Maximising student potential.

Internet Policy

Internet Acceptable Use Policy



St Declan's Community College, Kilmacthomas, Co Waterford




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School Name

St Declan's Community College

Date of Commencement

1st May 2018


Gráinne Walsh, Fiona Dee


  1. Introduction
  2. General Approach
  3. Content Filtering
  4. Web Browsing and Downloading
  5. Email and Messaging
  6. Office 365 for Education
  7. Cloud Storage
  8. Social Media
  9. Personal Devices
  10. Mobile Phones
  11. Images & Video
  12. Cyberbullying
  13. School Websites
  14. School Laptops/Tablets – Student Responsibilities
  15. Permission Form

General Approach

The aim of this Internet Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) is to ensure that students will benefit from the 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. If the school AUP is not adhered to this privilege may be withdrawn and appropriate sanctions will be imposed.

When using the internet students, parents and staff are expected:

  • To treat others with respect at all times.
  • Not undertake any actions that may bring the school into disrepute.
  • Respect the right to privacy of all other members of the school community.
  • Respect copyright and acknowledge creators when using online content and resources.

This AUP applies to students who have access to and are users of the internet in St Declan's Community College.

  • It also applies to members of staff, volunteers, parents, carers and others who access the internet in St Declan\'s Community College.

Misuse of the internet may result in disciplinary action, withdrawal of access privileges, including written warnings, detention and, in extreme cases, suspension or expulsion. The school also reserves the right to report any illegal activities to the appropriate authorities.

St Declan's Community College will deal with incidents that take place outside the school that impact on the wellbeing of students or staff under this policy and associated codes of behaviour and anti-bullying policies. In such cases St Declan's Community College will, where known, inform parents/guardians of incidents of inappropriate online behaviour that take place out of school and impose the appropriate sanctions.

St Declan's Community College implements the following strategies on promoting safer use of the internet:

  • Students will be provided with education in the area of internet safety as part of our implementation of the SPHE and CSPE curriculum.
  • Internet safety advice and support opportunities are provided to students in St Declan's Community College through our annual Induction days, Pastoral Care, ICT Department and Peer Mentoring programmes.
  • Teachers will be provided with continuing professional development opportunities in the area of internet safety.
  • St Declan's Community College participates in Safer Internet Day activities to promote safer more effective use of the internet.

This policy and its implementation will be reviewed annually by the following stakeholders:

  • Board of Management, teaching staff, support staff, students, and parents

This policy has been developed by a working group including: Principal, Deputy Principal, teachers, students, parents/carers, and representatives of the Board of Management.

The school will monitor the impact of the policy using:

  • Logs of reported incidents.
  • Monitoring logs of internet activity, including sites visited.
  • Internal monitoring data for network activity.
  • Surveys and/or questionnaires of students.
  • Surveys and/or questionnaires of students, parents/guardians, and teaching staff.

Should serious online safety incidents take place, the principal, Ms Grainne Walsh, should be informed.

The implementation of this Internet AUP will be monitored by the staff of St Declan's Community College

Content Filtering

St Declan's Community College has chosen to implement the following level on content filtering on the Schools Broadband Network:

  • Level 4 This level allows access to millions of websites including games and YouTube but blocks access to websites belonging to the personal websites category and websites such as Facebook belonging to the Social Networking category.

Students taking steps to by-pass the content filter by using proxy sites or other means may be subject to disciplinary action, including written warnings, withdrawal of access privileges, detention and, in extreme cases, suspension or expulsion.

Web Browsing and Downloading

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 the classroom to their teacher.

Students will report accidental accessing of inappropriate materials in school but outside the classroom to the principal, Ms Grainne Walsh.

Students and staff will not copy information from the internet without acknowledging the creator and referencing the source of the content.

Students and staff 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 the school’s internet connection only for educational and career development activities.

Students will not engage in online activities such as uploading or downloading large files that result in heavy network traffic which impairs the service for other internet users.

Students will not download or view any material that is illegal, obscene, and defamatory or that is intended to annoy or intimidate another person.

  • Use of file sharing and torrent sites is not allowed.
  • Downloading by students of materials or images not relevant to their studies is not allowed.

Email and Messaging

  • The use of personal email accounts is seen as a temporary measure until each student has their own Office 365 account. Personal e-mails are only allowed at St Declan's Community College with expressed permission from members of the teaching staff.
  • Students are expected to respect their privacy and that of others. Students are not to reveal their own or other people's details such as, addresses, telephone numbers or images.
  • Students are not, under any circumstances, to share their email account login details with others.
  • Students are not to use school email accounts to register for online services such as social networking services, apps, and games.
  • Students will use approved class email accounts only under supervision by or permission from a teacher. Students will note that sending and receiving e-mail attachments is subject to permission from their teacher.
  • Students need to be aware that email communications are monitored.
  • Students are not to send or receive any material that is illegal, obscene, and defamatory or that is intended to annoy or intimidate another person.
  • Students are not to arrange a face-to-face meeting with someone they only know through e-mails or the Internet.
  • Students need to immediately report the receipt of any communication that makes them feel uncomfortable, is offensive, discriminatory, threatening or bullying in nature and must not respond to any such communication.
  • Students should avoid opening emails that appear suspicious. If in doubt, students should ask their teacher before opening emails from unknown senders.

Office 365 for Education

This is a collection of services that allows teachers and students to collaborate and share schoolwork. Each student is assigned an Office 365 account accessed using a school email address and password. It is envisaged that this account will be used by students when engaging in school work or collaborating with teachers/students in the course of school work. The school does not accept responsibility for students’ use of Office 365 outside of school time.

St Declan’s Community College does not accept responsibility for students’ use of Office 365 outside of school time. As this account can be accessed through a web browser, students will have access both in school and at home.

Students are responsible for having their login details available during school hours

Students should report any account issues eg being locked out of their account, no access…to their class teacher.

Students are requested to monitor the student’s use of the account outside of school

Cloud Storage

This facility is designed to allow teachers/students to store school related work/projects, making it accessible to use from home or elsewhere.

Students should only upload course-related documents/work.

Students should not allow anyone else to access their OneDrive.

Students are not permitted to access or modify another student’s OneDrive

Students are not to reveal their password to anyone

The responsibility for what is stored and uploaded to OneDrive lies with the students and parents.

Social Media

The following statements apply to the use of messaging, blogging and video streaming services in St Declan's Community College:

  • Use of instant messaging services and apps including Snapchat, Whats Apps, G Chat etc. is not allowed in St Declan's Community College.
  • Use of blogs such as Word Press, Tumblr etc. is allowed in St Declan's Community College with express permission from teaching staff.
  • Use of video streaming sites such as, YouTube and Vimeo etc. is allowed only with express permission from teaching staff.

Staff and students must not use social media and the internet in any way to harass, insult, abuse or defame students, their family members, staff, or other members of the St Declan's Community College community

Staff and students must not discuss personal information about students, staff and other members of the St Declan's Community College community on social media.

Staff and students must not use school email addresses for setting up personal social media accounts or to communicate through such media.

Staff and students must not engage in activities involving social media which may bring St Declan's Community College into disrepute.

Staff and students must not represent their personal views as those of St Declan's Community College on any social medium.

Personal Devices

Students using their own technology in school should follow the rules set out in this agreement, in the same way as if they were using school equipment.

The following statements apply to the use of internet-enabled devices such as tablets, gaming devices, and digital music players in St Declan's Community College:

  • Students are only allowed to bring personal internet-enabled devices into St Declan's Community College with expressed permission from staff.
  • Students are only allowed to use personal internet-enabled devices during lessons with expressed permission from teaching staff.
  • Students are not allowed to use personal internet-enabled devices during social time.

Mobile Phones

All mobile phones are to be switched off once a student enters school grounds.

Students may use their mobile phone in class, only when instructed to do so by a teacher and for educational purposes only

The management and staff of St Declan’s Community College expect parents to work with the school in developing their child’s wisdom in the correct use and implementation of mobile technology.

Any student using a mobile phone on school premises will have their phone confiscated. It will be held in the office and returned the following day once a €10 fine has been paid.

Refusal to hand over a phone may result in suspension from school.

Should any child need to contact their parent/guardian, arrangement for same can be made through their Year Head, Deputy Principal or Principal.

If parents need to contact their child urgently, they should phone the school and the message will be relayed promptly.

The school accepts no responsibility or liability for the loss of or damage to a student’s mobile phone.

The inappropriate use of the camera/video/voice recording functions on a student’s mobile phone, eg unauthorised recording, infringement of privacy, bullying or threatening behaviour, will be dealt with very seriously. This may result in suspension of up to five days and/or referral to the Board of Management.

Images & Video

Care should be taken when taking photographic or video images that students are appropriately dressed and are not participating in activities that might bring the individuals or the school into disrepute.

At St Declan's Community College students are not to take, use, share, publish or distribute images of others without their express permission.

Taking photos or videos on school grounds or when participating in school activities is only allowed with the expressed permission of staff.

Written permission from parents or carers will be obtained before photographs of students are published on the school website.

Students must not share images, videos or other content online involving another member of the school community regardless of whether this happens in school or outside. This can harm another person, either intentionally or unintentionally.

Sharing explicit images and in particular explicit images of students and/or minors is an unacceptable and absolutely prohibited behaviour, with serious consequences and sanctions for those involved. Sharing explicit images of other students automatically incurs suspension as a sanction.


When using the internet students, parents and staff are expected to treat others with respect at all times.

Engaging in online activities which may lead to the harming, harassment, or embarrassment of another student or member of staff is an unacceptable and absolutely prohibited behaviour, with serious consequences and sanctions for those involved.

Measures are taken to ensure that staff and students are aware that bullying is defined as unwanted negative behaviour, verbal, psychological or physical, conducted by an individual or group against another person, or persons and which is repeated over time. This definition includes cyber-bullying even when it happens outside the school or at night.

Measures are taken by St Declan's Community College to ensure that staff and students are aware that bullying is defined as unwanted negative behaviour, verbal, psychological or physical, conducted by an individual or group against another person or persons and which is repeated over time. This definition includes cyber-bullying even when it happens outside the school or at night.

St Declan’s Community College reserves the right to investigate and deal with incidents and activities that happen outside school time and which impact on the welfare or education or students of the school. This often applies in the case of misuse of social media sites which can lead to unfortunate online nastiness or cyber bullying. Students shall be advised that they need to think carefully about serious repercussions of anything they say on the internet as well as the hurt it can cause. The moment anything unpleasant is published online it can be viewed repeatedly and by multiple users and therefore formally constitutes bullying.

The prevention of cyber bullying is an integral part of the anti-bullying policy of our school.

School Website

Students will be given the opportunity to publish projects, artwork or school work on the internet 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, privacy, or reputation of students or staff.

Webpages allowing comments or user-generated content will be pre-moderated and checked frequently to ensure that they do not contain any inappropriate or offensive content.

The publication of student work will be coordinated by a teacher.

St Declan's Community College will use only digital photographs, audio or video clips focusing on group activities. Content focusing on individual students will only be published on the school website with parental permission.

Personal student information including home address and contact details will not be published on St Declan's Community College web pages.

St Declan's Community College will avoid publishing the first name and last name of students in video or photograph captions published online, without the permission of the student and their parent/guardian.

School Laptops/Tablets – Student Responsibilities

  • Students will arrive to school each day with their laptop/tablet fully charged.
  • If an iPad is left at home or is not charged, the students remains responsible for completing all schoolwork as if they had use of their laptop/tablet. Normal school rules apply.
  • Students must keep their laptop/tablet within a protective case and in their locker when not in use.
  • Students are not to let anyone use the laptop/tablet other than their parent/guardian, teachers or another school appointed person.
  • Students must take good care of their laptop/tablet. They are to keep it clean and carry it carefully. Students are not to eat or drink when using their laptop/tablet.
  • Students are not permitted to use their own personal ID or passwords to download content onto their laptop/tablet.
  • Students should report any problems, damage or theft immediately to their Year Head or the Deputy Principal.
  • Students should report any issues and/or interference created by any other students because of mobile device possession, use or ownership.
  • Students should not permanently alter the laptop/tablet in any way nor should they remove any serial numbers, identification or school labels placed on the laptop/tablet.
  • Students are expected to clean the screen of their device with a soft, dry anti-static cloth or with a screen cleaner designed specifically for LCD screens only.
  • Where a student has been granted the use of Assistive Technology to support their learning, the laptop remains the property of St Declan’s Community College. When a student has reached the end of their studies with us they are obliged to leave the Assistive Technology with us. According to cl0010_2013: ‘Although equipment is sanctioned to support a particular student, the equipment is sanctioned to a school and will, as a general rule, remain the property of the school and be available for allocation to other or subsequent students with similar disabilities’.

Permission Form


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

Interception Act 1993

Video Recordings Act 1989

The Data Protection Act 1988

Circular 0038/2018

I agree to follow the school’s Acceptable Use Policy on the use of the Internet. I will use the Internet in a responsible way and obey all the rules explained to me by the school.

Student’s Signature: __________________________ 

Parent/Guardian : __________________________

Date: ___________________

As the parent or legal guardian of the above student, I have read the Acceptable Use Policy and grant permission for my son or daughter or the child in my care to access the Internet. I understand that Internet access is intended for educational purposes. I also understand that every reasonable precaution has been taken by the school to provide for online safety but the school cannot be held responsible if students access unsuitable websites.

In relation to the school website, I accept that, if the school considers it appropriate, my child’s schoolwork may be chosen for inclusion on the website. I understand and accept the terms of the Acceptable Use Policy relating to publishing students’ work on the school website.

Signature: _____________________________ Date: ___________________

Address: ______________________________ 




Please review the attached school Internet Acceptable Use Policy, and sign and return this permission form to the Principal.

School Name:                                                                     

Name of Student:______________________                                  



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