St Martin's School Bournemouth

Computer and Internet Acceptable Use Policy


The school has provided computers for use by pupils and teachers.  They offer access to a vast amount of information for use in studies, acting like an enormous extension to the school library and offering great potential to support the curriculum.  This policy applies to staff and pupils alike.

The computers are provided and maintained for the benefit of all staff and pupils, who are encouraged to use and enjoy these resources, and ensure they remain available to all.  Pupils are responsible for good behaviour on the Internet just as they are in a classroom or a corridor.  Remember that access is a privilege, not a right, and inappropriate use will result in that privilege being withdrawn.


  • Do not install, attempt to install or store programs of any type on the computers without permission.
  • Do not damage, disable, or otherwise harm the operation of computers, or intentionally waste resources.
  • Do not use the computers for commercial purposes, e.g. buying or selling goods.
  • Do not open files brought in on removable media (such as floppy disks, CDs, USB drives etc.) until they have been checked with antivirus software, and been found to be free of viruses.
  • Do not connect mobile equipment to the network (e.g. laptops, tablet PCs, PDAs etc.) until they have been checked with antivirus software, and been found to be free of viruses.
  • Do not eat or drink near computer equipment.

Security and privacy

  • Do not disclose your password to others, or use passwords intended for the use of others.
  • Never tell anyone you meet on the Internet your home address, your telephone number, any details about St. Martin’s School, or send them your picture.
  • Do not use the computers in a way that harasses, harms, offends or insults others.
  • Respect, and do not attempt to bypass, security in place on the computers, or attempt to alter the settings.
  • Computer storage areas and floppy disks will be treated like school desks.  Staff may review files and communications to ensure that users are using the system responsibly.


  • The Internet should only be used for study or for school authorised/supervised activities.
  • Do not use the Internet to obtain, download, send, print, display or otherwise transmit or gain access to materials which are unlawful, obscene or abusive.
  • Respect the work and ownership rights of people outside the school, as well as other pupils or staff.  This includes abiding by copyright laws.
  • Do not engage in ‘chat’ activities over the Internet. This takes up valuable resources which could be used by others to benefit their studies.
  • Never arrange to meet anyone via the Internet. People you contact online are not always who they seem. 


  • Be polite and appreciate that other users might have different views from your own.  The use of strong language, swearing or aggressive behaviour is not allowed.
  • Never open attachments to emails unless they come from someone you already know and trust.  They could contain viruses or other programs which could destroy information and software on the computers.
  • The sending or receiving of emails containing material likely to be unsuitable for children or schools is strictly forbidden.  This applies to any material of a violent, dangerous, racist, or inappropriate content.  Always report such messages to a member of staff.


This document is to be read carefully by all staff and pupils.  A copy will be issued to each staff member and pupil, and this must be signed and returned to the school.  If any pupil or staff member violates these provisions, access to the Internet will be denied and disciplinary action will be taken.  Where appropriate, the police may be involved, or other legal action taken. 

For pupils, additional action may be taken by the school in line with existing policy regarding school behaviour.  For serious violations, suspension or expulsion may be imposed.

Acceptable use of Internet and email facilities for children and staff rationale

St Martin’s School has the opportunity to transform and enhance education and help children to fulfil their potential and raise standards with ICT. However, we also have a duty of care and must ensure that we are able to safeguard children and staff, so it is also important that children learn how to be safe when they are using new technologies.  Whilst blocking and banning is part of our policy, we believe a more sustainable approach is required. We will equip the children with the skills and knowledge they need to use the Internet safely and responsibly, managing the risks wherever and whenever they go online; to promote safe and responsible behaviours in using technology both at school and in the home and beyond.


The Byron Review (Safer Children in a Digital World 2008) classified the risks as relating to content, contact and conduct. The risk is often determined by behaviours rather than the technology itself.

  • Commercial
  • Aggressive
  • Sexual
  • Values
  • Content (child as recipient)
  • Adverts, spam, sponsorship
  • Personal Information
  • Violent/hateful content
  • Pornographic or unwelcome sexual content
  • Bias, racist and/or misleading information/advice
  • Contact (child as participant)
  • Tracking
  • Harvesting personal information
  • Being bullied, harassed or stalked
  • Meeting strangers
  • Being groomed
  • Self-harm
  • Unwelcome persuasions
  • Conduct (child as actor)
  • Illegal downloading
  • Hacking
  • Gambling
  • Financial scams
  • Terrorism
  • Bullying or harassing one another
  • Creating and uploading inappropriate material
  • Providing misleading information/advice

Principles for acceptable use of the Internet 

Staff are only permitted to use the Internet for personal use (this includes email) outside of their normal working hours (use is permitted during staff break and lunchtimes). Online activities which are encouraged include:

  • The use of email and computer conferencing for communication: between colleagues, between pupils(s) and teacher(s), between pupil(s) and pupil(s), between schools and industry.
  • Use of the Internet to investigate and research school subjects, cross-curricular themes or topics related to social and personal development.
  • The development of pupils’ competence in ICT skills and their general research skills.

Online and other activities which are not permitted include:

  • Searching, viewing or retrieving materials that are not related to the aims of the curriculum.
  • Copying, saving or redistributing copyright-protected material, without approval.
  • Subscribing to any services or ordering goods or services, unless specifically approved by the school.
  • Playing computer games or using other interactive ‘chat’ or ‘social’ sites unless specifically approved by the school.
  • Using the network in such a way that use of the network by other users is disrupted (for example: downloading large files during peak usage times; sending mass email messages).
  • Publishing, sharing or distributing any personal information about a user (such as: home address; email address; phone number; etc).
  • Downloading software.
  • Taking and storing images of children using mobile phones.
  • Any activity that violates a school rule.

The school will:

  • Use a firewall to filter and monitor access.
  • Ensure virus and anti-malware protection is installed and updated regularly.
  • Regularly discuss acceptable use with children and remind them of the school’s policy and rules (this will include acceptable use of texting).
  • Support parents and the community in safe use of the Internet and other technologies.
  • Ask parents to give consent for their children to use the Internet.
  • Ensure teachers guide pupils toward appropriate materials on the Intranet/Internet.
  • Appoint an e-safety co-ordinator (the Headteacher) with responsibility for child protection/safeguarding.
  • Ensure only those people with authorised access can access the school’s IT network.
  • Guest logons are to be given to supply teachers and other occasional staff where necessary.

Children will:

  • Have equal access to school-controlled email in a safe and secure environment.
  • Have equal access to a variety of approved websites via the Internet.
  • Be taught all the skills in order to use Internet and email as an ICT tool.
  • Know how to report any concerns they may have.
  • Use Internet and email to support, enhance and develop all aspects of the curriculum.
  • Develop Internet and email skills at the appropriate level regardless of race, gender, intellect and emotional or physical difficulties.

Staff will:

  • Ensure they keep data safe and secure.
  • Conduct themselves professionally online; they must not allow children access to their own data through social networking sites such as Facebook; class teachers are advised to block children from their class and school.
  • Inform the e-safety co-ordinator (the Headteacher) of any issues of concern.

Useful Websites

Monitoring, evaluation and review 

Monitoring and evaluation are essential to any effective policy and provide essential feedback for the development of policy and procedures. For this reason, the school will periodically ask staff and children how this policy is performing and how it can be altered to help and protect all users.

To be reviewed on a regular basis.