AIMS OF THE POLICY
To better serve our pupils and provide our employees with the best tools to do their jobs BIGs makes available one or more forms of electronic media and services, including computers, e-mail, telephones, voicemail, fax machines, external electronic bulletin boards, online services, intranet, Internet and the World Wide Web.
The school encourages the use of these media and associated services because they can make communication more efficient and effective and because they are valuable sources of information about educational issues, ideas, technology, and new products and services. However, all employees and everyone connected with the organisation should remember that electronic media and services provided by the school are school property and their purpose is to facilitate and support school services. All computer users have the responsibility to use these resources in an Islamic manner i.e. professional, ethical and lawful.
To ensure that all employees are responsible, the following guidelines have been established for using e-mail and the Internet. No policy can lay down rules to cover every possible situation. Instead, it is designed to express the philosophy of the school and set forth general principles when using electronic media and services.
Electronic media cannot be used for knowingly transmitting, retrieving, or storing any communication that is:-
- Defamatory or threatening
- Discriminatory or harassing
- Derogatory to any individual or group
- Obscene, sexually explicit or pornographic
- Un-Islamic in nature x
- Extreme or radical views, including extreme/radical Islamic views (see prevent duty policy: Our new prevent duty, is carried out under the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015, which legally requires us to take steps to prevent pupils from being drawn into terrorism
- In violation of any license governing the use of software
- Engaged in for any purpose that is illegal or contrary to the school policy or interests
The computers, electronic media and services provided by the school are primarily for educational use to assist employees in the performance of their jobs. Limited, occasional, or incidental use of electronic media (sending or receiving) for personal purposes is understandable and acceptable, and all such use should be done in a manner that does not negatively affect system use for their educational purposes. However, employees are expected to demonstrate a sense of responsibility and not abuse this privilege.
ACCESS TO EMPLOYEE COMMUNICATIONS
Generally, electronic information created and/or communicated by an employee using e-mail, word processing, utility programs, spreadsheets, voicemail, telephones, Internet and similar electronic media is not reviewed by the school.
The school reserves the right, at its discretion, to review any employee’s electronic files and messages to the extent necessary to ensure electronic media and services are being used in compliance with the law, this policy and other school policies.
Employees should not assume electronic communications are completely private. Accordingly, if they have sensitive information to transmit, they should use other means. Under no circumstances should pupil-named data be transmitted over the Internet or email.
To prevent computer viruses from being transmitted through the school’s computer system, unauthorised downloading of any unauthorised software is strictly prohibited. Only software registered through the school may be downloaded. Employees should use virus trapping software on any home computer that is used to download planning or other information onto the school computers. Employees should contact the head teacher if they have any questions.
Except in cases in which explicit authorisation has been granted by school management, employees are prohibited from engaging in, or attempting to engage in:
- Monitoring or intercepting the files or electronic communications of other employees or third parties
- Hacking or obtaining access to systems or accounts they are not authorised to use
- Using other people’s log-ins or passwords
- Breaching, testing, or monitoring computer or network security measures
It is of the utmost importance that computer login usernames and passwords are not disclosed to anyone.
PARTICIPATION IN ONLINE FORUMS
Employees should remember that any messages or information sent on school-provided facilities to one or more individuals via an electronic network – for example, Internet mailing lists, bulletin boards, and online services – are statements identifiable and attributable to the school.
The school recognises that participation in some forums might be important to the performance of an employee’s job. For instance, an employee might find the answer to a particular problem by consulting members of a news group devoted to the technical area.
Any employee who abuses the privilege of their access to e-mail or the Internet in violation of this policy will be subject to corrective action, including possible termination of employment, legal action, and criminal liability.