All North Yorkshire schools have access to the internet via their broadband link for curriculum  purposes and recently for administrative purposes. Despite the educational and social  benefits of internet access there are risks attached, particularly for young people, of exposure  to inappropriate material that is sexual, hateful or violent in nature, or encourages dangerous  or illegal activities.  

On-line bullying is an emerging problem for schools. In providing Internet access, senior  managers and teaching staff in schools must accept that safety considerations are of  paramount importance as there is a legal and moral obligation to protect pupils in their care.  

We at Carleton attempt to minimise the risk by:  

  • Only using a North Yorkshire service which ensures central as well as a school filtering  solution  
  • Working with and informing parents and children of the issues around internet access 
  • Implementing a tri-partite agreement between Informing pupils, parents and school 
  • A code of conduct, or acceptable use policy (AUP) for internet and e-mail use  

These policies and practices are supplemented by care with supervision, strategic placing of  PCs so that screens can be observed, and warning pupils of the dangers associated with  internet use.  

These activities have ensured that we have minimal problems within schools. 

Filtering  

Internet filtering systems are designed to block access to those web sites that the system  recognises as inappropriate. Since the arrival of broadband internet is filtered regionally and  locally within the school using.  

In spite of these safety measures, it is prudent to establish procedures for dealing with pupils  who abuse access to the Internet. Sanctions should be built into the school policies and  penalties for misuse outlined.  

Pupils may have internet access at home that is not filtered. At Carleton, we can offer advice  for parents/carers and we send out the very latest advice from the LA and Government.  

What to do if problems arise:  

Write down as much detail as possible regarding the problem, for instance date and time of  the incident, the name of the internet site and its address (URL), how it was accessed  (directly or from another site), and the offensive nature of the incident. E-mail this to the ICT  Team at County Hall / Schools ICT.  

  • Increase vigilance when pupils are using the internet.  
  • Inform line manager and/or Head. 

E-mail  

There are a number of issues for consideration when using email in the school such as the  management implications acceptable use of email by pupils. At our school we use Scalix e mail with our pupils.  

Pupils should be taught the correct procedures and protocols for using e-mail and should be  encouraged to report anything which they feel uncomfortable about.  

Some schools favour individual e-mail accounts, while others prefer group accounts. There  are also different levels of access that can be granted to pupils. For instance, a school's e mail system might only allow communication between pupils and staff internally and any  outside traffic would have to go through the teacher. Alternatively, some pupils could be  allowed to send e-mails externally, but only to a previously approved list of addresses.  

This policy will be reviewed autumn 2017 or earlier if necessary.