2016 ICT Policy

St. Joseph’s Secondary School, Tulla, Co. Clare

ICT Policy

2016 -2017


 St. Joseph’s Secondary School, Tulla aims to educate staff and students to use ICT effectively to support and develop their lifelong learning.

To use ICT as an effective and efficient teaching, learning, communication and management tool throughout the school.

  • To continuously improve the ICT capability of students and staff.
  • To provide access to high quality ICT resources and support for staff and students.

Whole-school issues

 The school’s policy is to use and develop the opportunities provided by ICT to benefit the entire school community. This includes communicating with parents.

The school website (www.sjt.ie) gives relevant information for individuals, parents/guardians on the school. This is updated periodically by our teachers and also by our network technician.  Our School website is built on an open source platform called Joomla.  This is an award-winning content management system (CMS).  A content management system is software that keeps track of every piece of content on your Web site, Content can be simple text, photos, music, video, documents, or just about anything you can think of. A major advantage of using a CMS is that it requires almost no technical skill or knowledge to manage.  We have setup training for staff members to show how to update the website.

The School has setup Google Apps for education where every teacher and student in the school has access to a google   account and an email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Google is currently offering schools a hosted solution for their email, calendar, and chat through Google Apps for Education; it is an integrated communication and collaboration solution. Additionally, we have complemented the core suite to meet our users' needs, with access to dozens more Google applications.


google apps logo

Broadband Speed

We are operating on the Schools 100 Mbit/s High-Speed Programme and the speed of the internet is very welcome here as if we were not on that the most we could get in this area is 3Mbit from eircom.

IT Curriculum issues

 Teaching staff continues to review all teaching and learning in line with current ICT good practice. A whole-school network supports curriculum delivery for all subject areas in providing networked resource materials, teacher-researched Internet links for student use and material for staff curriculum related professional development.

The network is maintained and developed by the IT Technician.

 Networking data including the assignment of static IP address and nodes for networking equipment is also maintained and updated by the IT Technician.  He maintains Access to the Admin school software from Serco and maintains access to the school e-Portal system. 


Student Issues

Students are facilitated with supervised use of ICT. Several departments also ensure that pupils have access to ICT in their subject area via a roster and booking system of Computer Room.  It is important that ICT is used effectively to support access to the curriculum for all students. Identified students may have access to additional resources such as laptops with specific software to support curriculum access.

Staff issues

All members of staff are offered training to improve their ICT capability and have a responsibility to keep abreast of developments in ICT.

The IT Technician can be contacted to request additional support and training in the use of ICT.  We have an online system where a teacher can log any issues through the web ticketing system and the IT Technician can sort this out on his weekly visit

There is continuous attention to improving the quality of staff computers throughout the school subject to budgetary control.

Resource Issues

Network access

Staff and students have access to reliable and industry-standard hardware and software in order to use ICT effectively as a teaching and learning resource.  It is also used as a working tool for management and administration. We use Windows 7 on the majority of our school PC’s (24) with XP on some of the older machines in the Computer Room

Every classroom has at least one PC or laptop and Data projector for staff use. There are also speakers mounted into each classroom to help teachers with any videos or multimedia software that they choose to use.

All staff and student users have access through the school’s network to their personal data areas and shared data.

All applications are installed locally and access to the internet is through the PDST filtering scheme. 

Computers for staff/student use

Teaching of core ICT and ICT within subjects is mainly in the Computer Room.  "Free" slots can then be booked by any member of staff when needed.

A policy of integrating ICT into teaching and learning across the curriculum has been reflected in the provision of a PC/Laptops and digital projector in all classrooms and also by providing teachers with ICT access outside the main ICT rooms and classrooms. Teachers have also been provided secure network access for personal laptops and i-Pads and by using the google Apps they can easily work across each platform by using the google drive.

Security and backups

In order to maintain a smooth running network, the disc space available for individual users to save data is limited using network management software. This fosters good file management and facilitates a nightly backup of user data, meaning that it can be recovered if accidentally deleted. 

More space can be granted for specific projects and courses (subject to availability).

To maintain network security, the wireless access points that are in use around the school use either WEP or WPA encryption.

Anti-Virus is installed on every networked computer in the school and also on teacher’s laptops that access the school network.  The software updates itself daily, and constantly scans for viruses to keep the network secure.

Upon entering the school pupils and their parents/guardians are required to sign an, “Acceptable Use Agreement” for computer use and internet access at school.

Procedures can be put in place for staff to be able to block pupil’s internet access at school for a period of time as a sanction for inappropriate use of the internet. In the event of this occurring, parents/carers are informed through a letter sent home.

Pupils’ network access can also be blocked at the discretion of the IT Technician in the event of more serious network abuse. In the event of pupils hacking into the network or attempting to disrupt the smooth running of the network, they can be suspended at the discretion of the Principal or Deputy Principal.

Technical Support

On-site technical support for the curriculum network is provided by the IT Technician who is responsible for the day-to-day maintenance of the network infrastructure, all hardware and software owned by the school, and the provision of technical support for all ICT users.

The administrative network, Facility Administration, is supported by the IT Technician.

The ICT inventory is incorporated within the schools asset records, and is updated annually to show current locations, and other pertinent information for all ICT hardware.

Software procedures

Students do not have permissions to install software onto Computers and an up- to- date record of all networked software and license information is kept.


Technical support routines and procedures are continuously reviewed and developed to ensure the sustainability of the network infrastructure, hardware and software.

The whole school asset register provides a continuously-updated audit of hardware that facilitates decisions on repair, replacement and development.

The whole school annual budgetary cycle provides the opportunity to identify maintenance, replacement and development needs for ICT infrastructure, network services, technical support, equipment and software. The “core” annual budgets are ICT General and Capital.

Before being disposed of, all ICT equipment is firstly made safe and removed from the schools register of assets.  All hard drives are either destroyed or reformatted to wipe all data stored for possible reuse. Equipment is then stored in a secure location on site and then removed to the local recycling facility,

Emerging technologies

In an ever increasing world of ICT developments it is important we try to keep abreast of emerging technologies and review their potential impact on teaching, learning and communication within the school and beyond. To support this teachers are encouraged to attend in-service on the use of ICT in the classroom.

If a development in (hardware or software) is deemed to have the potential to improve teaching and learning or administration it will be reviewed, trialled and, if proved to be successful, incorporated into whole school use depending on budgetary constraints.

This is where we first saw the benefits of the Google Apps for Education and now we also have started a class to teach computer coding as an extra -curricular subject after school. For the last two years we have participated in the “Safer Internet Day in Ireland”

Home-school links

Information about the school, including the newsletter, is made available to staff, students, parents/guardians and the general public on the school’s website.

Each year, parents/guardians of 1st Years are made aware of, and asked to support the school’s policy on internet use when they receive an “Acceptable Use Agreement” They are required to read and sign the agreement, as are the 1st Years students.

Parents/Guardians are informed if their child is found to be using the network or the internet in any way that contravenes the “Acceptable Use Agreement”.

Ratified by Board of Management :

To be reviewed                       


Acceptable Use Agreement

The purpose of the Computer Resources policy is to provide a framework for the use of ICT by students and staff.  The school has provided ICT equipment for use by students offering a vast amount of information and offering great potential to support the curriculum.

In this policy, computing resources are defined as those computers, computer software, networks, and electronic messaging systems (e-mail, voice mail, facsimile and imaging systems) operated by or for the benefit of the students of the school. The use of these resources is a privilege, not a right and inappropriate use will result in that privilege being withdrawn. It is the student’s responsibility to use these resources in a manner that is efficient, ethical and legal.



Data Security & Privacy

All Data is stored in accordance with provision of the Data Protection Act: 1998

  • For students to protect work by keeping their personal passwords private.  Use of someone else’s personal logon/name or password is forbidden.
  • To protect the ICT network, security on the computers must not be breached or settings on computers altered in any way.
  • Network/Computer storage areas and USB keys may be reviewed by staff.
  • Students may not examine copy, alter, rename, or delete the files or programs of another student.  System administrators may, as a requirement of system maintenance, delete files that are determined to be non-essential.
  • Only relevant information and photographs of students will be used on the School and CEIST website and for promotional material.


  • Use of the Internet is for study or for school authorised/supervised activities only.
  • Use of ICT resources must not be used for personal profit.
  • Using the Internet to obtain, download, send, print, display or otherwise transmit or gain access to materials which are unlawful, obscene or abusive is not permitted.
  • All measures have been put in place to protect vulnerable children from inappropriate approaches and from making inappropriate personal disclosures over the school network.
  • “Chat” activities are banned.
  • Respect the work and ownership rights of people outside the school as well as other students or staff.  This includes abiding by copyright laws.
  • Games may not be downloaded or played on any School ICT equipment.
  • All Internet use on ICT resources is monitored on an on-going basis.
  • Students need to be aware that e-mails sent and received as part of classroom activity are subject to monitoring.
  • Parents must understand that their child may encounter material that they consider inappropriate (i.e. Vulgar Jokes, statements of belief that some may consider immoral, pornography, etc.,) The student is responsible for not pursuing material that could be considered offensive.
  • Content filtering is an essential and integrated element of the broadband service that is provided to schools by the Schools Broadband Programme


  • Eating or drinking is not allowed anywhere there is ICT equipment.
  • Damaging, disabling, or otherwise harming the operation of computers is forbidden.
  • Never deliberately install and use software illegally or install any malicious code on school ICT resources.  All software and hardware that needs to be installed and used must be approved by the Principal and Systems Administrator.
  • Always report damaged or bad working hardware or software to the teacher, IT  coordinator or IT technician.
Download this file (ICT Policy 2016.pdf)ICT Policy 2016.pdf[ ]114 kB

Why not learn to Code


Starting this week Friday 6th of March we will be teaching Computer Coding in the Computer room after school on Fridays.  All Students are invited to attend but we will only have 20 students on the course 

We will start with the basics and work our way up to Javascript and python


 This will be limited to the first 20 Students but depending on the numbers interested we may run other courses.  Please click here to register your interest.



Hour of Code

This week as part of The computer Science week we will be teaching an hour of Code on friday evening 12th December @ 4.00pm This will be limited to the first 20 Students but depending on the numbers interested we may run other courses.  Please click here to register your interest.


Enhancing Knowledge Regarding European Children's Use of the Internet

EU Kids Banner Large

Enhancing Knowledge Regarding European Children's Use, Risk and Safety Online


This project centres on a cross-national survey of European children's experiences of the internet, focusing on uses, activities, risks and safety. It also maps parents' experiences, practices and concerns regarding their children's online risk and safety.

NEW! Final Report launched 22 September 2011

10 Myths about Keeping children safe online published today

10 Myths about Keeping children safe online published today

EU Kids Online

Researchers today (22nd September 2011) published a list of the top 10 myths about internet safety for children to show how many peoples’ knowledge of online dangers are out of date.

Among common mistakes is the belief that putting a PC in the family living room will help keep young people away from risky behaviour. In fact, say the team from EU Kids Online, children find it so easy to go online at a friend’s house or on a smartphone that this advice is out of date. Parents are better advised to talk to their children about their internet habits or join them in some online activity.

Another common myth highlighted in the study is that children know more than adults about the digital world – in fact only just over one in three youngsters are sure that they know more than their parents.

The top 10 Myths list is published as part of the final report of danger online, it cannot be assumed that those who are low-risk offline are protected while online.

8 Putting the PC in the living room will help
Children find it so easy to go online at a friend’s house or on a smartphone that this advice is out of date. Parents are better advised to talk to their children about their internet habits or join them in some online activity.

9 Teaching digital skills reduces online risk
Actually the more digital skills a child has, the more risks they are likely to encounter as they broaden their online experience. What more skills can do is reduce the potential harm that risks can bring.

10 Children can get around safety software
In fact, fewer than one in three 11-16 year-olds say they can change filter preferences. And most say their parents’ actions to limit their internet activity is helpful.

The report makes a series of recommendations to governments, industry, children, parents and teachers which range from a call for more user-friendly parental controls and online safety features to ensuring children also lead a rich life away from the computer. From an Irish policy point of view, a number of priorities emerge, which include:

  • A focus on supporting digital literacy initiatives that target both skills development and also encourages the broadening of online internet activities. A number of pilot projects in Irish schools that seek to foster digital creativity should be expanded as part of a national digital literacy initiative. Given the importance of the IT sector in Ireland’s economy with many of the world’s leading technology firms locating their European headquarters in Ireland, it is essential that infrastructure for education and policies to support maximising information society opportunities for all go to the top of the policy agenda.

  • Awareness raising also has to foster better public awareness of digital literacy. In particular, parental awareness and capacity to provide social support in the digital world should be emphasised. As in many other countries, public debate is often informed by sensationalist media reporting. The current high levels of restrictive mediation suggest that parents feell ill-equipped to support young people online. Here, the media, including public service broadcasting, can play a positive role supporting content creation.

  • Finally, greater coordination between the various public agencies and non-governmental organisations is required in order to successful bridge the skills and knowledge gaps revealed in the EU Kids Online survey. The responsibility for promoting media literacy, for instance, currently vested in the broadcast regulator needs to be expanded to encompass the online world. Similarly, educational agencies need to be adequately resourced to provide the necessary expertise, infrastructural development and leadership in developing initiatives in an area of strategic national importance.

Research teams from 26 countries participate in the EU Kids Online network. The IRELAND team is based in the Centre for Social & Educational Research, at the Dublin Institute of Technology and at the National Centre for Technology in Education.

Brian O'Neill PhD is Head of the School of Media at the Dublin Institute of Technology, and a researcher in media literacy and new media technologies. He is the author of reports and articles on media policy in relation to children, technology and new media. He is a member of the Digital Radio Cultures in Europe research group.

Up to five areas of expertise: media literacy; Safer Internet programmes; digital literacy; ICT in schools; digital rights

Simon Grehan is the Internet Safety Coordinator at the National Centre for Technology in Education (NCTE). He is actively involved in researching children's use of the Internet, tracking emerging technologies, and raising awareness of the risks associated with their use. Simon is responsible for Webwise, the NCTE's Internet Safety initiative.

1. The EU Kids Online project aims to enhance knowledge of European children’s and parents’ experiences and practices regarding risky and safer use of the internet and new online technologies, and thereby to inform the promotion of a safer online environment for children.

2. Countries included in EU Kids Online are: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Turkey and the UK.

3. The survey findings are based on an in-home, face to face interview with a random stratified sample of children across Europe, and full methodological details can be found in the report and on the project website at www.eukidsonline.net

More>> For more information and to download a PDF version of the full report visit www.eukidsonline.net
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