Acceptable Use Policy for Mobile Phones
- This policy was updated in December 2018 in order to take into account recent legislation, notably circular 0038/2018.
- The increased ownership of mobile phones/smart devices requires that school administrators, teachers, students, and parents take steps to ensure that mobile phones/smart devices are used responsibly.
- This Acceptable Use Policy is designed to ensure that potential issues (such as mobile etiquette) can be clearly identified and addressed, ensuring the benefits that mobile phones/smart devices provide (such as increased safety) can be enjoyed by our students.
- Scoil Naomh Fiachra has established the following Acceptable use Policy for mobile phones/smart devices that provides guidelines and instructions for the appropriate use of mobile phones/smart devices in our school.
- Permission for use of a mobile phone/smart devices will be sought from the principal on a case by case basis and the attached request form will be returned to the school.
- If a parent is given permission for their child to have a mobile phone/smart device during school hours, pupils and their parents / guardians must first read and understand the Acceptable Use Policy.
- The Acceptable Use Policy for mobile phones/smart devices also applies to pupils during school trips and extra-curricular activities.
- Personal Safety and Security
- Scoil Naomh Fiachra accepts that some parents give their children mobile phones/smart devices to protect them from everyday risks involving personal security and safety and to allow them to make contact with home.
- It is acknowledged that providing a child with a mobile phone/smart device may give parents reassurance that they can speak with their children quickly at any time.
- Young People and Mobile Phones/Smart Devices
- The scientific evidence does not indicate the need for special precautions for either adults or older children in the use of mobile phones/smart devices.
- This view is supported by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and other leading experts and health authorities internationally.
- The safety margins on international guidelines take into account any differences in exposure that could be experienced by children due to conductivity and head size.
- However recent research has raised questions of safety for children under eight years old.
- Where parents / guardians propose to provide mobile phones/smart devices to their children they should first satisfy themselves that it is safe to do so.
- In any event we do not consider that, on balance, children from Infants to Second Class should be allowed mobile phones/smart devices in school.
- It is the responsibility of students who have permission to bring mobile phones/smart devices onto school premises to adhere to the guidelines outlined in this policy.
- Parents should be aware if their child takes a mobile phone/smart device onto school premises.
- Permission to have a mobile phone/smart device at school or while under the school’s supervision is contingent upon parents / guardians signing the Consent Form attached to this policy and permission being granted by the principal teacher.
- Parents / guardians may revoke approval at any time.
- If a child is granted permission to bring a mobile phone/smart device to school, it should be switched off during school hours, including break times.
- In exceptional circumstances, should the parent / guardian specifically request it, a pupil may be permitted to have a phone/smart device switched on during school hours.
- Such requests will be handled on a case-by-case basis, and should be directed to the Principal Teacher.
- Parents are reminded that in cases of emergency, the school telephone remains the appropriate point of contact and can ensure your child is reached quickly.
- Mobile phones/smart devices should not disrupt classroom lessons by ringing or beeping.
- This also applies to school trips and other out-of-school supervised activities.
- Should there be repeated disruptions to lessons caused by a mobile phone/smart device; the responsible pupil may face disciplinary actions under the school’s Code of Good Behaviour.
- Children are not permitted to use mobile phones/smart devices to take photographs/videos/recordings or to access the internet during school hours. This includes school tours, field trips, etc. The school camera will be used for taking photographs.
Theft or Damage
- Students are required to mark all their mobile phones/smart devices clearly with their names.
- Mobile phones/smart devices which are found in the school and whose owner cannot be located should be given to a teacher.
- The school accepts no responsibility for replacing lost, stolen or damaged mobile phones/smart devices.
- The school accepts no responsibility for mobile phones/smart devices lost or stolen while travelling to and from school.
- It is strongly advised that pupils use passwords / pin numbers to ensure that unauthorized phone calls cannot be made on their phones (eg by other pupils, or if stolen).
- Pupils should keep their passwords / pin numbers confidential.
- Any pupil who uses vulgar, derogatory, or obscene language while using a mobile phone/smart device will face disciplinary actions under the school’s Code of Good Behaviour.
- Pupils with mobile phones/smart devices may not engage in personal attacks, harass another person, or post private information about another person using SMS messages, phone calls or images, social media, etc.
- Pupils using mobile phones/smart devices to bully other students will face disciplinary actions under the school’s Code of Good Behaviour.
- Any pupil who feels threatened or disturbed by any message or phone call they receive should report this immediately to a teacher (if it happens at school or on school-related activities) or to a parent / guardian (if it happens outside of school).
- Non-observance of these rules may result in the mobile phone/smart device being confiscated and privileges restricted or withdrawn.
- If the mobile phone/smart device is confiscated, it will need to be collected from the Principal.
- Where there are repeated breaches of the rules, Parents will be required to collect the mobile phone/smart device and give an undertaking as to the future behaviour of the pupil. Otherwise the pupil’s privileges under this policy will be withdrawn.
Acceptable Use Policy for Mobile Phones/Smart Devices
Consent Form for School Year 20__/20__
I / We have read and understand the above information about appropriate use of mobile phones/smart devices at Scoil Naomh Fiachra and I / we understand that this form will be kept on file at the school and that the details may be used (and shared with a third party, if necessary) to assist/identify a phone should the need arise (e.g. if lost, or if the phone/smart device is being used inappropriately).
I / We give my / our child _______________________ , in ___________ class permission to carry a mobile phone/smart device to school and understand that he / she will be responsible for ensuring that the mobile phone/smart device is used appropriately and correctly while under the school’s supervision, as outlined in this document.
Signature of Parents / Guardians: ________________________________
Signature of Pupil: ________________________________
Mobile Phone Number: ________________________________