Home   Internet Policy

Internet Policy

Policy – Managing the Internet Safely

Technical and Infrastructure:

This school:
• Maintains the filtered broadband connectivity through the LGfL and so connects to the ‘private’ National Education Network;
• Works in partnership with the LA to ensure any concerns about the system are communicated to LGfL so that systems remain robust and protect students;
• Has additional user-level filtering in-place using the Synetrix USO service (i.e. – YouTube, staff user)
• Ensures network health through appropriate anti-virus software etc and network set-up so staff and pupils cannot run executable files such as .exe / .com / .vbs etc.;
• Ensures their network is ‘healthy’ by the ICT Technician run health checks monthly on the network;
• Utilises caching as part of the network set-up;
• Ensures the ICT Technician is up-to-date with LGfL services and policies;
• Ensures the ICT Technician checks to ensure that the filtering methods are effective in practice and that they remove access to any website considered inappropriate by staff immediately;
• Never allows pupils access to Internet logs;
• Never sends personal data over the Internet unless it is encrypted or otherwise secured;
• Uses ‘safer’ search engines with pupils such as http://yahooligans.yahoo.com/ | http://www.askforkids.com/ and activates ‘safe’ search where appropriate;

Internet policy and procedures: background information
Owing to the international scale and linked nature of information available via the Internet, it is not possible to guarantee that unsuitable material will never appear. Supervision is the key strategy. Whatever systems are in place, something could go wrong which places pupils in an embarrassing or potentially dangerous situation. Is it sufficient for a teacher or a learning support assistant to be in the area? Should Internet machines be placed in a common area between classrooms? Are there circumstances outside normal lesson time where pupils justifiably need access to the Internet?

Policy and procedures:
This school:
• Supervises pupils’ use at all times, as far as is reasonable, and is vigilant in learning resource areas where older pupils have more flexible access;
• We use the Synetrix filtering system which blocks sites that fall into categories such as pornography, race hatred, gaming, sites of an illegal nature;
• We have additional staff/pupil filtering, so adapt filtering to the level of user;
• Staff preview all sites before use [where not previously viewed and cached] or only use sites accessed from managed ‘safe’ environments such as the school website;
• Plans the curriculum context for Internet use to match pupils’ ability, using child-friendly search engines where more open Internet searching is required;
• Never allows / Is vigilant when conducting ‘raw’ image search with pupils e.g. Google or Lycos image search;
• Informs users that Internet use is monitored;
• Informs staff and students that they must report any failure of the filtering systems directly to the [system administrator / teacher / ICT Technician]. Our systems administrators report to LA / LGfL where necessary;
• Blocks all Chat rooms and social networking sites except those that are part of an educational network or approved Learning Platform;
• Only unblocks social networking sites for specific purposes / Internet Literacy lessons;
• Has blocked pupil access to music download or shopping sites – except those approved for educational purposes such as LGfL’s Audio Network;
• Requires pupils (and their parent/carer) from Key Stage 1 and 2, to individually sign an e-safety / acceptable use agreement form which is fully explained and used as part of the teaching programme;
• Uses closed / simulated environments for e-mail with Key Stage 1 pupils;
• Requires all staff to sign an e-safety / acceptable use agreement form and keeps a copy on file;
• Makes clear all users know and understand what the ‘rules of appropriate use’ are and what sanctions result from misuse – through staff meetings and teaching programme;
• Keeps a record, e.g. print-out, of any e-bullying or inappropriate behaviour for as long as is reasonable in-line with the school behaviour management system;
• Ensures the named child protection officer has appropriate training (electronically);
• Ensures parents provide consent for pupils to use the Internet, as well as other ICT technologies, as part of the e-safety acceptable use agreement form at time of their daughter’s / son’s entry to the school;
• Makes information on reporting offensive materials, abuse / bullying etc available for pupils, staff and parents;
• Immediately refers any material we suspect is illegal to the appropriate authorities – Police – and the LA.

Education and training:
This school:
• Fosters a ‘No Blame’ environment that encourages pupils to tell a teacher / responsible adult immediately if they encounter any material that makes them feel uncomfortable;
• Ensures pupils and staff know what to do if they find inappropriate web material i.e. to switch off monitor and report the URL to the teacher or System Manager.
• Ensures pupils and staff know what to do if there is a cyber-bullying incident;
• Ensures all pupils know how to report abuse;
• Has a clear, progressive e-safety education programme throughout all Key Stages, built on LA / London / national guidance. Pupils are taught a range of skills and behaviours appropriate to their age and experience, such as:

> to STOP and THINK before they CLICK
> to discriminate between fact, fiction and opinion;
> to develop a range of strategies to validate and verify information before accepting its accuracy;
> to skim and scan information;
> to be aware that the author of a web site / page may have a particular bias or purpose and to develop skills to recognise what that may be;
> to know some search engines / web sites that are more likely to bring effective results;
> to know how to narrow down or refine a search;
[for older pupils] to understand how search engines work;
> to understand ‘Netiquette’ behaviour when using an online environment / email, i.e. be polite, no bad or abusive language or other inappropriate behaviour; keeping personal information private;
> to understand how photographs can be manipulated and how web content can attract the wrong sort of attention;
> to understand why on-line ‘friends’ may not be who they say they are and to understand why they should be careful in online environments;
> to understand why they should not post or share detailed accounts of their personal lives, contact information, daily routines, photographs and videos and to know how to ensure they have turned-on privacy settings;
> to understand why they must not post pictures or videos of others without their permission;
[for older pupils] to understand and be aware of ‘stranger danger’ issues online;
> to know not to download any files – such as music files – without permission;
> to have strategies for dealing with receipt of inappropriate materials;

• Ensures that when copying materials from the web, staff and pupils understand issues around plagiarism; how to check copyright and also know that they must observe and respect copyright / intellectual property rights;
• Ensures that staff and pupils understand the issues around aspects of the commercial use of the Internet, as age appropriate. This may include, risks in pop-ups; buying on-line; on-line gaming / gambling;
• Ensures staff know how to encrypt data where the sensitivity requires and that they understand data protection and general ICT security issues linked to their role and responsibilities;
• Makes training available annually to staff on the e-safety education program;
• Runs a rolling programme of advice, guidance and training for parents, including:
o Information leaflets; in school newsletters; on the school web site;
o demonstrations, practical sessions held at school;
o distribution of ‘think u know’ for parents materials
o suggestions for safe Internet use at home;
o provision of information about national support sites for parents.

November 2009