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ICT _ Acceptable Use policy

ICT Acceptable Use Policy

Policy details

  • Date created - September 2021
  • Date reviewed -September 2023
  • Date approved - September 2023
  • Next review date -September 2024
  • Policy owner - Sandra Fiddler [North Manchester]


ICT in the 21st Century is seen as an essential resource to support learning and teaching, as well as playing an important role in the everyday lives of children, young people and adults.  Consequently, we need to build in the use of these technologies in order to arm our young people with the skills to access life-long learning and employment.

Information and Communications Technology covers a wide range of resources including; web-based and mobile learning.  It is also important to recognise the constant and fast paced evolution of ICT within our society as a whole.  Currently the web based technologies children and young people are using both inside and outside of the classroom include:

  • Websites
  • Virtual Learning Environments
  • E-mail and Instant Messaging 
  • Chat Rooms and Social Networking
  • Blogs and Wikis
  • Podcasting
  • Video Broadcasting
  • Music Downloading
  • Gaming
  • Mobile/ Smart phones with text, video and/ or web functionality
  • Other mobile devices with web functionality

Whilst exciting and beneficial both in and out of the context of education, much ICT, particularly web-based resources, are not consistently policed.  All users need to be aware of the range of risks associated with the use of these Internet technologies.

At Co-op Academy North Manchester, we understand the responsibility to educate our students on e-Safety issues; teaching them the appropriate behaviours and critical thinking skills to enable them to remain both safe and legal when using the internet and related technologies, in and beyond the context of the classroom. We expect all students to follow instructions provided by members of staff when they are using academy IT equipment, so that they can safely access relevant information to support their learning.

The academy holds personal data on learners, staff and other people to help them conduct their day-to-day activities.   Some of this information is sensitive and could be used by another person or criminal organisation to cause harm or distress to an individual. The loss of sensitive information can result in media coverage, and potentially damage the reputation of the academy. This can make it more difficult for our academy to use technology to benefit learners.

Everybody in the academy has a shared responsibility to secure any sensitive information used in their day to day professional duties and even staff not directly involved in data handling should be made aware of the risks and threats and how to minimise them.

Both this policy and the Acceptable Use Agreement (for all staff, governors, visitors and students) are inclusive of both fixed and mobile internet; technologies provided by the academy (such as PCs, laptops, personal digital assistants (PDAs), tablets, webcams, whiteboards, voting systems, digital video equipment, etc); and technologies owned by students and staff, but brought onto academy premises (such as laptops, mobile phones, camera phones, PDAs and portable media players, etc).


Authorised ICT staff may inspect any ICT equipment owned or leased by the academy at any time without prior notice. If you are in doubt as to whether the individual requesting such access is authorised to do so, please ask for their identification badge and contact their department. Any ICT authorised staff member will be happy to comply with this request. 

ICT authorised staff may monitor, intercept, access, inspect, record and disclose telephone calls, e-mails, instant messaging, internet/intranet use and any other electronic communications (data, voice or image) involving its employees or contractors, without consent, to the extent permitted by law.  This may be to confirm or obtain academy business related information; to confirm or investigate compliance with academy policies, standards and procedures; to ensure the effective operation of academy ICT; for quality control or training purposes; to comply with a Subject Access Request under the Data Protection Act 1998, or to prevent or detect crime. 

ICT authorised staff may, without prior notice, access the e-mail or voice-mail account where applicable, of someone who is absent in order to deal with any business-related issues retained on that account. 

All monitoring, surveillance or investigative activities are conducted by ICT authorised staff and comply with the Data Protection Act 1998, the Human Rights Act 1998, the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 (RIPA) and the Lawful Business Practice Regulations 2000. 

Please note that personal communications using academy ICT may be unavoidably included in any business communications that are monitored, intercepted and/or recorded. 


A breach or suspected breach of policy by an academy employee, contractor or student may result in the temporary or permanent withdrawal of academy ICT hardware, software or services from the offending individual. 

Any policy breach is grounds for disciplinary action in accordance with the academy Disciplinary Procedure or, where appropriate, the Trust Disciplinary Procedure.   

Policy breaches may also lead to criminal or civil proceedings. 

 Incident Reporting 

Any security breaches or attempts, loss of equipment and any unauthorised use or suspected misuse of ICT must be immediately reported to the academy’s e-Safety Coordinator or Head of academy. Additionally, all security breaches, lost/stolen equipment or data (including remote access SecureID tokens and PINs), virus notifications, unsolicited emails, misuse or unauthorised use of ICT and all other policy non-compliance must be reported to your Line Manager.