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For Parents and Carers

Internet Safety

Why is Internet use important?

The purpose of Internet use in school is to raise educational standards, to promote pupil achievement, to support the professional work of staff and to enhance the school’s management information and business administration systems. In addition the Internet is an essential element in 21st Century life for education, business and social interaction. The school has a duty to provide students with quality Internet access as part of their learning experience. In order to maintain safe and effective use by staff and pupils to the Internet, the BECTA (British Educational Communications and Technology Agency) Internet Proficiency Scheme for Key Stage 2 pupils will guide the school’s delivery of this area.

How will Internet use enhance learning?

The school Internet access will be designed expressly for pupil use and will include filtering appropriate to the age of pupils. Pupils will be taught what is acceptable and what is not acceptable and given clear objectives for Internet use. Internet access will be planned to enrich and extend learning activities and pupils guided in on-line activities that will support the planned learning outcomes. Pupils will be educated in the effective use of the Internet in research, including the skills of knowledge location and retrieval.

Appropriate Internet Access

The Internet provides access to the vast information resources of the WWW and allows electronic exchange of information by means of Email. From school based systems, it will be deemed that use of the Internet will constitute council business or an educational purpose, and that use therefore must be appropriate, relevant to duty, and mindful of security disciplines.

The Bracken Edge Responsible Internet Code shall govern pupil access to the Internet

Any information downloaded must be respectful of copyright, property rights and privacy. Information downloaded is stored in the cache of the system, therefore can potentially be observed by a third party, including pupils. Information uploaded must be mindful of confidentiality, data security and not be in conflict with City Council policies. Downloading of offensive or explicit material, unlicensed software or software for personal use at all times contravenes City Council regulations. Offensive sites that escape a block by the filtering application or firewall must be reported to the Head teacher , his representative or the ICT Manager. All staff including teachers, supply staff, classroom assistants and support staff, will be provided with the School Internet Policy, and its importance explained.

Staff should be aware that Internet traffic is constantly monitored by Leeds Learning Net  and traced to the individual user. Discretion and professional conduct is essential as is the need for confidentiality of individuals’ passwords and access details.

How will the risks be assessed?

In common with other media such as magazines, books and video, some material available via the Internet is unsuitable for pupils. The school will take all reasonable precautions to ensure that users access only appropriate material. However, due to the international scale and linked nature of Internet content, it is not possible to guarantee that unsuitable material will never appear on a school computer. The school can not accept liability for the material accessed, or any consequences of Internet access.

How will filtering be managed?

All Internet access at Bracken Edge is via Leeds Learning Net filtered provision, which will block access to sites it considers inappropriate. The school will work in partnership with parents, the LEA, DfES and the Internet Service Provider to ensure systems to protect pupils are reviewed and improved. If staff or pupils discover unsuitable sites, the URL (address) and content must be reported to the Internet Service Provider via the ICT Manager.

Are newsgroups and chat safe?

Pupils will not be allowed access to public or unregulated chat rooms. Newsgroups will not be made available unless an educational requirement for their use has been demonstrated

How will Internet access be authorised?

The school and Education Leeds keep a record of all staff and pupils who are granted Internet access. The record will be kept up-to-date, for instance a member of staff leaving or the withdrawal of a pupil’s access. Rules for Internet access will be posted near all computer systems and instruction in responsible and safe use should precede Internet access.

How should Web site content be managed?

The point of contact on the Web site should be the school address, school e-mail and telephone number. Staff or pupils’ home information will not be published.

Web site photographs that include pupils will be selected carefully and will not enable individual pupils to be identified. Pupils’ full names will not be used anywhere on the Web site, particularly associated with photographs. The head teacher or nominee will take overall editorial responsibility and ensure content is accurate and appropriate.

The Web site should comply with the school's guidelines for publications. The copyright of all material must be held by the school, or be attributed to the owner where permission to reproduce has been obtained.

How can emerging Internet uses be managed?

Emerging technologies will be examined for educational benefit and a risk assessment will be carried out before use in school is allowed. Mobile phones will not be used during lessons or formal school time. The sending of abusive or inappropriate text messages is forbidden.

How will ICT system security be maintained?

  • The school ICT systems will be reviewed regularly with regard to security.
  • Virus protection will be installed and updated regularly.
  • Use of floppy disks will be reviewed. Personal floppy disks may not be brought into school without specific permission and a virus check.
  • Files held on the school’s network will be regularly checked.
  • If staff are in any doubt with regard to any point they should consult the Head teacher or ICT Manager.