The opportunities for teachers and pupils to use ICT skills to benefit them in all aspects of school life and beyond are increasing daily. The potential of the internet to enhance teaching and learning is enormous. The expanding use of school internet and e-mail facilities, however, has led to increasing concern by teachers and head teachers about ways to ensure responsible and safe use of this developing communications medium.
Extensive use of Information & Communications Technology (ICT) in schools raises organisational and managerial problems. There is also the potential for misuse of the technology. In recent years, this has included pupils gaining unauthorised access to computer files, the unauthorised deletion of pupils’ work on school networks and teachers being accused of misuse or improper use of school facilities.
There are educational, managerial and technical solutions which can help to minimise the risk of the inappropriate use of the internet and e-mail. This NUT guidance is designed to highlight, and raise NUT members’ awareness of, some of the key issues which need to be considered when using school equipment to access the internet and e-mail. This is particularly important given schools can reserve the right to monitor use of these systems.
This NUT guidance has been prepared for all schools, although it is recognised that the issues for schools in the primary sector are likely to be different from those in secondary or special schools. Each school will need to decide the measures it needs to take to prevent inappropriate use of the internet and e-mail and to develop responsible use of the technology.