Acceptable Use ICT Policy - Updated June 2017

St. Peter's College

Dunboyne, Co. Meath


Acceptable Use of ICT Policy

Implemented: xx/xx/2016

Review Date: xx/xx/2018

Person/s responsible for Review: MAC

Signed: _____________Meave Gallagher                  Date:27th March 2017

                    (Chairperson of the Board of Management)

Date approved by:

  1. Staff                    15 / 12 / 2016

  2. Students              07/12/2016

  3. Parent/Guardians        24 / 01 / 2017


St. Peter’s College recognises that access to Information and Communication technology (ICT) gives our students enhanced opportunities to learn, engage, communicate and develop skills that will prepare them for many aspects of life.

To that end, St. Peter’s College provides access to ICT for student use.

The ICT Usage Policy outlines the guidelines and behaviours that our students are expected to follow when using school technologies or when using personally owned devices on the St. Peter’s College campus or at St. Peter’s College organised activities.

Technologies Covered

St. Peter’s College may provide students with internet access, desktop computers, digital imaging technologies, laptop or tablet devices, video conferencing capabilities, virtual learning environments, online collaboration capabilities, online discussion forums, email and more.

As new technologies emerge; St. Peter’s College may provide access to them also.

The policies outlined in this document are intended to cover all online technologies used in the school, not just those specifically mentioned.

St. Peter’s College ICT Network

St. Peter’s College computer network is intended for educational purposes.

  • All activity over the network may be monitored and retained

  • Access to online content via the network is restricted in accordance with the policies of LMETB and the Department of Education and Skills through its agency, the National Centre for Technology in Education.

Students are expected to respect that the web filter is a safety precaution, and should not try to circumvent it when browsing the web. If a site is blocked and a student believes it shouldn’t be, the student can ask his/her teacher to submit the site for review. This is done through our ICT helpdesk via the LMETB.

  • Students are expected to follow the same rules for good behaviour and respectful conduct online as offline – these rules can be found in the St. Peter’s College’s existing Code of Behaviour.

  • Misuse of school resources may result in disciplinary action

  • We make a reasonable effort to ensure students’ safety and security online, but will not be held accountable for any harm or damages that result from misuse of school technologies.

  • Students are expected to alert his/her teacher immediately of any concerns for safety or security.

E-mail and online collaboration

St. Peter’s College provides students with email accounts for the purpose of school-related communication. E-mail accounts should be used with care and usage may be monitored and archived.

St. Peter’s College recognises that online collaboration is essential to education and may provide students with access to a variety of online tools that allow communication, sharing, and messaging among students and teachers.

Students are expected to communicate with the same appropriate, safe, mindful and courteous conduct online as offline.

St. Peter’s College own mobile devices

St. Peter’s College may provide students with mobile devices, digital recorders or other devices to promote learning both inside and outside of the school. Students should abide by the same Acceptable Use policies, when using school devices off the school network, as on the school network.

Students are expected to treat these devices with respect. They should report any loss, damage, or malfunction to their teacher or tutor immediately. Students may be financially accountable for any damage resulting from negligence or misuse. Use of school-issued mobile devices will be monitored.

Student Mobile Phones

Student Mobile Phones/Internet Enabled Devices

Students are not permitted to have mobile phones or any other non-school issued internet enabled device (MP3, Ipod, Smart watch etc) (ON or OFF) on the school premises. The school premises is any area within the school gates.  This policy will apply 24 hours.

However, in exceptional circumstances (medical necessity) the prior written permission of the Principal may be granted for the use of a phone. When permission is granted the phone must be turned off during school hours.

This policy in relation to mobile phones is to ensure student wellbeing and to improve student concentration and learning;

•             Students develop their conversational and interpersonal skills

•             Student and Staff privacy rights are upheld – no photos/videos taken on site without permission

•             Classes are not interrupted by the sound of mobile phones

•             Students are not late for class because they are talking or sending messages via mobile phone

•             Students in class are concentrating on work rather than sending text messages to one another.

•             Text/video bullying and intimidation are prevented during school hours.

•             Students are not exposed to inappropriate content

If a teacher sees or hears a mobile phone or any internet enabled device (including headphones) anywhere on the school premises, in class, on corridors, on the pitches, at any-time, the device including sim card will be confiscated immediately and given to the Principal or Deputy Principal.

The school reserves the right to confiscate a mobile phone or any internet enabled device (including sim card).

For the first incident, a mobile phone or internet enabled device, which is confiscated, may be collected by the parent/guardian of the student concerned 1 week from date of confiscation.

If a second offence occurs, the mobile/device will be held for 2 weeks from date of confiscation.

If a third offence occurs, the mobile/device will be held for 4 weeks.

Fourth offence 8weeks

Fifth offence      16 weeks

If a situation arises where a member of staff is confiscating a mobile phone and the student refuses to hand it over, an automatic 1-day suspension will apply.

Following the suspension, the student will be re-admitted following a meeting with one of his/her parents/guardians on the condition that he/she hands over the mobile phone including sim card which is brought to the school in its entirety and that a commitment is given that no further breaches will occur. Any further occurrences will be referred to the Board of Management.

Under no circumstances will a confiscated mobile phone or internet enabled device be returned before the times stated above.

Students who need to communicate with parents / guardians may do so from the school office with prior permission from their Tutor/Year Head.

Parental communication during the school day by mobile phone is not allowed – the school office must be called to contact a student.

St. Peter’s College website

Our school website is provided by the LMETB and is located at St. Peter’s College is committed to using our website in order to promote our school, showcase student work and to provide information for our students, their parents/guardians and the general public.

  • Students may be given the opportunity to publish projects, artwork or other schoolwork on the World Wide Web.

  • The creation and publishing of photographs, audio and video clips will focus on educational activities.

  • Personal information including home address and contact details will be omitted from school web pages.

  • St. Peter’s College will continue to own the copyright of any work it publishes.

ICT Security

Students are expected to take reasonable safeguards against the transmission of security threats over the school network. This includes not opening or distributing infected files or programmes and not opening files or programmes of unknown or untrusted origin.

Students should use common sense if a website does not look right and should inform a teacher before clicking on anything they deem to be suspicious.

If students believe a computer or mobile device might be infected with a virus, they should alert a teacher. Students should not attempt to remove the virus or download any programmes to help remove the virus.

Downloading files and Programmes

Students should not download or attempt to download or run .exe programmes over the school network or onto any school resources or devices. Students may be able to download other file types, such as images of videos, PDF, MS Office Documents.

For the security of our network, download such files only from reputable site, and only for educational purposes.


Netiquette may be defined as appropriate social behaviour over computer networks and in particular in the online environment. To this end:

  • Students should always use the internet, network resources, and online sites in a courteous and respectful manner.

  • Students should also recognise that among the valuable content online is unverified, incorrect, or inappropriate content. Students should use trusted sources when conducting research via the internet

  • Students should never post anything online that they wouldn’t want parents, teachers or future colleges or employers to see. Once something is online it is out there, and can sometimes be shared and spread in ways students never intended.


Students should not plagiarise content (copy or use as your own without citing the original creator) including words or images, from the internet.

Students should not take credit for things they didn’t create themselves, or misrepresent themselves as an author or creator of something found online. Research conducted via the internet should be appropriately cited, giving credit to the original author.

The school may check for plagiarism using online tools as are available for such purposes.

The school will encourage students who create original content to claim copyright ownership of their work using a Creative Commons licence.

Personal Safety

The College will ensure that students are aware of good practice in relation to personal safety while online; including the following:

If students see a message, comment, image, or anything else that makes them concerned for their personal safety, they should bring it to the immediate attention of:

  • A teacher if at school

    • A parent/ guardian if at home

Students should never share personal information about themselves or others, including phone numbers, addresses, PPS numbers or birth dates online.

Students should never agree to meet someone they meet online in real life without parental permission.

Cyber-bullying (this section should be read in conjunction with all other school policies)

Harassing, impersonating, outing, tricking, excluding, and cyber-stalking are some examples of cyber-bullying. This list is not exhaustive.

Cyber-bullying will not be tolerated in St. Peter’s College; in many cases cyber-bullying is a crime.

St. Peter’s College will support students, teachers and parents in dealing with cyber-bullying. St. Peter’s College is committed to the 0065/2011 - Child Protection Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools and will act as required by LMETB, the Department of Education and Skills -, the Department of Children and Youth Affairs - Ireland, the Department of Justice and Equality and the Health Service Executive

Violations of Policy

Violations of this policy in St. Peter’s College may have disciplinary repercussions including

  • Suspension of network and computer privileges

  • Notification to parents in most cases

  • Detention

  • Suspension from school and/ or school related activities

  • Expulsion

  • Legal action and/ or prosecution.