ICT Policy and Procedures

The purpose of this policy is to:

  • set out the key principles expected of all members of the school community at The English Language Centre with respect to the use of ICT-based technologies.
  • safeguard and protect the children, students and staff of the English Language Centre
  • assist school staff working with students to work safely and responsibly with the internet and other communication technologies and to monitor their own standards and practice.
  • set clear expectations of behaviour and/or codes of practice relevant to responsible use of the internet for educational, personal or recreational use.
  • have clear structures to deal with online abuse such as cyberbullying which are cross referenced with other school policies.
  • ensure that all members of the school community are aware that unlawful or unsafe behaviour is unacceptable and that, where appropriate, disciplinary or legal action will be taken.
  • minimise the risk of misplaced or malicious allegations made against adults who work with students.

The main areas of risk for our school community can be summarised as follows:

  • exposure to inappropriate content, including online pornography, extremism, ignoring age ratings in games (exposure to violence associated with often racist language)
  • lifestyle websites, for example pro-anorexia/self-harm/suicide sites
  • hate sites
  • grooming
  • cyber-bullying in all forms
  • receiving sexually explicit images or messages (sexting)
  • privacy issues, including disclosure of personal information
  • digital footprint and online reputation
  • health and well-being (amount of time spent online - internet or gaming)
  • copyright (little care or consideration for intellectual property and ownership – such as music and film)

Responsibilities of key personnel

The Principal

  • Overall responsibility for e-Safety provision
  • Overall responsibility for data and data security
  • To ensure the school uses an approved filtered Internet service

Designated Safeguarding Lead

  • Promotes awareness of and commitment to e-safeguarding throughout the school
  • Ensures all staff are aware of the procedures that need to be followed in the event of an e-Safety incident
  • Ensures that a safeguarding record is made in the case of an incident involving a student under 18
  • Is regularly updated on e-safety issues and legislation and aware of the potential for serious child protection issues to arise from:
    - Sharing of personal data
    - Access to illegal/inappropriate materials
    - Inappropriate online contact with adults/strangers
    - Potential or actual incidents of grooming
    - Cyber-bullying and use of social media

ADSL and DSS1

  • To oversee the delivery of the e-safety element of the induction for under 18s

IT support company

  • To report any e-safety issues that arise to the DSL
  • To ensure that users may only access the school’s networks through an authorised and properly enforced password protection policy.
  • To ensure that provision exists for misuse detection and malicious attack e.g. keeping virus protection up to date.
  • To ensure that appropriate back up procedures exist so that critical information and systems can be recovered in the event of a disaster
  • To keep up-to-date documentation of the school’s technical procedures

Teachers

  • To supervise and guide students under 18 carefully when engaged in learning activities involving online technology.

All staff

  • To read, understand and help promote the school’s e-Safety policies and guidance.
  • To be aware of e-Safety issues related to the use of mobile phones and other hand held devices and to monitor their use and implement the relevant school policies.
  • To report any suspected misuse to the Principal.
  • To model safe, responsible and professional behaviour in their own use of technology.
  • To ensure that any digital communications with students should be on a professional level and only through school based systems, never through personal email, texts etc.

Students

  • To understand the importance of reporting abuse, misuse or access to inappropriate materials, particularly in relation to students under 18.
  • To know and understand the school’s policy on cyber-bullying
  • To understand the importance of adopting good e-Safety practice when using digital technologies particularly in relation to under 18s

Homestays

  • To understand the importance of reporting abuse, misuse or access to inappropriate materials, particularly in relation to under 18s

Communication:

  • Policy to be posted on the school website and in folders in the school: summary in poster form on school noticeboards
  • All students under 18 to have an IT safe use induction as part of their school induction
  • Staff and homestay responsibilities summarised in staff code of conduct for under 18 year olds

e-Safety and students under 18

While access to the internet and phones are wonderful ways for young people to stay in touch with their friends and family, they also provide darker opportunities for abuse and inappropriate behaviour. In particular, there are risks to young people through cyber bullying (possibly by their peers), grooming by adult sexual predators, and illegal downloading of illegal or copyrighted materials and possibly IT viruses. The school has therefore established the following guidelines:

  1. Staff should not give out their personal mobile number, email address, Facebook contact details to students, especially those under 18. The exception to this would be homestays providing emergency contact details to a young student.
  2. Inappropriate access to websites should be reported to the Principal. Inappropriate websites include pornographic and extremist sites, excessively violent videos and games, and some age inappropriate social networks and chat rooms. Most inappropriate sites are in fact blocked on the school network, but may be accessed by students in a home setting. Therefore, all staff are asked to be vigilant regarding use of the internet by under 18 year olds, and if there are concerns about content, excessive use or possible grooming or abuse, they should be reported and/or action taken to remove access.
  3. All students are made aware of the school’s IT policies at induction and these are displayed prominently in the school and in particular in the computer rooms. Under 18s will have a special session as part of their induction on e-safety. In particular, students will:
  • have to sign an e-safety user contract prior to using our systems
  • understand acceptable behaviour when using an online environment/email, i.e. be polite, no bad or abusive language or other inappropriate behaviour such as sexting; keeping personal information private
  • understand how photographs can be manipulated and how web content can attract the wrong sort of attention;
  • understand why on-line ‘friends’ may not be who they say they are and to understand why they should be careful in online environments;
  • understand why they should not post or share detailed accounts of their personal lives, contact information, daily routines, location, photographs and videos and to know how to ensure they have turned-on privacy settings;
  • understand why they must not post pictures or videos of others without their permission;
  • know how to report any abuse including cyberbullying; and how to seek help if they experience problems when using the internet and related technologies

Personal Use of Systems

The school permits the incidental personal use of school IT and other equipment provided that: 

  • use must be minimal and take place out of normal working hours (that is, during a usual lunch hour, before or after standard work hours);
  • all personal e-mails are labelled “Personal” in the subject header;
  • it does not interfere in any way with the User carrying out his duties on behalf of the school;
  • it does not commit the school to any marginal costs; and
  • it complies with the school's policies including this policy.
  • The policy to allow continued personal use is dependent upon its not being abused and the school reserves the right to withdraw permission from any User, group of Users or all Users or to amend the scope of this policy at any time and at its absolute discretion.
  • Misuse or abuse of school equipment in breach of this policy will be dealt with in accordance with our disciplinary procedure. Serious breaches may amount to gross misconduct which can lead to summary dismissal. Misuse can, in certain circumstances, constitute a criminal offence and may result in a report to the police.

Asset disposal

Disposal of any equipment will conform to The Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Regulations 2006 and/or The Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (Amendment) Regulations 2007 in line with our IT support company’s ISO27001 system. Further information can be found on the Environment Agency website.

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