ICT and Social Media Acceptable Use Policy


St.  Joseph’s  Primary  School  recognises  that  access  to  Information  and  Communication   Technology  (ICT)  gives  our  students  enhanced  opportunities  to  learn,  engage,  communicate   and  develop  skills  that  will  prepare  them  for  many  aspects  of  life.      To  that  end,  we  provide  access  to  ICT  for  student  use.  We  blog using kidblog.com,  tweet  at  @kinvarans, publish on Facebook @kinvarans  and  maintain  www.kinvarans.ie  as   our  school  website. We use GSuite for Education to enable students and staff to work collaboratively.  Aladdin schools is used for administrative purposes.

This  Acceptable  Use  Policy  outlines  the  guidelines  and  behaviours  that  our  students and staff  are   expected  to  follow  when  using  school  technologies  for  school  activities  of  any  nature.

Technologies  Covered 

St. Joseph’s National School  may  provide  students  with  Internet  access,  desktop  computers,  digital   imaging  equipment,  laptop  or  tablet  devices,  videoconferencing  capabilities,  virtual  learning   environments,  online  collaboration  capabilities,  online  discussion  forums,  blogs  and  more.    The  policies  outlined  in  this  document  are  intended  to  cover  all  online  technologies  used  in   the  school,  not  just  those  specifically  mentioned.

 ICT  Network   

The  St. Joseph’s  computer  network  is  intended  for  educational  purposes.

All  activity  over  the  network  may  be  monitored  and  retained.

Teachers  have  full  editorial  rights  over  the  school  website,  blog  and  twitter.  Students   will  not  have  access  to  relevant  passwords.

Students  are  expected  to  follow  the  same  rules  for  good  behaviour  and  respectful   conduct  online  as  offline  –  these  rules  are  found  in  the  St. Joseph’s National School  existing   Code  of  Behaviour.

Misuse  of  school  resources  may  result  in  disciplinary  action.

  • We  make a  reasonable  effort to  ensure  students’  safety  and  security  online,  but  will   not  be  held  accountable  for  any  harm  or  damages  that  result  from  misuse  of  school   technologies
  • When  blogging,  recording audio  or sending  any  sort  of  online  communication  from  a   school  device,  students  must  not  slander,  defame  or  misrepresent  the  school  or  the   views  or  activities  of  another  individual.
  • The  school teachers  choose and  modify  all  twitter  followers/followees  and  all  are  for   the  intended  educational  purpose.  Retweets  are  not  necessarily  the  views  of  St. Joseph’s National School,  but  are  discussed  and  distributed  for  educational  and   conversational  purposes.
  • There  is an interaction  reply  policy  for  parents  and  the  community  on  twitter.   We  will  reply  to  tweets  directed  at  the  school  once  it  is   deemed  appropriate  by  teachers  to  do  so.
  • The  staff and  teachers of  St.  Joseph’s  commit  to  not  using  the  online  platforms  or   school  accounts  for  the  expression  of  personal  views  and  we  request  that  the   children  and  parents  adopt  a  similar  policy  when  commenting  online  through   comments  on  the  blog  and  in  directed  tweets  to  the  school  account, facebook messages or other social media tools which may be used by the school.
  • Students  are expected  to alert  his/her  teacher  immediately  of  any  concerns  for   safety  or  security.



St. Joseph’s National School use  the school website and social media tools to  celebrate  the  success  stories  and  great   achievements  of  our  students.  We  use  photographs/video/other  multimedia  to  compliment  text  content.

We  advise  the  following:

  • Children  will not be  named  in  full  –  first  name  will  suffice.  Should  their  full  name  be   used  at  any  stage,  verbal  permission  will  be  sought  by  parents/guardians.
  • No  child shall  be photographed  and  named  under  that  photograph  specifically  if  they   are  the  only  student  photographed.

Online  collaboration  through  blogging  and  other  platforms   

St. Joseph’s N.S  recognises  that  online  collaboration  is  essential  to  education  and  may   provide  students  with  access  to  a  variety  of  online  tools  that  allow  communication,  sharing,   and  messaging  among  students.  Students  are  expected  to  communicate  with  the  same  appropriate,  safe,  mindful  and   courteous  conduct  online  as  offline.  This  is  of  particular  relevance  to  our use of blogs, G suite for Education and other online platforms.

With the advent of Web 2.0, the Internet has become a two way communication system for the school and the wider community. Services such as Facebook, WordPress, Twitter and other social media are being used by the school to communicate with parents and also for parents to communicate with the school. These services, although not owned by St. Joseph’s N.S, form part of our web services and all content that is placed on these services falls under this policy.

The safety of our children on the web is of utmost importance so the following rules apply to the school and parents. Web 2.0 is open to potential dangers when used inappropriately.

We would ask:  Many social media sites have minimum age requirements. While the school will not monitor this, we would advise parents to not allow their children to have personal accounts on Facebook, Twitter, etc. until they are the appropriate age. Many social media sites will be used by teachers in class, for example, Twitter. However, all interactions will be under the supervision of the teacher.

Parents and guardians are encouraged to regularly check their child’s online activity / digital footprint. Parents are encouraged to check social media apps (e.g. Facebook, Snapchat, Viber, Whatsapp, Instagram etc) on mobile phones and electronic devices to ensure they are aware of their child’s online interaction with others and approve of same.  Please do not “tag” photographs or any other content which would identify any children or staff in the school.   Please ensure that online messages and comments to the school are respectful. Any messages written on social media are treated in the same way as written messages to the school.  Avoid any negative conversations about children, staff or parents on social media accounts, this includes media such as WhatsApp groups, Facebook and other forms of media.

Please do not request to “friend” a member of staff in the school. The staff would like to keep their personal lives personal. It may be awkward for a staff member to be asked to ignore a Facebook or other social network request. In line with this, please only contact the teacher through the school office or via a note in your child’s homework journal.


Students may use approved email accounts under supervision by or with permission from the class 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 they only know through emails or the Internet.

Students will note that sending and receiving email attachments is subject to permission from their teacher.

St Joseph’s N.S Own Mobile Devices  

St. Joseph’s N.S  may  provide  students  with  mobile  computers,  digital  recorders  or  other   devices  to  promote  learning  both  inside  and  outside  of  the  school.

Students  should  abide  by  the  same  expected  use  policies,  when  using  school  devices  off  the   school  network,  as  on  the  school  network.

Students  are  expected  to  treat  these  devices  with  respect.  They  should  report  any  loss,   damage,  or  malfunction  to  their  teacher  staff  immediately.  Use  of  school-­‐issued  mobile   devices  will  be  monitored.

Mobile Devices in the Possession of Students    

Students  may  not  use/have  personally-­‐owned  devices  in  school  (e.g.  laptops,  tablets  computers,   digital-­‐cameras,  and  smartphones)  without explicit permission of their class teacher and parent/guardian.  E-readers without access to the internet may be used, the school accepts no responsibility for the safety of such devices if a student brings one to school.

School Security   

We  ask  that  our  students  use  common  sense  if  they  think  a  website  does  not  look  ‘right’.   They  must  inform  their  teacher  of  any  concerns.  They  must  twice  before  they  click  on   anything  they  feel  is  not  right.  If  they  believe  a  computer  or  mobile  device  they  are  using   might  be  infected  with  a  virus,  they  must  alert  their  teacher.


Netiquette may be defined as appropriate social behaviour over computer  networks and  in particular in the online environment. To this end:

  • Students  should always  use the  Internet,  network  resources,  and  online  sites  in  a   courteous  and  respectful  manner
  • Students  should also  recognise that  among  the  valuable  content  online  is  unverified,   incorrect,  or  inappropriate  content.
  • Students  should not to  post  anything  online  that  they  wouldn’t  want  parents,   teachers,  or  future  colleges  or  employers  to  see.      More  detailed  examples  of  expected  use  and  unacceptable  use  are  given  in  Appendices  One   and  Two.


  • Students  should not plagiarise  content  (copy  or  use  as  your  own  without  citing  the   original  creator),  including  words  or  images,  from  the  Internet.
  • Students  should not take  credit  for  things  they  didn’t  create  themselves,  or   misrepresent  themselves  as  an  author  or  creator  of  something  found  online.

Personal Safety

If  students  see  a  message,  comment,  image,  or  anything  else  online  that  makes  them   concerned  for  their  personal  safety,  they  must  bring  it  to  the  immediate  attention  of

  • a  teacher  if they are  at  school
  • a  parent  / guardian  if they  are  at  home
  • Students  should never  share personal  information  about  themselves  or  others,   including  phone  numbers,  addresses,  PPS  numbers  and  birth-­‐dates  over  the  Internet   without  adult  permission
  • Students  should never  agree to  meet  someone  they  meet  online  in  real  life  without   parental  permission.
  • Students’  images will not  be  shared  online with their names visible or labelled (on  the  St. Joseph’s N.S website,  blog, Facebook   or  twitter account)  without  explicit  expressed  permission  from  their  parents.
  • Consequently,  other students must  not  take,  use  or  share  images  of  or  from  other   students  in  school  on  school  online  platforms.
  • School  videos on  Vimeo or  YouTube  are  not  available  for  search  or  comment  on  the   host  sites.


Cyber bullying is the use of ICT (usually a mobile phone and/or the internet) to abuse another person. It can take place anywhere and can involve many people. Anybody can be targeted, including pupils, school staff, and members of the wider school community.

It can include threats, intimidation, harassment, cyberstalking, vilification, defamation, exclusion, peer rejection, impersonation, and unauthorised publication of private information or images.

There are many types of cyber-bullying. The more common types are:

  1. Text messages – can be threatening or cause discomfort. Also included here is ‘Bluejacking’ (the sending of anonymous text messages over short distances using Bluetooth wireless technology)
  2. Picture/video-clips via mobile phone cameras – images sent to others to make the victim feel threatened or embarrassed.
  3. Mobile phone calls – silent calls, abusive messages or stealing the victim’s phone and using it to harass others, to make them believe the victim is responsible.
  4. Emails – threatening or bullying emails, often sent using a pseudonym or somebody else’s name.
  5. Chat room bullying – menacing or upsetting responses to children or young people when they are in a web-based chat room.
  6. Instant messaging (IM) – unpleasant messages sent while children conduct real-time conversations online.
  7. Bullying via websites – use of defamatory blogs, personal websites, gaming websites, and online personal ‘own web space’ sites such as YouTube, Facebook, Ask.fm, Twitter, and SnapChat among others.

Procedures for Preventing Cyber Bullying

  1. Staff, pupils, parents, and Board of Management (BOM) are made aware of issues surrounding cyber bullying.
  2. Pupils and parents will be urged to report all incidents of cyber bullying to the school.
  3. Staff CPD (Continuous Professional Development) will assist in learning about current technologies.
  4. Pupils will learn about cyber bullying through Social, Personal and Health Education (SPHE), Assemblies, Safer Internet Day activities and other curriculum projects.
  5. Pupils, parents, and staff will be involved in reviewing and revising this policy as school procedure.
  6. All reports of cyber-bullying will be noted and investigated, in accordance with the school’s Anti-Bullying, Mobile Phone, Child Protection, and Positive Behaviour Policies, where applicable. 7. Procedures in the school’s Anti-Bullying and Child Protection policies shall apply. Incidents of cyberbullying will be addressed in the context of the school’s Anti-Bullying and Behaviour Policies, where applicable.

The  school  will  support  students,  teachers  and  parents  in  dealing  with  cyberbullying.      St. Joseph’s National  School  is  committed  to  the  Child  Protection  Procedures  for  Primary  and   Post-­‐Primary  Schools  (Circular  0065/2011)  and  will  act  as  required  by  the  Department  of   Education  and  Skills,  the  Department  of  Children  and  Youth  Affairs,  the  Department  of   Justice  and  Equality  and  the  Health  Service  Executive.

Violations of this Acceptable Use  Policy   

Violations  of  this  policy  in  St. Joseph’s N.S  may  have  disciplinary  repercussions,  including:

  • Suspension  of computer privileges
  • Notification  to parents in  most  cases
  • Suspension  from school and/or  school-­‐related  activities
  • Expulsion

Appendix  1  

Examples of Acceptable Use 


 I  will:     

  • Use school equipment for school-­‐related activities only
  • Follow the same guidelines for respectful, responsible behaviour online that I am expected to follow offline.
  • Treat school resources carefully, and alert teachers if there is any problem with their use
  • Encourage positive, constructive discussion if allowed to use blog or represent the school  online.
  • Alert a teacher if I see threatening/bullying, inappropriate, or harmful content (images,  messages, postings) online.
  • Use school technologies at appropriate times, in approved places, for learning reasons
  • Recognise that use of school technologies is a privilege and treat it as such.
  • Be cautious to protect the safety of myself and others.
  • Help  to protect  the security  of  school  resources.

This is not intended to be an exhaustive list. Students should use their own good judgement when using school technologies.


Ratified by Board of Management 


________________________________________                  _________________________

Chairperson, Board of Management                                     Date

Appendix  2   

Examples  of  Unacceptable  Use      


I  will  not:     

  • Use school technologies in a way that could be personally or physically  harmful to myself or others.
  • Search inappropriate images or content.
  • Engage in cyberbullying, harassment, or disrespectful conduct toward others.
  • Try to find ways to change the school’s safety measures and filtering tools.
  • Use school technologies to send spam or chain mail.
  • Plagiarise content (copy, use as their own, without citing the original creator) I find online.
  • Post personally identifying information, about myself or others or agree to meet someone I  meet online in real life.
  • Use language online that would be unacceptable in the classroom.
  • Use  school technologies  for illegal  activities  or  to  pursue  information  on  such   activities.
  • Attempt to access sites, servers, accounts, or content that isn’t intended for my use. This is not intended to be an exhaustive list. Students should use their own good judgement when using school technologies.


Appendix 3

Internet Acceptable Use Policy Permission Form


Dear Parent/Guardian,
Please review the school’s Internet Acceptable Use Policy, (http://kinvarans.ie/school-policies/)
and sign and return this permission form to the office/class teacher.

School Name: St. Joseph’s National School

Name of Student: ______________________
Class: ______________________

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.
I accept the above paragraph □        I do not accept the above paragraph □
(Please tick as appropriate)

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 accept the above paragraph □ I do not accept the above paragraph □
(Please tick as appropriate)
Signature: _____________________________ Date: ___________________