ICT in the 21st Century is seen as an essential resource to support learning and teaching, as well as playing an important role in the everyday lives of children, young people and adults. Consequently, schools need to build in the use of these technologies in order to arm our young people with the skills to access life-long learning and employment.
Information and Communications Technology covers a wide range of resources including; web-based and mobile learning. It is also important to recognise the constant and fast paced evolution of ICT within our society as a whole. Currently the internet technologies children and young people are using both inside and outside of the classroom include:
- E-mail, Instant Messaging and chat rooms
- Social Media, including Facebook and Twitter
- Mobile/ Smart phones with text, video and/ or web functionality
- Other mobile devices including tablets and gaming devices
- Online Games
- Learning Platforms and Virtual Learning Environments
- Blogs and Wikis
- Video sharing
- On demand TV and video, movies and radio / Smart TVs
Whilst exciting and beneficial both in and out of the context of education, much ICT, particularly web-based resources, are not consistently policed. All users need to be aware of the range of risks associated with the use of these Internet technologies and that some have minimum age requirements (13 years in most cases).
At Holy Trinity CE Primary School, we understand the responsibility to educate our pupils on e-Safety Issues; teaching them the appropriate behaviours and critical thinking skills to enable them to remain both safe and legal when using the internet and related technologies, in and beyond the context of the classroom.
Schools hold personal data on learners, staff and others to help them conduct their day-to-day activities. Some of this information is sensitive and could be used by another person or criminal organisation to cause harm or distress to an individual. The loss of sensitive information can result in media coverage, and potentially damage the reputation of the school. This can make it more difficult for your school to use technology to benefit learners.
Everybody in the school community has a shared responsibility to secure any sensitive information used in their day to day professional duties and even staff not directly involved in data handling should be made aware of the risks and threats and how to minimise them.
Both this policy and the Acceptable Use Agreement (for all staff, governors, regular visitors [for regulated activities] and pupils) are inclusive of both fixed and mobile internet; technologies provided by the school (such as PCs, laptops, mobile devices, webcams, whiteboards, voting systems, digital video equipment, etc.); and technologies owned by pupils and staff, but brought onto school premises (such as laptops, mobile phones and other mobile devices).
Authorised ICT staff or members of the School’s Leadership Team may inspect any ICT equipment owned or leased by the school at any time without prior notice. If you are in doubt as to whether the individual requesting such access is authorised to do so, please ask for their identification badge and contact the Head teacher. Any ICT authorised staff member will be happy to comply with this request.
ICT authorised staff may monitor, intercept, access, inspect, record and disclose telephone calls, e-mails, instant messaging, internet/intranet use and any other electronic communications (data, voice, video or image) involving its employees or contractors, without consent, to the extent permitted by law. This may be to confirm or obtain school business related information; to confirm or investigate compliance with school policies, standards and procedures; to ensure the effective operation of school ICT; for quality control or training purposes; to comply with a Subject Access Request under the Data Protection Act 1998, or to prevent or detect crime.
ICT authorised staff may, without prior notice, access the e-mail account where applicable, of someone who is absent in order to deal with any business-related issues retained on that account.
All monitoring, surveillance or investigative activities are conducted by ICT authorised staff and comply with the Data Protection Act 1998, the Human Rights Act 1998, the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 (RIPA) and the Lawful Business Practice Regulations 2000.
Please note that personal communications using School ICT may be unavoidably included in any business communications that are monitored, intercepted and/or recorded.
A breach or suspected breach of policy by a school employee, contractor or pupil may result in the temporary or permanent withdrawal of school ICT hardware, software or services from the offending individual.
For staff any policy breach is grounds for disciplinary action in accordance with the school Disciplinary Procedure or, for Support Staff, in their Probationary Period as stated.
Policy breaches may also lead to criminal or civil proceedings.
The Information Commissioner’s powers to issue monetary penalties came into force on 6 April 2010, allowing the Information Commissioner's office to serve notices requiring organisations to pay up to £500,000 for serious breaches of the Data Protection Act.
The data protection powers of the Information Commissioner's Office are to:
- Conduct assessments to check organisations are complying with the Act;
- Serve information notices requiring organisations to provide the Information Commissioner's Office with specified information within a certain time period;
- Serve enforcement notices and 'stop now' orders where there has been a breach of the Act, requiring organisations to take (or refrain from taking) specified steps in order to ensure they comply with the law;
- Prosecute those who commit criminal offences under the Act;
- Conduct audits to assess whether organisations’ processing of personal data follows good practice,
- Report to Parliament on data protection issues of concern
The acceptable use of Information Communication technologies for pupils, forms part of our whole school Behaviour Policy.
Any security breaches or attempts, loss of equipment and any unauthorised use or suspected misuse of ICT must be immediately reported to the school’s relevant responsible person. Additionally, all security breaches, lost/stolen equipment or data, virus notifications, unsolicited emails, misuse or unauthorised use of ICT and all other policy non-compliance must be reported to the relevant responsible person. The relevant responsible individuals in the school are as follows: the Head teacher and in their absence, the Deputy Head teachers.
Please refer to the relevant section on Incident Reporting, e-Safety Incident Log & Infringements.