Acceptable Usage Policy

Acceptable Use Policy



St. Anthony’s B.N.S

Acceptable Use Policy (A.U.P.)

School policies are created through a process of consultation and collaboration among the staff, the Parents Association and the Board of Management.

This policy will inform the acceptable use of the internet within St. Anthony’s BNS, Ballinlough. The aim of the policy is to ensure that pupils will benefit from learning opportunities offered by the school’s Internet resources in a safe and effective manner. Internet access is considered a school resource and privilege. If the AUP is not adhered to, this privilege may be withdrawn. In certain cases, certain sanctions – as outlined below – will be imposed.

It is envisaged that the AUP will be revised on a regular basis as deemed necessary by changing circumstances. Before signing the Undertaking below, this AUP should be read carefully.

School’s Strategy

St. Anthony’s BNS will employ a number of strategies in order to maximise learning opportunities while, at the same time, reduce risks associated with internet use. These will include:


  • Internet sessions will always be supervised by a teacher and/or SNA.
  • The Board of Management of St. Anthony’s will support and encourage the staff of the school in undertaking continued professional development in the area of internet safety awareness.
  • The School’s Broadband Programme (SBP), managed by the Professional Development Service for Teachers (PDST), offers all Irish schools content filtered broadband.
  • The School Teachers will monitor individual pupil’s Internet usage.
  • The School will provide the staff, parents and/or children of the school with the opportunities to attend Internet Safety talks every two years.
  • Issues on Internet safety will be discussed with the children prior to beginning work on the Internet.
  • The use of memory sticks and CD/DVD discs in school requires a teacher’s permission.
  • Pupils will observe ‘Good Netiquette’ (‘Etiquette on the Net’). This will be explained during the discussion on Internet Safety.
  • All parties (i.e. Board of Management, parents, teachers, staff and pupils) will be requested to adhere to the AUP of the school.

World Wide Web

  • Pupils will use the Internet for educational purposes only.
  • Pupils will not visit Internet sites that contain obscene, illegal, hateful or otherwise objectionable material.
  • Pupils will never disclose or publicise personal information about themselves or others.
  • Pupils will be aware that any internet usage, including distributing or receiving information, school-related or personal, may be monitored for unusual activity, security and/or network management reasons.
  • Pupils will report accidental accessing of inappropriate materials in accordance with school procedures.
  • Downloading materials or images not relevant to pupils’ studies is in direct breach of the school’s Acceptable Use Policy.

School Website

  • Pupils will be given the opportunity to have their work published by the class teachers on the school website.
  • The school will endeavour to use digital photographs, audio or video clips that focus mainly on group activities.
  • The school website will avoid publishing the last name of individuals in a photograph.
  • Personal pupil information, including home address and contact details, will never be published on school web pages.
  • Pupils will have copyright of their own work which is published on the school website.

Official School App

Our School App is St. Anthony’s BNS App.

The purpose of having a School App is to provide:

  • Communication with parents regarding specific events & activities.
  • Communication with new or prospective parents.
  • Parents informing school of child’s absence through the absence notification function.
  • Communication of school-related news.
  • Continued advancement of our school communication system with information shared via paper notes, email, website, put notifications on the app and social media.
  • The school will endeavour to use digital photographs, audio or video clips focusing mainly on group activity.
  • Our School App News feeds are populated from the school homepage on our website.

Official School Facebook

Our school Facebook account is: StAnthonysBoysSchoolCork

The purpose of having a school Facebook page is to provide:

  • Communication with parents regarding specific events & activities
  • Communication with new or prospective parents
  • Communication with wider audience regarding positive advertisement of the school & enrolment dates
  • Communication with a wider audience on aspects of school life through photos of pupils, pupils’ projects, notice boards etc.
  • Communication between parents, especially new parents
  • Continued advancement of our school communication system, with information shared via paper-notes, email, website & Facebook.

Those using our social networking site must abide by the following:

  • Users cannot advertise products or services on our school Facebook page
  • Users should not post anything on the page that could be deemed as offensive – inappropriate or harmful comments/content will be removed immediately
  • Users should not ask to become “friends” with individual staff members.
  • Users cannot tag or post photographs of children on the page without the permission of the school.
  • Users should not add comments that can identify children

The sanction for breaking these rules is automatic blockage from our Facebook account.


  • Pupils will not send any material that is illegal, obscene, defamatory or that is intended to annoy or intimidate another person.
  • Pupils will not reveal their own or other people’s personal details, such as addresses, telephone numbers or pictures.
  • Pupils will never arrange a face-to-face meeting with someone they only know through emails or the internet.
  • Internet Chat is not allowed.

Internet Chat

The use of chat rooms is not permitted by the school.


Misuse of the Internet may result in disciplinary action, including written warnings, withdrawal of access privileges and, in extreme cases, suspension or expulsion. The school also reserves the right to report any illegal activities to the appropriate authorities.

Personal Electronic Devices (including mobile phones, iPads, iPods, Kindles, Laptops etc.)

  • The school acknowledges that some pupils may need to bring a personal device with them to school from time to time, however we encourage children to bring these only when required or deemed necessary by a parent or teacher. For example, for safety when a pupil may be taking the bus home.
  • Where a pupil brings a mobile phone or device to school, the device must be switched off during the school day and may not be used for any purpose on school premises or grounds. No pupil may have a mobile phone or device on his person.
  • All devices must be handed to the class teacher and will be kept in locked storage until home time.
  • The school accepts no responsibility for replacing lost, stolen or damaged mobile phones in the pupil’s or school’s possession.
  • The safety and security of devices in the pupil’s possession is wholly a matter for pupils/parents.
  • Devices may not be turned on until pupils have left the school grounds.
  • Pupils using their own technology in school, such as leaving a mobile phone turned on or using it in class, sending nuisance text messages, or the unauthorised taking of still or moving images with a mobile phone camera or electronic device, are in direct breach of the school’s Acceptable Use Policy and Code of Behaviour Policy.
  • Pupils found in contravention will have device confiscated to the office and their parent/guardian will have to collect it in person on their behalf.
  • Pupils may not take photographs or make recordings, video or audio with devices.
  • Using devices in such a way can seriously infringe on pupils’ rights and appropriate sanctions may be imposed.
  • Allegations of incidents where pupils use mobile phones or devices to bully other pupils or send offensive messages or calls will be investigated under the school’s Anti-Bullying policy.
  • It should be noted that it is a criminal offence to use a mobile phone or device to menace, harass or offend another person. As such, the school may consider it appropriate to involve the Gardaí.

Medical Exceptional Circumstance

  • There are pupils with diabetes who carry a mobile phone with an attached glucose monitoring sensor. This enables S.N.A. and parental access to readings at any time. The mobile will only be used in school for this purpose.

School Devices & Assistive Technology 

  • Photographs – camera and audio recording functions may only be used under the direction of the teacher.
  • iPads must be handled with care at all times – protective/cases must be used at all times.
  • iPads remain the property of the school.
  • Loss/damage to iPads must be reported to the teacher as soon as possible.
  • Responsibility for the iPad is with the pupil and, when not in use, must be given to the teacher or locked in a secure place.
  • The iPad to be monitored on a regular basis.
  • Access to inappropriate material is prohibited.
  • Pupils are prohibited from installing a personal screensaver on school iPads or computers.

Online Teaching Platforms:

  • Teachers may use online teaching platforms (e.g. Seesaw) primarily as a place for students to share their work, encourage individual reflection and provide feedback.
  • Online teaching platforms can store student work in an e-portfolio.
  • Access to online teaching platforms require parental consent.
  • Student accounts are protected by a password known by the individual child, parent and teacher.
  • With consent from parents, online teaching platforms can be used at home and monitored by the teacher during school hours. Whilst it might suit teachers or students to communicate outside of normal working hours, responses or actions outside of normal working hours are not expected.
  • Work submitted to online teaching platforms will be reviewed and approved by teachers before it enters the student’s folio.
  • Submissions of work by students is at the request of teachers.
  • Teachers have control over what is submitted to portfolios, what is sent back to be worked on again and what needs to be deleted.

Online Communication Platforms:

Use of video/ZOOM

Staff will employ the following measure set out by the PDST in relation to the use of video:

  • Staff will ensure that the background visible for the video call is appropriate is not and does not contain personal aspects. Anything unsuitable will be removed from the background setting for both teachers and pupils/students when calls are taking place for both parties. Blurring functionality and the use of static image are features of some of these tools.
  • The teacher/S.N.A. will always invite the pupils /students to the call and act as hosts/disables the co-host function.
  • The pupil’s parent/guardian must be present for the duration of the lesson/call in keeping with child safeguarding.
  • The teacher/S.N.A. is always first in the room (deploying waiting room where possible) and the last to leave the online meeting to ensure that pupils/students can’t rejoin the room afterwards. The teacher/S.N.A. will maintain a log of calls and a record of attendance as you would do in general practice.

Live video/ZOOM

  • The video conference room is a classroom and the same school behaviour and codes of conduct apply to this environment.
  • The teacher/S.N.A. will agree protocols in advance with their students e.g. using the chat feature for questions, raising hands if they wish to ask a question, asking students to mute mics at the beginning of a lesson in order to improve sound quality. This list is not exhaustive and will vary depending on the tool being used and the age of students.
  • The teacher/S.N.A. always invites the students to the call and acts as host. If a co-host function is available on a chosen platform, this will be disabled for students.
  • The teacher/S.N.A. must turn on the necessary security settings before allowing students to join the call e.g. chat feature, waiting room etc. where applicable
  • The teacher/S.N.A. will pre-set the video meeting to mute participants’ microphone automatically upon entry (if possible). You can chose to switch them on selectively to allow student participation.
  • The chat feature can be used by students to ask questions and by teachers to share links with pupils/students.
  • It is crucial that the teacher/ always last to leave the online meeting room to ensure that pupils/students can’t rejoin the room afterwards.
  • The teacher/S.N.A. will maintain a log of calls and a record of attendance as you would do in general practice.


BoM and Staff Meetings

In exceptional circumstances, school BoM and staff meetings may need to be conducted via video link (ZOOM). In this instance all attendees need to be recorded. The attendees must present visually on screen. The attendees will also need to verify that they were the only persons present for the duration of the video meeting, upholding strictest confidentiality during the meeting.


Phone calls

Traditional phone calls by the principal, teacher and S.N.A. will also be utilized. All private numbers will be blocked on phone settings. This will enable ‘number withheld’.



Filtering is a term used to describe a way of limiting the content of web pages, emails, chat rooms and other electronic data to which users may be exposed. The school will use the Internet provided and filtered by the PDST. St. Anthony’s BNS also uses additional filtering software on all school computers, iPads etc. which further filter pupils’ access to the internet. It is widely accepted that while essential, no filter is 100% effective. This policy stresses that the most effective filtering tool is adult vigilance. At St. Anthony’s BNS we believe that the advantages to pupils having access to information resources and increased opportunities for collaboration far exceed any possible disadvantages.

The access to websites from all school computers is monitored and regularly reviewed by the NCTE. Access to websites is only allowed following a verification of their suitability.

Pupils taking steps to by-pass the content filter by using proxy sites or other means may be subject to disciplinary action, including written warnings, withdrawal of access privileges, detention and, in extreme cases, suspension or expulsion.


Section on Cyberbullying linked to the Anti-Bullying Policy

When using the internet students, parents / guardians and staff are expected to treat others with respect at all times.

Engaging in online activities with the intention to harm, harass, bully or embarrass a student or member of staff is unacceptable and absolutely prohibited and carries serious consequences and sanctions for those involved.

Measures are taken to ensure that staff and students are aware that bullying is unwanted negative behaviour, verbal, psychological or physical, conducted by an individual or group against another person (or persons).

The prevention of cyber bullying is an integral part of the Anti-Bullying Policy.

Responsible Internet Use – Pupil/Parent/Guardian Undertaking

We use Information Communication Technology (I.C.T.) and an Internet connection for learning. The following rules will help us to be fair to others and keep everyone safe.

  • Pupils will seek a teacher’s permission before accessing any website.
  • Pupils will not bring external storage devices such as pen drives (or memory sticks/USB keys etc.) into school without permission
  • Pupils will not use email for personal reasons.
  • Pupils will only use email for projects and with their teacher’s/parent’s permission.
  • Pupils will not use internet chat rooms.
  • If pupils see anything they are unhappy with, or if they receive a message they do not like, they will tell a teacher/parent immediately.
  • Pupils know that the school may check their computer files and may monitor the sites they visit.
  • Pupils understand that if they deliberately break these rules they could be stopped from using the Internet and computers and their parents will be informed.
  • The school expects all parents/guardians to engage in teaching their children about responsible use of the Internet.
  • As a parent/guardian, if any issues/concerns arise regarding internet safety or misuse of the internet in school a report should be made to the principal immediately.


Reviewed January 2021

Chairperson – Kieran Hastings

Principal – Seán Lyons






                                                St. Anthony’s B.N.S Pupil & Parent Permission Form

Please review the school Acceptable Use Policy available on the school website. Please sign and return this permission form to the school.

Name of Pupil: ________________

Class: ______________________



I agree to follow the school’s Acceptable Use Policy on the use of the Internet. I will use the Internet in a responsible way and obey all the rules explained to me by the school.

I will not have my phone or personal device turned on while I am on school grounds or on school trips. My phone or personal device will be confiscated by a teacher if this rule is broken. My parent/guardian must collect my confiscated phone or personal device from the school office.

Pupil’s Signature: _____________________________ Date:____________



Internet Access

As the parent or legal guardian of the above pupil, I have read the Acceptable Use Policy and grant permission for my son or the child in my care to access the Internet.

I understand that Internet access is intended for educational purposes.

I also understand that the school cannot be held responsible if pupils access unsuitable websites but that every reasonable precaution has been taken by the school to provide for online safety.

Parent/Guardian Signature:____________________ Date: _____________


School Website, Facebook and APP

I understand that if the school deems it appropriate, my son’s school work may be chosen for inclusion on our school’s website, Facebook or school app. My son’s picture, along with his first name, may also be published on school accounts. No personal details will be given with the pupil’s pictures. Group photos will be used in the majority of cases. Please sign to confirm that you are granting permission for this.

Parent/Guardian Signature: ___________________ Date: _____________


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