Internet Acceptable Use Policy (AUP)

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 Therefore, if the School AUP is not adhered to this privilege will be withdrawn and appropriate sanctions – as outlined in the AUP – will be imposed.

The Saint Paul’s Community College ICT Committee, comprising of teachers, parents, students and NCTE ICT Advisor from the local Teachers Centre, created this AUP in September/October 2006. It will be subject to annual review and evaluation

Parental approval for Internet Use:
Arising out of this AUP parents and guardians should understand that their child’s use of the Internet within the school signifies their acceptance of the AUP unless the parent or guardian requests in writing that they don’t give permission for their child to use the Internet within the school.

School 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:

  • Internet access by students will always be supervised by the teacher
  • Filtering software and/or equivalent systems will be used in order to minimize the risk of exposure to inappropriate material
  • The school will regularly monitor student’s Internet usage
  • Students and teachers will be provided with training in the area of Internet safety
  • Uploading and downloading of non-approved software and other electronic files, e.g. music/video, will not be permitted
  • Virus protection software will be used and updated on a regular basis
  • The use of personal USB Drives, CD-ROMs or other digital storage media in school requires a teacher’s permission
  • The school may prohibit access by students to certain web sites. Failure to comply will lead to the imposition of sanctions as laid out in the AUP
  • Students will treat others with respect at all times and will not undertake any actions that may bring the school into disrepute

World Wide Web:

  • Students will not intentionally visit Internet sites that contain obscene, illegal, hateful or otherwise objectionable material
  • Students will report accidental accessing of inappropriate materials to the teacher who will make a written note of the URL of the web site
  • 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
  • A student 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


  • When set up, students will use approved class email accounts under supervision by or permission from a teacher. Using or accessing personal e-mail accounts by students will not be permitted
  • 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

Internet Chat:

  • Students will only have access to chat rooms, discussion forums, messaging or other electronic communication fora that have been approved by the school
  • Chat rooms, discussion forums and other electronic communication forums will only be used for educational purposes and will always be supervised
  • Usernames will be used to avoid disclosure of identity
  • Face-to-face meetings with someone organised via Internet chat will be forbidden

School Website:

  • Students’ 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
  • Student’s work for publication on the Internet/School website must be submitted on disc to the ICT Coordinator for moderation and uploading to the site
  • Students’ 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 (five or more students) activities. Content focusing on individual students will not be published on the school website without parental permission
  • Personal pupil information including home address and contact details will be omitted from school web pages
  • The school website will not publish names of individuals in a photograph
  • Pupils will continue to own the copyright on any work published on the school website

The following legislation relating to use of the Internet is available in the school for inspection by teachers, students and parents:

  • Data Protection (Amendment) Act 2003
  • Child Trafficking and Pornography Act 1998
  • Interception Act 1993
  • Video Recordings Act 1989
  • The Data Protection Act 1988

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 will result in the following sanctions. Sanctions will be imposed for a breach in any of the guidelines outlined above under General, World Wide Web, Email, Internet Chat and School Website.

  • On the first breach of Internet guidelines, as outlined in this AUP, a Verbal Warning will be given by the teacher to the student and a written record kept by the teacher
  • On a second breach of the AUP guidelines, the teacher will issue a Written Warning to the student and a letter will be sent home to his/her parents/guardian outlining the breach in the code of practice of the AUP. A written record will be kept by the teacher
  • If a student continues to breach the guidelines in the AUP a period of detention will be given as determined fit by the teacher and the student will have access privileges withdrawn. A written record will be kept
  • Continued breaches of the AUP guidelines by the student will result in him/her being referred to the Principal, which may result in the imposition of further sanctions and even suspension

The school also reserves the right to report any illegal activities to the appropriate authorities.

A poster will be displayed in all areas where Internet access is available to students, outlining key points in the AUP concerning student’s conduct while accessing the Internet.

St. Paul’s Community College
October 2006