Mount Pleasant Primary School
Internet Access Policy
This Internet Access Policy is part of the school's ICT Policy and ICT Development Plan/Action Plan and relates to other policies including those for behaviour and PSE.
This Internet Access Policy has been written by the ICT Co-ordinator and will be reviewed on a yearly basis. It has been agreed by the Senior Management Team and approved by the Governing Body.
The importance of Internet Access
The purpose of Internet access in school is to help raise educational standards, to support the professional work of staff and to enhance the school's information management and business administration systems.
Benefits to the school
The Government set targets for ICT use in all schools to be met by 2002, and in subsequent years further annual targets have been set through the National Grid for Learning (NGfL) initiative. Benefits include:
- Access to world-wide educational resources including museums and art galleries.
- Inclusion in Government initiatives such as NGfL and the Virtual Teacher Centre.
- Information and cultural exchange between students worldwide.
- Staff professional development through access to educational materials and good curriculum practice.
How will Internet use prove effective?
- Internet access will be purchased from a supplier that provides a service designed for pupils. This will include filtering appropriate to the ages of pupils.
- Internet access will be planned to enrich and extend learning activities. Access levels will be reviewed to reflect the current curriculum requirement.
- Pupils will be given clear objectives for internet use.
- Staff will select sites which will support learning outcomes planned for pupils' age and maturity.
- Approved sites will be listed or copied to the school's intranet.
- Pupils will be educated in taking responsibility for Internet access.
How will pupils be taught to access Internet content?
- Pupils will be taught ways to validate information before accepting that it is necessarily accurate.
- Pupils will be taught to acknowledge the source of information when using the Internet for their own use.
- Pupils will be made aware that the writer of an e-mail or the author of a web page may not be the person claimed.
- Pupils will be encouraged to tell a teacher immediately if they encounter any material that makes them feel uncomfortable.
How will e-mail be managed?
- Pupils need to use e-mail as part of the National Curriculum 2008 orders.
- E-mail must only be used in school for educational purposes.
- Pupils will not be allowed access to personal e-mail from the school system.
- Pupils will have individual email accounts, which will be used only for specific purposes and will not be used for pupils own personal use.
- Incoming mail will be regarded as public.
How will publishing on the Web be managed?
The school has set up a 'skeleton' website which has been populated over the last few years.The website will continue to be developed over the next few years in order to inspire pupils to create and publish work to a high standard using ICT.
- The Headteacher will delegate editorial responsibility to a member of staff to ensure that content is accurate and quality of presentation is maintained.
- A member of staff will be responsible for uploading material to the website.
- Pupils will be made aware that the quality of their work published on the web needs to reflect the diversity of the audience.
- All material must be the author's own work,or where permission to reproduce has been obtained, clearly marked with the copyright owner's name.
- The point of contact for the website should be the school address and 'phone number. Home information and individual e-mail identities will not be published (staff work accounts will be published).
- Photographs must not identify individual pupils. Group shots or pictures taken over the shoulder will be used in preference to individual images.
- Full names will not be used anywhere on the website, particularly alongside photographs.
- Written permission from parents will be obtained before photographs of pupils are published on the school website.
How will Internet access be authorised?
- Internet access is a necessary part of the statutory curriculum. It is an entitlement for pupils based on responsible use.
- Internet access will be granted to a whole class as part of the scheme of work, after a suitable education in responsible internet use.
- Parents will be informed that pupils will be provided with supervised internet access.
- Parents will be asked to sign and return a permission form.
- Pupils will only be permitted to use the Internet when supervised by a member of staff.
- A record will be kept of all staff and pupils with Internet access. Persons will be removed from the record when access is no longer required or when it is withdrawn. The school may decide to record access permission on a whole-class basis.
How will the risks be assessed?
- In common with other media such as magazines, books and video, some material available on the Internet is unsuitable for pupils. The school will supervise pupils and take all reasonable precautions to ensure that users access only appropriate material. However, due to the international scale and linked nature of the Internet it is not possible to guarantee that unsuitable material will never appear on a terminal.
- The use of computers without permission or for purposes not agreed by the school could constitute a criminal offence under the Computer Misuse Act 1990.
- Methods to identify, assess and minimise risks will be reviewed.
- Staff, parents, governors and advisors will work together to establish agreement that every reasonable measure is being taken.
- The Headteacher will ensure that the policy is implemented effectively.
How will the school ensure Internet access is safe?
- Pupils will be informed that Internet use will be supervised and monitored.
- The school will work in partnership with parents, the LEA, DfEE and the Internet Service Provider (ISP) to ensure systems to protect pupils are reviewed and improved.
- Senior staff will ensure that occasional checks are made to ensure that the filtering methods selected are effective in practice.
- If staff or pupils discover unsuitable sites the URL (address) and content will be reported to the ISP via the ICT Co-ordinator.
- Any material that the school suspects is illegal will be referred to the Internet Watch Foundation.
How will complaints regarding Internet use be handled?
- Responsibility for handling incidents will be given to senior members of staff.
- Pupils and parents will be informed of the complaints procedures.
- Parents and pupils will need to work with staff to resolve issues.
- There may be occasions when the police must be contacted. Early contact will be made to establish the legal position and discuss strategies.
- Sanctions available include interview and/or counselling and informing parents/carers if appropriate.
- A pupil may have e-mail, Internet or computer access denied for a period of time depending on the nature and severity of the incident.
How will staff and pupils be consulted?
- Rules for Internet access will be posted near computer systems. The Acceptable Use Statement may be printed as a poster.
- All staff including teachers, supply staff, teaching assistants and support staff will be provided with the policy.
- Parents' attention will be drawn to the policy in newsletters, the school prospectus and on the school web site.
- A module on responsible Internet use will be included in the PSHME programme covering both home and school use.
How will parents' support be enlisted?
- A careful balance between informing and alarming parents will be maintained.
- Demonstrations and practical ICT sessions for parents will be organised to encourage a partnership approach.
- Joint home/school guidelines on issues such as safe Internet use will be established.
- Suitable educational and leisure activities that make responsible use of the Internet will be developed with parents.
Ratified: 24th March 2011
Review March 2014