acceptable usage policy for internet use

Acceptable Usage Policy for Internet Use.

St Aidan’s Senior  National School


This Acceptable Use Policy aims to ensure that pupils will benefit from learning opportunities offered by the school’s Internet resources safely and effectively. Internet use and access are 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 Therefore, if the school AUP is not adhered to this privilege will be withdrawn, and appropriate sanctions – as outlined in the AUP – will be imposed.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 regularly. Before enrolling, the AUP should be read carefully to ensure that the conditions of use are accepted and understood.  It is assumed that the parent accepts the terms of the AUP unless the school is specifically notified.



This version of the AUP was created in January 2015 and revised in 2018 & 2020.


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 from the PDST is used in order to minimise the risk of exposure to inappropriate material.
  • The school will regularly monitor pupils’ usage through G Suite.Admin.
  • 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.
  • The use of personal memory sticks and 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. (cf Anti-Bullying Procedures)

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 during class time. During Golden Time, they may be allowed to use the Internet for entertainment purposes.  However, all websites will be vetted by the class teacher. However, children cannot use social media accounts or record images, audio or video of other pupils or staff.
  • 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 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.

Email / Internet Chat

  • Students will not be given access to email. However, they will be provided with Google credentials for accessing other communication tools such as Google Classroom under the student.staidassns.ie
  • 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 passwords, addresses or telephone numbers or pictures.
  • Students will never arrange a face-to-face meeting with someone they only know online
  • Students will note that sending and receiving files is subject to permission from their teacher.
  • Students will not have access to email, social media, chat rooms, discussion forums, messaging or other electronic communication fora.


The Internet has become a two way communication system for the school and the wider community. Services such as the School App / Website, YouTube, Twitter are being used by the school to communicate with parents and also for parents to communicate with the school. The safety of our children on the web is of utmost importance so the following rules apply to the school and parents. The Internet is open to potential dangers when used inappropriately. 


The schools asks:


  • Many social media sites have minimum age requirements. While the school will not monitor this, we would advise parents to not allow their children to have personal accounts on Facebook, Twitter, etc. until they are the appropriate age.
  • Please ensure that online messages and comments to the school are respectful. Any messages written on social media are treated in the same way as written messages to the school.
  • Avoid any negative conversations about children, staff or parents on social media accounts. If you have an issue with something in the school, social media is not the place to raise it. Comments of this nature will be deleted.
  • Please do not request to “friend” a member of staff in the school. Most staff would like to keep their personal lives personal.  It may be awkward for a staff member to be asked to ignore a Facebook or other social network request.

School Website / App.

  • Please note that the following points apply to the school’s web site and social media profiles, including but not limited to Twitter, YouTube and Google
  • Pupils will be given the opportunity to publish projects, artwork or school work on the World Wide Web in accordance with clear policies and approval processes regarding the content that can be loaded to the school’s website
  • The website will be regularly checked to ensure that there is no content that compromises the safety of pupils or staff.
  • The publication of student work will be coordinated by a teacher following a timetable.
  • The school will endeavour to use digital photographs, audio or video clips of focusing on group activities. Photographs, audio and video clips will be used. Video clips will not be password protected.
  • Personal pupil information including home address and contact details will be omitted from school web pages.
  • The school website will avoid publishing the full name of individuals in a photograph.
  • All photographs are stored on the cloud provided by unique publishing through the school app.
  • The school will ensure that the image files are appropriately named – will not use pupils’ names in image file names if published on the web.

Direct Communication using Internet

Teachers in the school may choose to use a number of tools for classroom communication. Examples include Google Classroom and Zoom. Some of these tools provide synchronous video opportunities whereby a staff member directly speaks to the children live - e.g. through a webinar or online meeting.

  • The staff member invites pupils and their families to these meetings using a code. The following are ground rules for synchronous lessons online.
  • All meetings will be password protected
  • All people involved in the meeting will conduct themselves in a similar manner that would be expected in a regular class. The staff member has the right to remove any person being disruptive from a
  • At least two staff members will be present in the call.
  • A family member is expected to be close by when a pupil is engaging in a meeting. They should monitor all online interactions from the pupil.
  • Staff will not meet any child alone using an online meeting. If there is a need for a meeting between a child with a staff member, another adult must be present at the meeting and/or the meeting must be recorded. While chat may be available in an online meeting, it is the responsibility of the child’s family to ensure that any interaction is appropriate. Any interaction from a pupil that could be deemed as inappropriate may result in the child’s removal from the lesson or, where appropriate, a referral to Child Protection services.


Zoom: Good practice.

PLease see PDST Guidelines:



Use the Waiting Room option:

This is now a default feature. The meeting host will then be alerted when anyone joins the meeting and can see those waiting by clicking on the ‘Manage Participants’ button on the meeting toolbar.


Lock the meeting when everyone is in:

If everyone has joined your session, lock the meeting so that nobody else can enter. To do this, click on the ‘Manage Participants’ button on the Zoom toolbar and select ‘MORE’ at the bottom of the participants’ page. Then select the ‘Lock Meeting’ option.


Disable participant screen sharing:

As a host, this can be done in a meeting by clicking on the up arrow next to ‘Share Screen’ in the Zoom toolbar and then clicking on ‘Advanced Sharing Options; as shown below. When the Advanced Sharing Option screen opens, change the ‘Who can Share?’ setting to ‘Only Host’. 


Ensure that you do not record meetings:

There is an option to record meetings in Zoom but we recommend that you turn this option off when using Zoom for meetings involving young people (and with regards to most meetings in Church). Recording meetings requires consent, and under GDPR that consent can be withdrawn at any time meaning that a recorded meeting would have to stop and the recording erased. This causes unnecessary complication and we recommend that recording is avoided unless absolutely essential.



While It is not possible to eliminate risk completely,risks can be significantly reduced if they are properly managed. Along with parental consent it It necessary to discuss the risks-


Risk Assessment: Zoom meetings;

We should reflect on what specific risks arise as a result of the service & Identify, control and manage the risks:

Record the date and time of chat only shared in secure email

Link to chat shared in a secure email.

Staff to set up Zoom accounts using their professional email address

  • A second staff member should be in attendance during the call for safeguarding.
  • Staff setting up meetings will follow zoom security guidelines.
  • Children not to be in a room alone or in their bedrooms.
  • Parent consent received, should be aware of guidance.
  • Check once sessions start that an adult is present in the room.
  • Parents to ensure they have set up a Zoom account through their email.
  • Parents receive meeting invitations.
  • Parents must not give meeting details to others. They must direct other parents to school staff to gain information.
  • Staff To ensure that the background area is free from personal items like family photographs etc.
  • Address issues with any child’s background if needed.
  • Agree protocols in advance with the pupils- pupils must raise their hands, mute their mics. The classroom rules should apply to the Zoom meetings.
  • Teacher must be the last to leave the Zoom meeting.
  • Maintain a log of calls and record of attendance.


Personal Mobile devices: Pupils of St. Aidan’s are not permitted to use personal mobile devices within the school. Pupils using their own technology in school, such as leaving a mobile phone turned on or using it in class, accessing the internet will be in breach of the code of behaviour. Phones are not permitted and will be confiscated, only to be returned to a parent or guardian.



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
  • Children First 2018
  • Interception Act 1993
  • Video Recordings Act 1989
  • The Data Protection Act 1988

Support Structure

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.




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