Acceptable Use Policy

Acceptable Use policy in Computer Education

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 Therefore, if the school AUP is not adhered to this privilege will be withdrawn and appropriate sanctions – as outlined in the AUP – will be imposed.

It is envisaged that the Board of Management, College and Parent representatives will revise the AUP at regular intervals. Before signing, the AUP should be read carefully to ensure that the conditions of use are accepted and understood.

This version of the AUP was created on 15th October 2005, and is frequently reviewed. Last review being June 2017.

School’s 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 sessions will always be supervised by a teacher.

• Filtering software and/or equivalent systems will be used in order to minimise the risk of exposure to inappropriate material.

• The school will regularly monitor pupils’ Internet usage.

• Students and teachers will be provided with training in the area of Internet safety.

• Uploading and downloading of non-approved software will not be permitted.

• Virus protection software will be used and updated on a regular basis.

• The use of personal USB keys or CD-ROMs in school requires a teacher’s permission.

• Students will observe good “netiquette” (i.e. etiquette on the Internet) at all times and will not undertake any actions that may bring the school into disrepute.

World Wide Web

• Students will not visit Internet sites that contain obscene, illegal, hateful or otherwise objectionable materials.

• Students will use the Internet for educational purposes only.

• Students will be familiar with copyright issues relating to online learning.

• Students will never disclose or publicise personal information.

• 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.

• Students use of Internet social network sites such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Snapchat and Whatsapp, etc. both inside and outside the College, must not bring the good name of Oatlands College, or any teacher or student of the College, into disrepute. As stated in the schools Code of Behaviour, “Their ‘out of school’ conduct must not in any way undermine the reputation of the College”.

• Students are advised of the permanent and public nature of posts made on social media and the potential consequences for future career prospects which inappropriate material may represent.

Email/Social Media

• Students will use approved email accounts under supervision by or permission from a 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.


Sexting is defined as images or videos generated

• By children under the age of 18, or

• Of children under the age of 18 that are indecent or of a sexual nature.

These images are shared between young people and/or adults via a mobile phone, handheld device or website with people they may not even know.

Sexting will be deemed a most serious breach of the College’s Code of Behaviour and Anti-Bullying Policy and Students will be subject to serious sanctions up to and including referral to the Board of Management.

Cyber Bullying

Cyber Bullying is defined as the use of information and communication technologies to support deliberate, repeated and hostile behaviour by an individual or group that is intended to harm or humiliate another/others. It involves the abuse of another or causing damage to the reputation of another and circulating material recorded without consent to damage the reputation of another person.

Cyber Bullying is deemed as a serious breach of the School’s Code of Behaviour and Anti-bullying Policy. As such, allegations of cyber bullying will be treated with the utmost seriousness by the College Staff, Principal and Board of Management. If the College becomes aware that a Student is the author of any communication, most particularly anonymous, that causes distress to any member of the College community which impacts on a person’s self-esteem or their participation in the College, they will be subject to serious sanctions up to and including referral to the Board of Management.

Internet Chat

• Students will only have access to chat rooms, discussion forums or other electronic communication forums 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

• Pupils will be given the opportunity to publish projects, artwork or school work on the World Wide Web.

• The publication of student work will be co-ordinated by a teacher.

• Pupils’ work will appear in an educational context on Web pages with a copyright notice prohibiting the copying of such work without express written permission.

• Digital photographs, audio and video clips will focus on group activities. Video clips may be password protected.

• Personal pupil information including home address and contact details will be omitted from school web pages.

• Pupils will continue to own the copyright on any work published.

Cloud Computing/Storage

• From September 2011, students will have access to their school files both inside and outside of school time. It is very important to explain to your son that school rules still apply to this facility and that any inappropriate behaviour will be treated using the sanctions outlined in the legislation below.


The school will provide information on the following legislation relating to use of the Internet which teachers, students and parents should familiarise themselves with:

• Data Protection (Amendment) Act, 2003. This Act was passed to deal with privacy issues arising from the increasing amount of information kept on electronic and mobile devices about individuals.

• Child Trafficking and Pornography Act, 1998. This Act legislates against anyone who knowingly produces, prints, publishes, distributes, exports, imports, shows, possesses or sells Child Pornography.

• Interception Act, 1993. This Act stipulates that telecommunication messages can be intercepted for the purpose of an investigation of a serious offence.

• Video Recordings Act, 1989. This Act prohibits the distribution of videos which contain obscene or indecent material which may lead to the depravation or corruption of the viewer.

• 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.


Students are advised of the permanent and public nature of posts made on social media and the potential consequences for future career prospects which inappropriate material may represent.

Misuse of the Internet may result in disciplinary action, including verbal and written warnings, withdrawal of access privileges and, in extreme cases, suspension or expulsion. The school also reserves the right to report any illegal activities to the appropriate authorities. Please refer to the College’s Code of Behaviour.

Permission Form

Please review the attached school Internet Acceptable Use Policy, sign and return this permission form to the Principal.

School Name: OATLANDS COLLEGE, Mount Merrion, Co. Dublin.

Name of Pupil: _______________________________________________

Class/Year: _______________________________________________

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.

Pupil’s Signature: ________________________________ Date: ________________

As the parent or legal guardian of the above pupil, I have read the Acceptable Use Policy and grant permission for my son 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 pupils 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 understand and accept the terms of the Acceptable Use Policy relating to publishing children’s work on the school website.

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

Signature: ______________________________
Date: __________________

Address: ______________________________
Telephone: _____________