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Acceptable usage POLICY (AUP) 


3.1  General School responsibilities
3.2  Student Responsibilities

Internet Chat

3.3 Parent Responsibilities









In tandem with all of our policies, this policy should be read and comprehended with respect to the mission statement and ethos of the school. Readers should also refer to other key policies, including in particular The Code of behaviour, Anti-Bullying and Child Protection.


The internet and digital media can help pupils learn, create and communicate in many diverse ways. The online world is very much part of their lives and they are growing up with technology embedded in every aspect of their lives. Digital literacy skills are key life skills for children and young people today. Children need to be media aware and know how to effectively search for and evaluate online content; know how to protect personal information and reputation; know to respect copyright and intellectual property and know where to seek help if a problem arise. The Internet is a valuable teaching and learning tool. It can develop children’s independent research skills and promote lifelong learning.


The aim of this Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) is to ensure that all pupils will benefit from learning opportunities offered by the school’s Internet resources in a safe and effective manner. However, some material available on the Internet is unsuitable for children and therefore these guidelines will be followed when using the Internet. We aim to create a culture of responsibility and wish to emphasize our partnership between family, school and pupils. The Internet is considered a valuable school resource and privilege. Therefore, if the school’s AUP is not adhered to this privilege will be withdrawn and appropriate sanctions, as outlined in the AUP will be imposed.


2. eLearning
2.1 Benefits of eLearning for teachers and pupils include

  • Access to world-wide educational resources
  • Opportunities to involves students in their own learning
  • Educational and cultural communication between students worldwide
  • Communication with professional support services
  • Staff professional development through access to online courses and curriculum practices

2.2 How will eLearning enhance learning

  • Internet access will be planned to enrich and extend learning activities. The access level will reflect the curriculum requirements and age of the students
  • Students will be educated in the effective use of the Internet in research

Hollypark BNS’ Strategies.

The school employs a number of strategies in order to maximise learning opportunities and reduce risks associated with the Internet. The school’s policy is to look for opportunities across the curriculum and to reinforce online safety messages. The strategies are outlined below.

3.1 General School Responsibilities

  • A teacher always supervises access to the Internet.
  • Internet for pupils and teachers is only available through the Schools Broadband Filtering service as provided by the National Council for Technology in Education (NCTE).
  • The Irish Schools Broadband Programme provides an integrated set of services to schools, which includes broadband connectivity and services including content filtering, webhosting, and security services. These services are managed by the NCTE working closely with the Department of Education and Science and are coordinated and supported by the NCTE Service Desk, which is the single point of contact for schools for all broadband related issues, providing information, advice and support to schools.
  • The school will regularly monitor pupils’ Internet usage.
  • Pupils and teachers participate in Internet Safety Week (usually occurs in September-October).
  • Guest speakers from organizations may give Internet Safety talks to the pupils and parents e.g.: Garda Síochána.
  • The school strongly recommends that any allegations of cyber bullying, directly relevant to the school (or other types of objectionable on-line behaviour), be reported to the class teacher.
  • Virus protection software is updated at regular intervals.
  • iPads, Laptops and Desktop PCs have a specific level of access for students. All other levels are password protected – which disables many installation and configuration procedures.
  • Parents are notified about this policy.

3.2.1 Internet

  • Students will use the Internet for educational purposes only.
  • Students will not intentionally visit Internet sites that contain harmful, obscene, illegal, hateful or other types of objectionable material. In the event of a child accidentally accessing inappropriate material or images during a lesson, the student will immediately minimize the page and report the incident to the class teacher without attracting the attention of other students. The teacher should report the incident to the ICT Co-coordinator who will then inform the Schools’ Broadband service.
  • Lists of appropriate websites are available on an ongoing basis to school personnel.
  • Pupils will not engage in communication that would hurt, embarrass, threaten or demean others.
  • Pupils are encouraged to report any alleged incidence of ‘cyber bullying’ directly related to the school to the class teacher.
  • Pupils will be aware of appropriate use of the Internet.
  • Students will never disclose nor publicise confidential personal information.
  • Downloading materials or images that are not relevant to their studies is in direct breach of the school’s AUP.
  • Students will be aware that all Internet use may be monitored by their teacher – for security, unusual activity and network management reasons.
  • The use of CD’s, USB keys in school requires a teacher’s permission.
  • Pupils are expected to respect computers, hardware and software and not to intentionally waste limited resources in school such as paper and ink. This is in line with our Green School Policy.
  • No additional software / apps are to be installed without the teacher’s permission

3.2.2 Email

  • Pupils do not have a school email account.
  • Pupils may be occasionally required to send an email as part of a lesson. They will use a designated email account under the teacher’s supervision.
  • Incoming mail to students may be opened by a teacher and will not be considered private.
  • Pupils will never disclose any personal information about themselves or others.
  • Students are forbidden to arrange meetings with someone they only know through emails or Internet use.
  • Students will only be allowed access to their own email accounts in school for educational purposes. This will be done with the permission and supervision of the teacher.

3.2.3 Internet Chat

  • Pupils are forbidden to access chat rooms, discussion forums or other electronic communication forums other than those 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 be monitored.
  • Usernames will be used to avoid disclosure of identity.
  • Face to face meetings with any individual encountered via Internet chat is forbidden.
  • Skype/Zoom may be used for contacting other children/schools – only for educational purposes and with teacher supervision.

3.3 Parent Responsibilities

  • Parents are expected to promote the safe use of the Internet in the home and to support the school’s policy regarding children’s use of Mobile Phone and Personal Devices.
  • Parents are asked to be mindful of the needs of others in relation to school photography. It is not appropriate to take photographs, video recordings or audio recordings on the school premises (including classrooms) without prior permission from the school. This is in the interest of the safety and wellbeing of all.  
  • It is understandable that, for personal and private use, parents and family members may wish to take photographs or video recordings at official school events i.e. plays and such performances and official sporting events. However, it is not appropriate to upload photographs/videos/audio material taken at school events and containing pictures/recordings of persons other than parents’ own children to social media such as Facebook etc. without the prior consent of those persons/those persons’ parents (if children).


4. School Website

  • The main point of contact on the school’s website will be the school’s address, school email and school telephone number.
  • Pupils will be given opportunities to publish work on the school website. Teachers will coordinate the publication of student work.
  • Personal details (full names, address etc.) will be omitted from any posts / content / photographs on the website.
  • Digital photographs of individual pupils will not usually be published on the school website. Photographs will generally focus on groups rather than individuals.
  • Group photographs(s) may appear with name(s) underneath but they may/may not be in the order in which the child(ren) appear(s) in the photograph.


5. Personal Devices

  • Pupils are not allowed to have their mobile phones / personal devices/smart watch and related devices etc. in class / school.
  • In exceptional circumstances and only where absolutely necessary a pupil who requires a phone after school requires his parents/guardians to put this in writing to the school principal on the specified request form. The phone must remain off in the boy’s school- bag until he leaves the school grounds.
  • Pupils are not allowed to take photographs / video clips / audio clips in the school grounds.
  • The school accepts no responsibility for the loss or damage to personal devices.
  • Any home school communication during school time from a pupil is through the school telephone in the secretary’s office.

6. Remote Learning

In the event of school closure and for homework activities the school may use the Seesaw Learning Platform along with Aladdin Connect.

  • Permission will be sought prior to starting Seesaw on Aladdin Connect.
  • Pupils must be supervised when uploading material to Seesaw.
  • Parents and Pupils must follow the guidelines as set out with the school’s guidelines for Seesaw.
  • For communication purposes in the event of school/class closure teachers may use a Zoom call to keep in touch with pupils particularly for our SEN pupils.

             Pupils must have an adult present for this call at all times for Child Protection.

7. Legislation

  • Attention of staff and parents is drawn to the following legislation:
  • Data Protection Act 2003
  • Copyright and Related Rights Act 2000
  • Child Trafficking and Pornography Act 1998
  • Interception Act 1993
  • Video Recordings Act 1989

8 . Support Structures

The school may inform students and parents of key support structures and organizations that deal with illegal material or harmful use of the Internet. From time to time parents will receive information regarding Internet Safety in the home. Teachers will give instruction on appropriate use of the Internet and how best to use it safely during the Internet Safety Awareness Week each year. The websites of and will also be consulted for relevant educational materials.

9. Sanctions

It is expected that all pupils will abide by this AUP. Internet access in the school involves a strict filtering service, yet no service is completely ‘reliable’. However, should misuse of the technology occur, it may result in disciplinary action. Please refer to the school’s Code of Behaviour and note that disciplinary action may involve the withdrawal of access privileges and/or confiscation of mobile phones and personal devices.

The school also reserves the right to report any illegal activities to the appropriate authorities. All of these sanctions are in line with our Code of Behaviour. The school will incorporate this policy in the school’s overall behaviour policy and will treat breaches as they would any other breach of school discipline.  

10. Review

This Internet AUP was devised in February 2014 and approved by the Board of Management in March 2014. It was reviewed by the Board of Management in September 2020.

Further reviews will take place in the light of experience, as needs determine, and in line with overall cyclical review of school policies as time allows.

 Acceptance of this AUP 

All parents must indicate acceptance of this AUP policy each year on Aladdin Connect.

Implemented in October 2007
Reviewed and ratified by the Board of Management October 2020

Brendan McAndrew

Chairperson, Board of Management