Arklow CBS

Acceptable User Policy

Arklow CBS

ICT Acceptable Use Policy (AUP)

ICT = Information & Communications Technology

Address Coolgreaney Road, Arklow, Co. Wicklow.

Telephone 0402 - 32564



School Name Arklow CBS

Date of Commencement 17/08/2020

Author Ger Lally


  1. Arklow CBS Statement
  2. Introduction & General Approach
  3. Content Filtering
  4. Web Browsing and Downloading
  5. Email and Messaging
  6. Social Media
  7. Images & Video
  8. Cyberbullying
  9. School Websites
  10. Digital Storage of Student Information
  11. Personal use of any Devices (includes Mobile Phones)
  12. Remote/Online Learning & Teaching (Example: Covid 19 arrangements)
  13. What happens if this policy is not followed?

Arklow CBS Statement

First, we define ICT as any, and all, forms of digital and/or analogue technologies that create and/or modify and/or store and/or convey information of any form. So, whilst this AUP is originally intended to guide the use of the internet and computer type technologies, it became clear as it was being developed that the principles it tries to expound are applicable to all new technologies as and when they appear. It is equally important to not forget that many of these principles have their origin in non-digital based systems such as books, diaries, workbooks, papers and all other previous forms of communications. As such it is the principles contained herein that are important, and the omission of any particular item, technological or not, will always be considered to be governed by these principles. That being understood, from here ICT should be taken to refer to Digital and/or Electrical Analogue technologies.

There is no doubt about the benefits of ICT to Learning and Teaching. Students have much better access to more widely varied and richer sources of information. Teachers are continuously developing newer and more varied ways of presenting this information. And then students and teachers are constantly finding more effective ways of creating their own materials and then communicating, and collaborating, with each other and their peers.

Arklow CBS has striven to stay abreast of all new technologies. We are on a journey which involves harnessing what ICT has to offer and then training to use this effectively. A survey of teachers in early 2019, and another survey of teachers and students in late 2019, clearly highlights the desire and aspirations that both groups have to expand the use of ICT.

It is with this desire and aspiration for future learning and teaching that this AUP has been constructed. This AUP is put in place to ensure that we all continue to enjoy the current and future benefits of ICT. It is equally constructed to protect everyone in our community in Arklow CBS.

This AUP was initially constructed using the online Webwise AUP Generator, then modified.

Examples of ICT are listed below (this list is exemplary, not exhaustive). As new technologies and/or products of such nature appear they will be considered subject to this AUP.

Computer, Laptop, Notebook, Camera, Walkman iPod, Video recorder, Sound recorder, Radio, Television Viewer, Satellite system, Robot,

Drone, Projector, Radio Transmitter, Radio Receiver, BBC Micro Bit, Arduino Board, Electronic board, USB device, USB memory, Hard drive

SSD, DVD, CD, Software,Firmware, Operating System, Code, Apps, Mobile phones, Smart watches

Introduction & General Approach

The aim of this ICT Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) is to ensure that everybody will continue to benefit from the learning and teaching opportunities offered by the school’s ICT resources in a safe and effective manner. This AUP applies to students, members of staff, volunteers, parents, guardians and any others who access ICT in Arklow CBS.

This AUP is constructed in as positive a manner as possible. It is as much about what is allowed as what is not allowed. Primarily, everybody should always do their best to facilitate the success of any new measures taken to enhance learning & teaching.

Sanctions are only mentioned in one section at the end, but they will be rigorously enforced.

When using ICT students, parents and staff are expected:

  • To enjoy, and benefit from, all the fun aspects that it has to offer
  • To take full advantage of the enhancements that it offers to learning & teaching
  • To enhance other people’s lives by showing them respect at all times
  • To respect the right to privacy of all members of the school community
  • To respect copyright and to acknowledge creators when using their content
  • Not to undertake any actions that may bring the school into disrepute

It is most important to note that school ICT is not a social media platform and should never be used as such. Whilst Arklow CBS wants everyone to enjoy, and to have as much fun as possible, when using ICT on the educational journey, it is just that, an educational journey.

Arklow CBS implements the following strategies on promoting safer use of ICT:

  • Students and teachers are given individual, secure, Microsoft 365 accounts, which include facilities such as Outlook email, Teams (+chat), Onenote etc.
  • These accounts provide a specific education communications platform.
  • Parents and teachers are also given access to VSware and iClass systems
  • Combined, these three systems negate the necessity to use any personal accounts for school related business. The latter is prohibited.
  • ICT safety advice, support and lessons are provided for students in Arklow CBS.
  • Teachers are provided with CPD opportunities in the area of ICT safety.

This policy and its implementation will be reviewed every 3 years by the following:

  • Board of Management, teaching & support staff, Students' Council, Parents Council

Should any serious ICT safety incident(s) take place, the Principal or Vice Principal should be informed immediately. If they are not available, then the next most senior member of staff should be informed immediately.The implementation of this ICT Acceptable Use policy will be monitored primarily by the Principal, and secondarily by, and with the support of, the ICT Coordinator and the School Management Team.

Content Filtering

Arklow CBS has chosen to implement the following level on content filtering on the Schools Broadband Network:

  • Level 4: This level allows access to millions of websites including games and YouTube but blocks access to websites belonging to the personal websites category and websites such as Facebook belonging to the Social Networking category.

This level has been chosen to give everybody as much access to as wide a variety of material as possible, to maximise the benefit and enjoyment possible with ICT, but at the same time excluding access to information that is considered unsuitable for Arklow CBS.

Web Browsing and Downloading

The school’s ICT facilities are primarily for educational and career development activities. However, in certain circumstances, and only with permission from the supervising teacher, students can use the school’s ICT facilities for personal and entertainment purposes. An example of this is when 1st years are given lunch time access to school computers to play games. Another example is when students are allowed access to the internet during a free period, either on their own, or on a school device. But in all cases, always having obtained permission from the supervising teacher.

But in order to protect everyone, and to ensure that the availability of these facilities is maintained, the following standards must be observed:

  1. Students will not intentionally access ICT that contain obscene, illegal, hateful or otherwise objectionable materials.
  2. Students will report accidental accessing of inappropriate materials in the classroom to their teacher.
  3. Students will report accidental accessing of inappropriate materials in school but outside the classroom to their Class Tutor.
  4. Students and staff will not copy information from ICT without acknowledging the creator and referencing the source of the content.
  5. Students and staff 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.
  6. Students will not engage in unauthorised ICT activities such as uploading or downloading large files that result in heavy network traffic which impairs the service for other internet users.
  7. Students will not download or view material that is illegal, obscene, or defamatory or that is intended to annoy or intimidate another person.
  8. Downloading by students of materials or images not relevant to their studies is allowed only with staff permission.

Email and Messaging

  1. Students should not under any circumstances share their email account login details with other students.
  2. Students should not use school email accounts to register for online services such as social networking services, apps, and/or games.
  3. Students will not send any material that is illegal, obscene, and defamatory or that is intended to annoy or intimidate another person.
  4. Students should immediately report the receipt of any communication that makes them feel uncomfortable, is offensive, discriminatory, threatening or bullying in nature and must not respond to any such communication.
  5. Students should avoid opening emails that appear suspicious. If in doubt, students should ask their teacher before opening emails from unknown senders.

Social Media

The following statements apply to the use of Social Media in Arklow CBS:

  1. Staff and students must not use social media and/or ICT in any way to harass, insult, abuse or defame students, family members, staff, or anyone else.
  2. Staff and students must not use social media and/or ICT to discuss personal information about students, family members, staff, or anyone else.
  3. Staff and students must not use school email addresses for setting up personal social media accounts or to communicate through such media.
  4. Staff and students must not engage in activities involving social media which might bring Arklow CBS into disrepute.
  5. Staff and students must not represent their personal views as those of Arklow CBS on any medium.

Images & Video

  1. Taking photos or videos on school grounds or when participating in school activities is only allowed with expressed permission from staff.
  2. At Arklow CBS students must not take, use, share, publish or distribute images of others without their permission.
  3. Care should be taken when taking photographic or video images that students are appropriately dressed and are not participating in activities that might bring the individuals or the school into disrepute.
  4. If students do share images, videos or other content online, it must be for education purposes only - regardless of whether this happens in school or outside school.
  5. Sharing explicit images, and in particular explicit images of students and/or minors, is an illegal and absolutely prohibited behaviour.


  1. Students, parents and staff are expected to treat each other and others with respect at all times, including when using ICT.
  2. Engaging in ICT activities with the intention to harm, harass, or embarrass another student member of staff or anyone else is an unacceptable and absolutely prohibited behaviour.
  3. Measures are taken by Arklow CBS to ensure that staff and students are aware that bullying, whether verbal, psychological or physical, conducted by an individual or group against another person (or persons) is considered to be bullying. This definition includes such behaviour via ICT (cyber-bullying). And this includes whether it happens inside or outside the school, day or night. The prevention of cyber bullying is an integral part of the anti-bullying policy of our school.

School Websites

Arklow CBS is always glad to assist students in their work, including, where appropriate, the publishing of students’ projects, artwork or schoolwork on the school website. But this will need the permission of School Management (primarily the Principal).

Digital Storage of Student Information

When storing student information in digital form it must only be stored on VSware or within the appropriate section of Microsoft 365 online. In so doing it must be ensured that this information is stored securely so that only authorised personnel will have access to it.

Student information must not be stored on any local computer, laptop or other device. The reason for this is to ensure that if a local computer, laptop or other device is accessed by unauthorised personnel then student information will not be available.

Personal use of any Devices (includes Mobile Phones)

  1. Until recently mobile phones were such a distinct piece of technology that they merited their own AUP. However, with increased miniaturisation we are now seeing more students using mobile phones, laptops, notepads and now smart watches.
  2. Arklow CBS wants to embrace these new technologies and the benefits and enjoyment they bring. But this must be in a safe manner that avoids exposure to inappropriate information and inappropriate behaviours, and in a manner that maintains the dignity and respect of all individuals and groups.
  3. Students using their own technology such as Mobile Phones, Smart Watches, notepads and/or laptops in school should follow the rules set out in this AUP, in the same way as if they were using school equipment.
  4. Students are allowed to use such devices for personal purposes during the morning break and the lunch break, BUT ONLY in the canteen or outside the school building (not inside the building or any of the corridors).
  5. The school does not accept responsibility for loss or damage to personal devices on or off the school premises.
  6. Inside the building such devices can only be used with the permission of the teacher.

Remote/Online Learning & Teaching

(Example: Covid 19 arrangements)

Recently, Covid 19 caused a very rapid move to remote / online learning & teaching. This is still a huge learning curve for students, parents, school staff & management. At this stage it is not possible to detail all the specific issues in remote / online learning & teaching since it is still developing. But there are some issues that can be mentioned at this stage:

  1. School ICT must not be used for social media or for any other unintended use.
  2. Attendees at online meetings should respect the rights of others and not interfere with their participation in any way (such as “Removing participants”)
  3. Teachers should always record any online lesson, or any other live audio and/or visual, communication involving students, from the very beginning to the very end of such communication.
  4. Students should be notified that they are being recorded.
  5. Recorded material needs to be deleted within one week of recording, so long as teachers feel the recording will not be required in the future. Any recordings deemed necessary to be held past one week will be dealt with on a case-by-case basis.

This list is only the beginning and is not exhaustive. But, as stated in the Arklow CBS Statement, it is the principles in this AUP that are important, and which are equally applicable to remote / online learning & teaching.

What happens if this policy is not followed?

  1. Arklow CBS seek to invite students to be part of the solution, aim to honour relationships and endeavour to promote accountability.
  2. Misuse of ICT may result in asking the student to be accountable for their actions through Restorative Practice. If this is met with persistent resistance & lack of engagement, then our school may need to avail of other less preferred practices including written warnings, withdrawal of access privileges, detention and, in repeated or extreme cases, suspension or expulsion. The school also reserves the right to report any illegal activities to the appropriate authorities.
  3. Arklow CBS will deal with incidents that take place outside the school and that impact on the wellbeing of students or staff under this policy and associated codes of behaviour and anti-bullying policies. In such cases Arklow CBS will, where known, inform parents/guardians of such incidents of inappropriate behaviour that take place out of school and impose the appropriate sanctions.
  4. Anyone taking steps to by-pass the content filter by using proxy sites or other means may be asked to be accountable for their actions through Restorative Practice. If this is met with persistent resistance & lack of engagement, then our school may need to avail of other less preferred practices including written warnings, withdrawal of access privileges, detention and, in extreme cases, suspension or expulsion.
  5. If personal devices (includes mobile phones, smart watches, smart pens etc) are used inappropriately the following steps will occur:
    1. On the first occurrence of harm the device will be removed & held in the office. The student will be met with restoratively. A non-confrontational conversation will occur, following RP basic questioning techniques. The aim is to separate the deed from the doer, allow the student to make amends for the harm caused & to acknowledge the intrinsic worth of the person & their potential contribution to the school community. The phone will be returned on the same day.
    2. If however, this is met with persistent resistance & lack of engagement then on second confiscation the device will be kept for 24 hours, and the Parent / Guardian is required to come to the school to collect the device. The device will not be returned on the day of confiscation. The student will be met with Restoratively and again offered to opportunity to understand the harm caused & to make amends to the relationships harmed.
    3. On third confiscation the student will be met with for a restorative conversation to try and understand why this policy has been breached again. Failing any reasonable explanation being offered then the student will be suspended.
  6. Arklow CBS Management reserve the right to make the final decision on what is considered an appropriate sanction for any breach of this AUP. And as with all sanctions that is open to appeal if felt necessary, but the initial decision will ultimately be the prerogative of Arklow CBS Management.

RATIFIED by Arklow C.B.S. Board of Management on 29th September 2020

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Arklow CBS,
Coolgreaney Rd,
Co. Wicklow,
Y14 RV04

0402 32 564

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