We believe that ICT has a critical role in equipping students for life in the 21st century and that ICT can have a positive impact on teaching and learning. To use these technologies effectively requires an awareness of the benefits and risks, the development of new skills, and an understanding of their appropriate and effective use both in and outside of the classroom. This policy document has been drawn up to protect all parties – the students, the staff and the school, and aims to provide clear advice and guidance on how to minimise risks and how to deal with any infringements.
All staff are responsible for promoting and supporting safe behaviour in their classrooms and for following e-safety procedures. Staff should also be aware of their personal responsibilities to protect the security and confidentiality of the school network.
To Safeguard the Children
The Green paper, ‘Every child matters’ together with the provisions of the Children’s Act 2004 and the policy document Working Together to Safeguard Children sets out how organisations and individuals should work together to safeguard and promote the welfare of children.
The ‘staying safe’ outcome includes aims that children and young people are:
• Safe from maltreatment, neglect, violence and sexual exploitation
• Safe from accidental injury and death
• Safe from bullying and discrimination
• Safe from crime and antisocial behaviour in and out of school
• Secure, stable and cared for.
These aims apply equally to the ‘virtual world’ that children and young people will encounter whenever they use ICT in its various forms. For example, there is a need to protect pupils from dangers such as:
• The use of the internet for grooming children and young people with the ultimate aim of exploiting them sexually.
• The use of ICT as a new weapon for bullies, who may torment their victims via websites, text messages or exposure to inappropriate content when online, which can sometimes lead to their involvement in crime and anti-social behaviour.
It is the duty of all staff to ensure that every child in their care is safe, and the same principles should apply to the ‘virtual’ or digital world as would be applied to the school’s physical buildings.
To Ensure Security and Confidentiality
• KS4 & 5 must maintain password security on the network. Passwords should not be shared with any other member of the schools community, nor should they be written down. Class Teachers will keep a class list of pupil’s passwords and usernames.
• Staff laptops must also be password protected, as teachers are responsible for any inappropriate material found on their laptops or computers.
• All computers and associated equipment must be shut down and turned off at the end of the day.
• Data storage devices such as USB pens, portable hard drives, CD ROMs and DVD ROMs must be subject to virus protection measures by ‘stopping’ devices before removal from the computer, and not inserted in the first instance if the source cannot be trusted. USB pens should be cleaned before being used in school computers or laptops. As a preventative measure, KS3 USB pens should not be taken out of school at any time.
• Any accidental access of inappropriate material on the internet should be reported to the head teacher immediately. The school reserves the right to examine internet access logs from any computer in the school and staff laptops issued by the school. The school cannot accept liability for material accessed, or any consequences of Internet access.
• Software should not be downloaded unless the source can be trusted and the member of staff has checked that there is no infringement of licensing laws.
• Photographs of students should only be taken and saved on the network where permission to do so has granted by parents.
• Take care to investigate websites personally before directing the children to use them.
To Safeguard the Facilities and Support Student Behaviour
• Students must always be supervised in ICT suites and in classrooms where laptops/computers are in use.
• Upon discovery, all damage must be reported immediately.
• Ceiling projectors must be turned off when they are not in use by using the remote control.
• Food and drink must not be consumed in ICT suites or in classrooms where laptops are in use.
How will complaints regarding E-Safety be handled?
The school will take all reasonable precautions to ensure e-Safety. However, owing to the international scale and linked nature of Internet content, the availability of mobile technologies and speed of change, it is not possible to guarantee that unsuitable material will never appear on a school computer or mobile device.
Sanctions available for misuse of computers are:
• Interview, counselling and/or disciplinary action by the teacher, ICT Co-ordinator or Head teacher
• Informing parents or carers
• Removal of internet or computer access for a period, (which could ultimately prevent access to files held on the system).
• Referral to Police or Social Services.
The ICT teacher will act as first point of contact for any complaint. Any complaint about staff misuse will be referred to the Head teacher and may result in formal disciplinary proceedings.
Complaints of cyber-bullying are dealt with in accordance with our Anti-Bullying Policy.