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Internet Acceptable Use Policy

Bishop Ahern N.S

Internet Acceptable Use Policy

Address:Leamlara, Co. Cork
School Name:Bishop Ahern National School
Date of Commencement:  October 2020
AuthorsShane Fennessy, Lorna O Sullivan.


  1. Overview
  2. General Approach
  3. Content Filtering
  4. Student Access to Laptops
  5. Web Browsing and Downloading
  6. Email and Messaging
  7. Social Media
  8. Personal Devices
  9. Images & Video
  10. Cyberbullying
  11. Distance Learning
  12. School Websites
  13. Permission Form


This Acceptable User Policy (AUP) relates to the use of the internet by students within the school and personnel working on their behalf. The AUP was devised by Shane Fennessy (Principal) and Lorna O Sullivan (Digital Learning lead worker). It is envisaged that school representatives and Board of Management will revise the AUP annually. Before signing, the AUP should be read carefully to indicate that the conditions of use are accepted and understood.

This version of the AUP was created in October 2020.

General Approach

The aim of this Internet Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) is to ensure that pupils 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 If the school AUP is not adhered to this privilege may be withdrawn and appropriate sanctions will be imposed.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 pupils, 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 Acceptable Use Policy applies to pupils who have access to and are users of the internet in Bishop Ahern National School .

  • It also applies to members of staff, volunteers, parents, carers and others who access the internet in Bishop Ahern National School.

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

Bishop Ahern National School will deal with incidents that take place outside the school that impact on the wellbeing of pupils or staff under this policy and associated codes of behaviour and anti-bullying policies. In such cases Bishop Ahern National School will, where known, inform parents/carers of incidents of inappropriate online behaviour that take place out of school and impose the appropriate sanctions.

Bishop Ahern National School implements the following strategies on promoting safer use of the internet:

  • Pupils will be provided with education in the area of internet safety as part of our implementation of the SPHE curriculum.
  • Internet safety advice and support opportunities are provided to pupils in Bishop Ahern National School through PDST and visiting professionals in the area of Internet Safety.
  • Teachers will be provided with continuing professional development opportunities in the area of internet safety.
  • Bishop Ahern National School 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, and support staff.

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

The school will monitor the impact of the policy using:

  • Logs of reported incidents.
  • Surveys and/or questionnaires of pupils.
  • Surveys and/or questionnaires of pupils, parents, and teaching staff.

Should serious online safety incidents take place the principal should be informed.

The implementation of this Internet Acceptable Use policy will be monitored by the Principal Shane Fennessy and all staff of Bishop Ahern NS.

Content Filtering

Bishop Ahern National School 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 website’s category and websites such as Facebook belonging to the Social Networking category.

Pupils 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.

Student Access to Laptops

Currently, there are 28 laptops for use within the classroom setting. These are configured for student use and student accounts (where applicable) are granted restricted access and control.

Web Browsing and Downloading

  • Pupils will not intentionally visit internet sites that contain obscene, illegal, hateful or otherwise objectionable materials.
  • Pupils will report accidental accessing of inappropriate materials in the classroom to their teacher.
  • Pupils will report accidental accessing of inappropriate materials in school but outside the classroom to the principal, Mr S. Fennessy or Ms. L O Sullivan (Post of Responsibility for Digital Learning)
  • Pupils 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.
  • Pupils will use the school’s internet connection only for educational purposes.
  • Pupils 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.
  • Pupils will not download or view any material that is illegal, obscene, and defamatory or that is intended to annoy or intimidate another person.

Email and Messaging

  • The use of personal email accounts is not allowed at Bishop Ahern National School. Pupils will not use school email accounts or personal emails on school premises.
  • Each teacher has an individual Gmail account for their own class for communication regarding pupils in that class only.
  • Parent/guardian contact details are saved on Aladdin and can be accessed for use of contact through email or telephone.
  • Internal staff communications will be conducted via email or phone.

Social Media

The following statements apply to the use of messaging, blogging and video streaming services in Bishop Ahern National School:

  • Use of instant messaging services and apps including Snapchat, Whats Apps, G Chat etc. is not allowed in Bishop Ahern National School.
  • Use of blogs such as Word Press, Tumblr etc. is not allowed in Bishop Ahern National School.
  • Children’s independent use of video streaming sites such as YouTube and Vimeo etc. is not allowed in Bishop Ahern National School.
  • Use of video streaming sites such as YouTube and Vimeo etc. is limited to teaching staff only for the purposes of research and/or access to educational material in a whole class or small group setting.
  • Staff and pupils must not use social media and the internet in any way to harass, insult, abuse or defame pupils, their family members, staff, other members of the Bishop Ahern National School community
  • Staff and pupils must not discuss personal information about pupils, staff and other members of the Bishop Ahern National School community on social media.
  • Staff and pupils must not use school email addresses for setting up personal social media accounts or to communicate through such media.
  • Staff and pupils must not engage in activities involving social media which might bring Bishop Ahern National School into disrepute.
  • Staff and pupils must not represent your personal views as those of bring Bishop Ahern National School on any social medium.

Personal Devices

Pupils 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 Bishop Ahern National School:

  • Pupils are only allowed to bring personal internet-enabled devices (laptops/Ipads/tablets) into Bishop Ahern National School with expressed permission from staff.
  • Pupils are only allowed to use personal internet-enabled devices during lessons with expressed permission from teaching staff.
  • Pupils are not allowed to use personal internet-enabled devices during social time.

Images & Video

  • Care should be taken when taking photographic or video images that pupils are appropriately dressed and are not participating in activities that might bring the individuals or the school into disrepute.
  • At Bishop Ahern National School pupils must not take, use, share, publish or distribute images of others without their permission.
  • Taking photos or videos on school grounds or when participating in school activities is only allowed with expressed permission from staff.
  • Written permission from parent(s)/guardian(s) or carers will be obtained before photographs of pupils are published on the school website.
  • Pupils must not share images, videos or other content online with the intention to harm another member of the school community regardless of whether this happens in school or outside.
  • Sharing explicit images and in particular explicit images of pupils and/or minors is an unacceptable and absolutely prohibited behaviour, with serious consequences and sanctions for those involved. Sharing explicit images of other pupils automatically incurs suspension as a sanction.


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

Engaging in online activities with the intention to harm, harass, or embarrass and another pupil or member of staff is an unacceptable and absolutely prohibited behaviour, with serious consequences and sanctions for those involved.

Measures are taken by Bishop Ahern National School to ensure that staff and pupils 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.

Isolated or once-off incidents of intentional negative behaviour, including a once-off offensive or hurtful text message or other private messaging, do not fall within the definition of bullying and will be dealt with, as appropriate, in accordance with the school’s code of behaviour.

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

Support Structures Websites offering support and advice in the area of Internet Safety are listed below.

• NCTE – http://www.ncte.ie/InternetSafety/

• Webwise – http://www.webwise.ie/

• Make IT Secure – http://makeitsecure.ie

• Safe Internet – http://www.saferinternet.org/ww/en/pub/insafe/

Other websites include:





www.bbc.co.uk/schools/bullying www.childline.ie/index.php/support/bullying/1395 www.chatdanger.com




School Websites

  • Class and SET teachers will be responsible for the content posted on the school website and the website will be maintained by Ms. Sinead Harrington.
  • The publication of student work will be coordinated by a teacher.
  • Bishop Ahern National School will use only digital photographs, audio or video clips focusing on whole school or individual class activities on the school website with expressed permission from parents/guardians.
  • Personal student information including home address and contact details will not be published on Bishop Ahern National School web pages.
  • The Bishop Ahern National School will avoid publishing the first name and last name of pupils in video or photograph captions published online.

Distance Learning

  • In circumstances where teaching cannot be conducted on the school premises, teachers may use SeeSaw, Padlet or other platforms approved by the Principal as platforms to assist with remote teaching where necessary.
  • In the case of SeeSaw, parents/guardians will be provided with a specific QR scanning code for their child’s access to their individual learning profile.
  • In the case of Padlet a link for access to the learning platform is sent to the parent/guardian.
  • Parents/guardians must also agree to monitor their child’s participation in any such lessons conducted on the Online Platforms.
  • In the case of inability to access distance learning from home, appropriate supports can be given by Bishop Ahern NS on a case by case basis.
  • In the event of short-term absences of individual or small groups of students, the class teacher will provide a list of planned class work by email, if requested.
  • In the event of a whole-school or class bubble close down (under instruction from HSE), work will be sent out by the class teacher on the specific learning platform for that class.
  • In the case of children with specific diagnosed learning needs, class teacher will work in conjunction with SET to provide appropriate support.
  • Any correspondence or queries regarding distance learning or tasks to be completed online should be emailed directly to the class teacher’s email account.
  • Any correspondence during distance learning periods will be dealt with during appropriate working hours.

Signed: _Owen Hurley__________      Date: __12th October 2020__

Chairperson of Board of Management

Signed:_Shane Fennessy______        Date: __12th October 2020____________

Principal/Secretary Board of Management

Permission Form

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 name (block capitals) ______________________

Student’s Signature: ________________________________

Parent/Guardian Signature: __________________________

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.

Parent/Guardian Signature:  _____________________________


Please review the school Internet Acceptable Use Policy on the school website, and sign and return this permission form.