’s B.N.S. and is due for review in May 2022.

Dear Parent/Guardian,

Re: Internet and Technology Permission Form

As part of the school’s education programme we offer pupils supervised access to the
Internet and Technology. This allows students access to a large array of online educational
resources that we believe can greatly enhance students’ learning experiences.
However, access to and use of the Internet and Technology 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 by the pupil and then returned to the school.
Although the school takes active steps to promote safe use of the Internet and Technology, 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.
Yours sincerely,

Shane Foley

Back to content | Back to main menu