Digital Learning Acceptable Use Policy (PDF)

A Mary Ward school today develops responsive and effective ways to enable the young to engage safely and ethically with social media and emerging technology. This ensures the integrity of relationships while enhancing the opportunity for learning and creating global digital citizens.

The aim of this Acceptable Use Policy is to ensure that students will benefit from learning opportunities offered by the school’s Digital Learning resources in a safe and effective manner.
Before signing, the A.U.P should be read carefully to indicate that the conditions of use are accepted and understood.

School’s Strategy
The school will employ a number of strategies in order to maximise teaching and learning opportunities and reduce risks associated with the internet. These strategies are as follows:

General Approach

  • Internet use and access is considered a school resource and privilege. Therefore, if the school Acceptable Use Policy (A.U.P) is not adhered to, this privilege will be withdrawn and appropriate sanctions as outlined in this A.U.P., the School Code of Behaviour and Anti Bullying policy- will be imposed.
  • This Acceptable Usage Policy applies to all students who have access to and are users of the internet in Loreto Secondary School, Letterkenny.
  • It also applies to members of staff and others who access the internet in Loreto Secondary School, Letterkenny.
  • All students and teachers using the internet in Loreto Secondary School, Letterkenny will familiarise themselves with this A.U.P.

When using the internet students, parents and staff are expected:
a) To treat others with respect at all times. Internet users must not send, receive or publish any material that is obscene, illegal and defamatory or that is intended to demean, disrespect or intimidate another person.
b) Not to undertake or encourage any activities that may bring the school into disrepute.
c) Respect the right to privacy of all other members of the school community.
d) Respect copyright and acknowledge creators when using online content or resources.

  • Student access to the internet while on the school premises may only happen with expressed permission and specific instruction from a teacher and is allowed solely through the school Wi-Fi.
  • Connection of external storage devices (such as USB drive/sticks, SD memory cards etc.) to the school network is not permitted.
  • The school reserves the right to monitor students’ internet usage.
  • It is envisaged that school and parent representatives will revise the A.U.P periodically.
  • Any stakeholder that becomes aware of a potential breach of this policy must inform the Principal or Deputy Principals. Should any serious online safety incidents take place the Principal or Deputy Principals should be informed.

Support Structures

  • While it is generally accepted that the internet and related technologies when used appropriately, present exciting teaching and learning opportunities, many of the platforms associated with the internet are of little educational benefit. Indeed many are detrimental to the healthy mental development of young people and the school strongly recommends students and parents be informed of key support structures and organisations that deal with issues around illegal material or harmful use of the internet (e.g. www.
  • Loreto Secondary School, Letterkenny implements the following strategies on promoting safer use of the internet:
    a) Regular year group assemblies (Raising awareness).
    b) ICT classes (Raising awareness).
    c) SPHE Programme and Wellbeing programme (Raising awareness).
    d) Student Council and Student Prefect training (Peer education).
    e) Safe Internet Usage Awareness Talks delivered by outside individuals and agencies.

Content Filtering

  • Loreto Secondary School Letterkenny has chosen to implement Level Five Content Filtering. This is used in order to minimise the risk of exposure to inappropriate material.
  • Students taking steps to bypass the content filter by using proxy sites or other means may be subject to disciplinary action.

G Suite for Education

  • Students must only use their allocated username and password to log on to the school network and to the school domain G Suite for Education.
  • Communication via G Suite for Education should be limited to the hours between 9.00 a.m.-4.00 p.m., Monday to Thursday and 9.00 a.m. – 1.15 p.m. Friday unless with prior arrangement from a particular teacher.
  • Students must not divulge their usernames/password to another student and must exercise due diligence to ensure their own remains private.

Students must not log onto the schools network or G Suite for Education using login credentials (usernames/ passwords) other than their own.

Web Browsing and Downloading

  • Students should not intentionally visit internet sites that contain obscene, illegal, hateful or otherwise objectionable materials.
  • Students must report accidental accessing of inappropriate material in the classroom to their teacher.
  • Students must report accidental accessing of inappropriate material in the school, but outside the classroom to the Principal or Deputy Principals.
  • Students will use the Internet for educational purposes only.
  • Students and staff will be aware that any usage, including distributing or receiving information, school related or personal, may be monitored for unusual activity, security and/or network management reasons.
  • Students will not engage in online activities such as uploading or downloading large files that result in heavy network traffic which impairs the service for other internet users.
    Use of file sharing and torrent sites is strictly prohibited.
  • Downloading by students of materials or images not relevant to their studies is prohibited.

Email and Communication

  • Students must only use their school email account for school related activities. The use of personal email accounts is not allowed at Loreto Secondary School, Letterkenny.
  • Students should not send or receive any material that is illegal, obscene and defamatory or that is intended to annoy, intimidate or bully another person.
  • Every teacher and student is provided with a school email. Students and teachers must use this email when involved in school related activities. All personal emails should be kept separate.
  • Email communication should be limited to the hours between 9.00 a.m.-4.00 p.m., Monday to Thursday and 9.00 a.m.- 1.15 p.m. Friday unless with prior arrangement from a particular teacher.
  • Students should not reveal their own or other people’s personal details, such as addresses or telephone numbers or photographs.
  • Students should immediately report to a member of staff the receipt of any communication that makes them feel uncomfortable, is offensive, discriminatory, threatening or bullying in nature and must not respond to any such communication.
  • Students should avoid opening emails, attachments or links that appear suspicious. If in doubt, students should ask their teacher before opening emails from an unknown sender.

Internet Chat

  • Students will only have access to chat rooms, discussion forums or other electronic communication forums that have been approved by the school.
  • Chat rooms, discussion forums and other electronic communication forums will only be used for educational purposes.
  • Usernames will be used to avoid disclosure of identity.
  • Students must not organise to meet strangers via the internet.

Personal Devices

  • Students using their own technology in school must follow the rules set out in this policy, in the same way as if they were using school equipment.
  • The following statements apply to the use of all internet enabled devices in Loreto Secondary School, Letterkenny
  • Students are allowed to bring personal internet-enabled devices into Loreto Secondary School only with the expressed permission and specific instruction from teaching staff.
  • Students are allowed to use personal internet-enabled devices during lessons only with expressed permission and specific instruction from teaching staff.
  • Students are not permitted to use personal internet-enabled devices during break and lunchtimes.
  • Students using their own devices to access the internet must have their personal data allowance on any external network switched off.
  • All device alert notifications must be disabled at all times.

Images, Video & Voice recording

  • Care should be taken when taking photographic or video images that students are appropriately dressed and not participating in activities that might bring the individuals or the school into disrepute.
  • At Loreto Secondary School, Letterkenny students must not take, use, share, publish or distribute images of others without their permission.
  • As part of CBA’s students may be required to use images, video and/or voice recordings. Students are allowed to use personal internet-enabled devices during lessons only with expressed permission and specific instruction from teaching staff.
  • Taking photos or videos on school grounds or when participating in school activities is only allowed with expressed permission and specific instruction from staff.
  • Students must not share images, videos or other content online of another member of the school community regardless of whether this happens in school or outside.
  • Sharing explicit images and in particular explicit images of students and/or minors is an unacceptable and absolutely prohibited behaviour and would be reported to the relevant authorities.


  • When using the internet students, parents and staff are expected to treat others with respect at all times.
  • Engaging in online activities with the intention to harm, harass or embarrass another student or member of staff is unacceptable and an absolutely prohibited behaviour, with serious consequences and sanctions for those involved.
  • Measures are taken to ensure that staff and students are aware that bullying is defined as unwanted negative behaviour, verbal, psychological or physical, conducted by an individual or group against another person (or persons) and which is repeated over time. This definition includes cyberbullying.
  • The prevention of cyberbullying in an integral part of the Anti-Bullying policy of our school.

School Website and Facebook account

  • The School Website and Facebook account will be regularly checked to ensure that there is no content that compromises the safety, privacy or reputation of students or staff.
  • Web pages allowing comments or user-generated content will be pre-moderated and checked frequently to ensure that they do not contain any inappropriate or offensive content.
    Students may be given the opportunity to publish projects, artwork or school enabled work on the internet in accordance with clear policies and approval processes regarding the content that can be uploaded to the school’s website.
  • The publication of student work will be co-ordinated by a teacher.
  • Students’ personal information including home address and contact details will be omitted from school web pages.
  • Students will continue to own copyright to any work published.


Any breach of the above rules or general 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, and may even be obliged to report any illegal activities to the appropriate authorities.


The school encourages teachers, students and parents to become familiar with the following legislation relating to the use of the internet:

  • The Data Protection Act 1998
  • Video Recording Act 1989
  • Interception Act 1993
  • Data Protection (Amendment) Act 2003
  • Child Trafficking and Pornography Act 1998
  • Interception ACT 1993
  • General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) 2018

Loreto Secondary School, Letterkenny.

Please read the Digital Learning Acceptable Use Policy and sign below:
Name of Student: ……………………….……….Class/Year: …..…………………………

I agree to follow the school’s Digital Learning Acceptable Use Policy. I will use the internet in a responsible way.
Student’s Signature: ……………………………………………Date: ……………………………………….

As the parent or legal guardian of the above student, I have read the Acceptable Use Policy and grant permission for my daughter or the child in my care to access the school’s digital learning resources, including Google’s G Suite for Education. I understand that Internet access is intended for educational purposes. I also understand that every reasonable precaution has been taken by the school to provide for online safety but the school cannot be held responsible if students access unsuitable websites.

I accept the above paragraphI do not accept the above paragraph
(Please tick as appropriate)

In relation to the school website, I accept that, if the school considers it appropriate, my child’s school work may be chosen for inclusion on the school’s website. I understand and accept the terms
of the Acceptable Use Policy relating to publishing children’s work on the school website.

I accept the above paragraph ◻ I do not accept the above paragraph ◻
(Please tick as appropriate)
Signature: ………………………………………………………… Date: …………………………

Permission to use student’s photograph in publications/school website etc, to help promote Loreto Secondary School, Letterkenny, and to inform the local community about the school and its activities.

During a student’s time in Loreto Letterkenny she is encouraged to participate in a wide variety of activities such as sports, debating, school trips etc. The school is very proud of its students and their involvement in such activities and often acknowledge their achievements in school and other publications as well as on the school website. We believe that sharing these experiences amongst the community helps foster a sense of communal spirit and we ask for co-operation from you, the parents/guardians, in this matter by allowing your daughter’s photograph to be used for these purposes.

I/We give permission for my/our daughter’s photograph to be used as stated above ◻
I/We do not give permission for my/our daughter’s photograph to be used as stated above ◻
(Please tick as appropriate)
I understand that it is my daughter’s responsibility to inform school personnel who are involved with specific photographs for any event that she is not to be included.
Parent/Guardian signature: ………………………………….. Date ………………………………