• School’s strategy
  • Worldwide Web
  • Email
  • Internet Forums
  • School Website
  • Support Structures
  • Acceptable internet usage policy

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    This Policy was ratified by the Board of Management at its meeting on 8/4/19


    The aim of this Acceptable Use Policy is to ensure that students 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 Therefore, if the school AUP is not adhered to this privilege will be withdrawn and appropriate sanctions – as outlined in the AUP will be imposed.

    Before signing, the AUP should be carefully read to ensure that the conditions of use are accepted and understood.
    This version of the AUP was created for the school year 2018/19 by the Principal, staff and parents’ representatives of St. Raphaela’s Secondary School.

    School’s strategy

    The school will employ a number of strategies in order to maximise learning opportunities and reduce risks associated with the Internet. These strategies are as follows:


    • The school uses Office 365 for all email accounts and this is monitored and managed by GDK.

    • Computer and internet usage will only be granted with teacher permission. A permission note should be written by the teacher in the student’s journal if permission is granted outside class time.

    • Filtering software will be used in order to minimise the risk of exposure to unsuitable material.

    • Students will be provided with training in the area of Internet Safety.

    • Uploading and downloading of non-approved software will not be permitted.

    • Virus protection software will be used and updated on a regular basis by GDK.

    • The use of memory sticks 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.

    • Students will retain access to their school email account for a period of two school years after leaving the school in sixth year.

    • Students are only permitted to use mobile phones in class under teacher supervision. At the end of the class the student should switch off their mobile phone and return it their locker at the earliest opportunity.

    Worldwide 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.

    • 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 by students of 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.


    • Students will use approved class email accounts under supervision by or permission from a teacher.

    • 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.

    • The use of a student’s personal email address is prohibited in school (only a student’s school email address will be responded to by a teacher).

    • Teachers should encourage acceptable email etiquette from students when sending/receiving email messages.

    Internet Forums

    • Students will only have access to discussion forums messaging or other electronic communication forums that have been approved by the school.

    • Discussion forums and other electronic communication forums will only be used for educational purposes and will always be supervised.

    • User names will be used to avoid disclosure of identity.

    • Face-to-face meetings with someone organised via Internet Forums will be forbidden.

    School Website

    • Pupils will be given the opportunity to publish projects, artwork or school work on the Worldwide Web in accordance with clear policies and approval processes regarding the content that can be loaded onto the schools’ website.

    • The web pages used will be regularly checked to ensure that there is no content that compromises the safety of students or staff.

    • The publication of student work will be co-ordinated by a teacher.

    • 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.

    • The school will endeavour to use digital photographs, audio or video clips focusing on group rather than individual activities. Parents will have the opportunity to refuse permission for photographs, audio or video clips of their daughters to be used on the website. Video clips may be password protected.

    • The school website will avoid publishing the surname of individuals in a photograph.

    • Personal pupil information including home address and contact details will be omitted from school web pages.

    • Pupils will continue to own the copyright on any work published.

    Personal Devices

    Students using their own technology in school, such as having a mobile phone in class when not authorised by a teacher, sending nuisance text messages, or the unauthorized taking of images with a mobile phone camera, whether still or moving, or accessing any form of social media, is in breach of this school’s Acceptable Use Policy. Students should not use their own devices to photograph or video themselves or any member of the school community while on the school premises, including before the start and after the end of the school day, unless in a supervised environment where explicit permission has been given by a member of staff.


    The school will provide, if so requested, information on the following legislation relating to use of the Internet.

    • Data Protection Act 2018

    • Children First: National Guidance for the Protection and Welfare of Children 2017

    • Child Trafficking and Pornography Act 1998

    • Interception Act 1993

    • Video Recordings Act 1989

    Support Structures

    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.
    Students are reminded that the contents of this policy apply both in school and during all school related activities outside school.
    Date of Ratification of this Policy: 8th April 2019
    Date of Review of this Policy: April 2022

    Acceptable Use Policy for Staff

    The Teaching Council of Ireland in their Code of Professional Conduct for Teachers 2012 (section 3 Professional Conduct) recommends that Teachers:

    3.7. Ensure that any communication with pupils/ students, colleagues, parents, school management and others is appropriate, including communication via electronic media, such as e-mail, texting and social networking sites

    3.8. Ensure that they do not knowingly access, download or otherwise have in their possession while engaged in school activities, inappropriate materials/images in electronic or other format

    3.9. Ensure that they do not knowingly access, download or otherwise have in their possession, illicit materials/images in electronic or other format

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