Online Safety


This Online Safety Policy is part of the School Improvement Plan and relates to other policies including those for ICT, behaviour, anti-bullying, personal, social and health education and citizenship.


Our Online Safety Policy is a revision of the existing Acceptable Use Policy, building upon government guidance, to reflect the need to raise awareness of the safety issues associated with electronic communications as a whole.  It has been agreed by all staff and governors


The Internet is now considered to be an essential part of modern life. In addition, the school has a duty to provide pupils with quality Internet access as part of their learning. This Online safety policy considers the use of the fixed and mobile internet, PCs, laptops, webcams, digital video equipment, mobile phones, camera phones, personal digital assistants and portable media players. It will be revised to incorporate new and emerging technologies. Emerging technologies will be examined for educational benefit and a risk assessment will be carried out before use in school is allowed.


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 systems. Internet use is a part of the statutory curriculum and a necessary tool for staff and pupils. Internet access is an entitlement for students who show a responsible and mature approach to its use.


The school will ensure that all members of the school community are aware of the Online safety policy and the implications for the individual. ONLINE safety depends on staff, governors, parents and, where appropriate, the pupils themselves taking responsibility for the use of Internet and other communication technologies.


Internet access in the school is provided via a broadband link through LGfL. Filtering appropriate to the age of the pupils is provided as part of this link. An agreement for the provision of a suitable virus protection system has been implemented. This virus protection system will be installed on all computers in school and automatically updated regularly. Portable media may not be brought into school without specific permission and a virus check. Pupil access to the Internet will be by adult demonstration or directly supervised access to specific, approved on-line materials. Instruction in responsible and safe use by pupils will precede Internet access.


As part of the curriculum, pupils will be made aware of the guidelines for the acceptable use of the Internet and what is not acceptable. These guidelines for acceptable use will be clearly on display in all areas of the school where Internet access is available. All pupils will be given clear objectives when using the Internet.  Where Internet activities are part of the curriculum they will be planned so that they enrich and extend the learning activities. Staff will guide pupils through on-line activities that will support the learning outcomes planned for the age and maturity of the pupils. All websites used for specific activities will have been approved by the school. Training is available to staff in the evaluation of Internet materials.


Curriculum activities that involve the use of the Internet for gathering information and resources will develop pupil skills in locating and evaluating materials. Pupils will be taught how to validate materials they read before accepting their accuracy. The use of search engines will be restricted. Other techniques for research will be developed through the use of a limited group of school approved sites. Where materials gathered from the Internet are used by pupils in their own work, they will be taught to acknowledge the source of information used. The school will ensure that the use of Internet materials by staff and pupils complies with copyright law.


Curriculum activities that involve the use of e-mail will be through the use of class or group webmail accounts that are controlled by the school. All e-mail communications sent by members of staff that relate to the school will be through authorised, school controlled webmail accounts. The use of individual pupil personal accounts will not be permitted through the school system. Any e-mail sent to an external account will be authorised by the school, before sending, following the same procedure used for letters written on school headed notepaper. Pupils will never reveal personal details of any member of the school community in e-mail communications.


The use of online chat rooms, instant messaging services and text messaging will not be allowed. Mobile phones are not allowed at school.


The school website is maintained and kept up to date. The headteacher ensures that the content is accurate and appropriate to the needs of the school community. No personal information about any member of the school community will be published on the website. Written permission from parents or carers will be obtained before photographs of pupils or pupil names are published on the website. Only first names of pupils will be published and these will never be published in conjunction with photographs. Any photographs published will not allow individual pupils to be identified.


A consent form, which covers permission to access the Internet, will be issued to parents and carers during the summer term to cover the forthcoming academic year. This will contain the acceptable use guidelines and details of the school Online safety policy. Parents and carers will be required to sign the consent form and where appropriate pupils will also be required to sign an acceptance of both the acceptable use guidelines and the Online safety policy. The signed consent form must be returned to the school for pupil access to the Internet to be permitted. Pupils will be informed that Internet use will be monitored. Pupil access may be withdrawn if the acceptable use guidelines are not adhered to.


All members of staff including teachers, supply staff, classroom assistants and support staff, will be provided with access to a copy of the school Online safety policy. All staff will need to sign a copy of the Staff Information Systems Code of Conduct before using any Internet resource in school. Staff will be made aware that Internet traffic can be monitored and traced to the individual user and professional conduct is essential. Staff development in safe and responsible Internet use will be provided as part of the continuing professional development programme.


The school will keep an up-to-date record of all staff and pupils who are granted Internet access.


The headteacher will ensure that the Online safety policy is implemented and compliance with the policy monitored. Some material available on the Internet is unsuitable for pupils. Methods to identify, assess and minimise risks will be reviewed regularly. The school will take all reasonable precautions to ensure that pupils access only appropriate material.  However, due to the nature of Internet content, it is not possible to guarantee that unsuitable material will never appear on a school computer. The use of computer systems without permission or for inappropriate purposes could constitute a criminal offence under the Computer Misuse Act 1990.


Where unsuitable content is encountered staff and pupils should follow the school procedures for such events. Unsuitable URL addresses will be reported through the school office to the LA broadband technical support team. Pupils must report unsuitable material, including Online mail content, immediately to a teacher. The teacher will then ensure that the reporting procedures are followed. Parents will be informed of such incidents sensitively to avoid undue distress.


Where incidents occur due to non-compliance with the school Online safety policy these will be reported to a delegated senior member of staff. Any issues relating to staff misuse must be referred to the headteacher. Should it become necessary to prohibit the use of internet resources for a pupil then parents or carers will be involved so that a partnership approach can be used to resolve any issues. This could include practical sessions and suggestions for safe Internet use at home.

St. Anthony’s Catholic Primary School

Genoa Road


SE20 8ES

020 8778 7681

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