Important terms used in this document
- The abbreviation ICT in this document refers to the term: “Information and communications technologies”
- “Cyber safety” refers to the safe and responsible use of the internet and ICT equipment/devices, including tablets and cellular phones
- The term ICT equipment/devices used in this document includes but is not limited to, computers (such as desktops, laptops, iPads), storage devices (such as USB and flash memory devices, CDs, DVDs, iPods, MP3 players, cameras (such as video, digital, webcams), all types of mobile phones, videos, audio players/receivers such as portable CD and DVD players), gaming consoles and any other, similar, technologies as they come into use
Cyber safety policy
Every school has a statuary obligation to maintain a safe physical and emotional environment and a responsibility to consult with the community, in addition the SGB has a responsibility to be a good employer.
These three responsibilities are increasingly being limited to the use of the internet and ICT, and several related cyber safety issues. The Internet and ICT devices and equipment bring great benefits to the teaching and learning programmes and to the effective operation of the school.
We recognise that the presence in the learning environment of these technologies (some provided partly or wholly by the school and some privately owned by staff, learners and other members of the school community), can also facilitate anti-social, inappropriate and even illegal material and activities.
The school has the duel responsibility to maximise the benefits of these technologies, while at the same time to minimise and manage the risks.
The school thus acknowledges the need to have in place rigorous and effective school cyber safety practices which are directed and guided by this cyber safety policy.
LS Van Dyk Primary will develop and maintain rigorous and effective cyber safety practices which aim to maximise the benefits of the internet and ICT. Devices /equipment to children learning and to the effective operation of a school while minimising and managing any risks.
These cyber safety practices will aim to not only maintain a cyber safe environment, but also aim to address the need of learners and other members of the school community to receive education about the safe and responsible use of present and developing information and communication.
Associated issues the school will address include:
The need for on-going funding for cyber safety practices through inclusion in the annual budget, the review of the school’s annual strategic plan, the deployment of staff, professional development and training, implications for the design and delivery of the curriculum, the need for relevant education about cyber safety for the school community, disciplinary responses appropriate to breaches of cyber safety, the availability of psychological support and potential employment issues.
To develop a cyber safe school environment, the SGB will delegate to the principal the responsibility to achieve this goal by developing and implementing the appropriate management procedures, practices, electronic systems, and educational programmes. These will be based and fall within the ambits of the following legislation:
- South African schools ACT (Act 84/1996)
- Regulations relating to safety measures at independent schools, government gazette no 26663 No 975, 20 August 2013
- Occupational of educators Act (Act 76/1998)
A process for reporting back to the SGB by the principal will be agreed upon and established. Frequency and reporting will be included.
In recognition of its guardianship and governance role in cyber safety of the school, the SGB will also develop a policy relating to members use of ICT devices/equipment. This will cover all use of school-owned/leased and privately owned/leased ICT devices/ equipment containing school data/ information on or off the school site.
LS Van Dyk Primary Cyber Safety Policy
- The LS Van Dyk Primary’s cyber safety practices are based on relevant legislation within the Republic of South Africa.
- No individual may use the school internet facilities and school owned/leased ICT devices/equipment in any circumstances unless the appropriate use agreement has been signed and returned to the school. Use agreements also apply to the use of privately owned/leased devices/equipment on the school site, or at/for any school related activity, regardless of its location. This includes Off-site access to the school’s network from school or privately owned /leased equipment.
- Use agreements will cover all SGB members, all learners and any other individual authorised to make use of the school internet facilitates and ICT devices/equipment, such as training teachers, external tutors, support staff, service providers, contractors and other special visitors to the school.
- The use agreements are also an educational tool and should be used as a resource for the professional development of staff.
- Use of the internet and ICT devices/equipment by staff, learners and other approved users at LS Van Dyk Primary is to be limited to educational, professional development and personal usage appropriate in the school environment, as defined in individual use agreements.
- Signed use agreements will be filed in a secure place and an appropriate system devised which facilitates confirmation that individuals are authorised to make use of the internet and ICT devices/equipment.
- The school has the right to monitor access and review all use. This always includes all email sent and received on the school’s computers and/or network facilities.
- The school has the right to audit any material on equipment that is owned / leased by the school. The school may also request permission to audit privately owned ICT equipment used on the school premises or at any school related activity.
- Issues relating to confidentiality, such as sighting student or staff information, reasons for collecting data and the secure storage of personal details and information (including images) will be subject to any legislation that falls within the constitution of South Africa (Act 108 of 1996)
- The safety of children is of paramount concern. Any apparent breach of cyber safety will be taken seriously. The response to individual incidents will follow procedures developed as part of the school’s cyber safety practices. In serious incidents, advice will be sought from an appropriate source such as a specialised attorney with knowledge in this field. There will be specific attention paid to the need for specific procedures regarding the gathering of evidence in potentially serious cases. If illegal material or activities are suspected, the matter may need to be reported to the South African police or district office of the Department of education (when an employee is in the employment of the department).
Our policy adopted by the SGB ________________________________Date:________________
Chairperson: __________________________ Principal: _________________________________
Witness: _____________________________ Witness: __________________________________