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Internet Related/Filtering/Firewall Thread, Do you allow Facebook for teachers? in Technical; Yes. Allowing a reasonable amount of personal use of school IT is good for work-life balance in my view. As ...
  1. #16

    AngryTechnician's Avatar
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    Yes. Allowing a reasonable amount of personal use of school IT is good for work-life balance in my view. As professionals, staff are expected to manage that time so that their use does not interfere with their duties.

    We do have Smoothwall in place so use is logged, and I am militant about staff locking workstations to prevent kids getting to it.

    Also worth pointing out that in my last school, which was a secondary school, we allowed Facebook for students too, subject to the same expectations. It was actually very useful in gathering evidence of cyberbullying that would otherwise have happened at home where we couldn't monitor it.

  2. #17
    Tsonga's Avatar
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    My previous school allowed it for all staff and 6th form, quite a good school so this worked fine. We also had smoothwall for logging.

  3. #18
    Pottsey's Avatar
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    We allow it mostly for teaching safe use and showing how to setup privacy settings. But it is only works when staff log into emails accounts to make staff filtering active. That filtering times out after 20 to 30mins.

  4. #19

    nephilim's Avatar
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    I had it unblocked for 2 periods of 15 minutes a day, these occurred at 10:45-11:00 and 13:45-14:00. This allowed all staff half hour a day on the site, and it was operated during break and lunchtime. If a member of staff was on duty then they didn't go on.

    The only 2 people that had unrestricted access was myself and my line manager and that was for investigative purposes only, we had to log every time we went on beyond the 2x 15 min allotted times and it had to match up with out MX records.

    If we used it for investigative purposes, we had to have each other overlooking to ensure what we were doing was above board.

  5. #20

    elsiegee40's Avatar
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    I agree with others. There is no free time during the working day at schools. Merely time off timetable.

    If your school is to go ahead with this, then I think SLT should be putting some robust "Protecting your professional identity" training in place... actually that training should be there anyway.

    Oh... and get my facebook privacy settings document (see link in sig below) on the reading list for your teachers. It won't help with them accessing facebook with the IWB switched on, or help with them walking away from their computer, but it will help!
    Last edited by elsiegee40; 22nd January 2013 at 10:41 AM.

  6. #21


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    Better tell the VAT man that the ICT equipment is being used for personal use.

  7. Thanks to CyberNerd from:

    hardtailstar (22nd January 2013)

  8. #22

    elsiegee40's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CyberNerd View Post
    Better tell the VAT man that the ICT equipment is being used for personal use.
    It's not the VAT that's the problem with personal use, it's the Income Tax... but it's HMRC for both these days anyway!

  9. #23

    AngryTechnician's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CyberNerd View Post
    Better tell the VAT man that the ICT equipment is being used for personal use.
    Not unless the amount of use is "significant", which would be a problem anyway without HMRC getting involved.

    EIM21613 - Particular benefits: accommodation, supplies and services: meaning of not significant use for private purposes
    ...where a computer is provided by an employer because it is necessary for an employee to be able to carry out the duties of the employment either at home, or whilst travelling or at work, it is highly unlikely that any private use made of that equipment will be significant when compared with the business need for providing the computer in the first place. In these circumstances section 316 will apply and no tax charge will arise.

  10. #24


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    Quote Originally Posted by AngryTechnician View Post
    Not unless the amount of use is "significant", which would be a problem anyway without HMRC getting involved.

    EIM21613 - Particular benefits: accommodation, supplies and services: meaning of not significant use for private purposes
    that's useful to know, thanks

  11. #25

    witch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AngryTechnician View Post
    We do have Smoothwall in place so use is logged, and I am militant about staff locking workstations to prevent kids getting to it.
    @AngryTechnician Yes, but you seem to be able to get your staff to do the right thing - how on earth you do it is beyond me

  12. #26

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    Man you guys are harsh!

    Our staff here have almost complete freedom on the net. We block dodgy sites, inappropriate sites like porn, gambling, violence etc...but staff are free to use facebook, shopping sites etc... Why? Because mostly staff can be trusted.

    To my knowledge there hasn't been a single incident of staff leaving facebook open on their machines or even accessing it during a lesson. They have machines in the library, their personal smart phones, some have tablets, all are given laptops so why would they need to use their whiteboard machines during a lesson to go on facebook?

    I think the issue isn't about why you should or shouldn't block it but rather why your leadership don't trust the staff to make the correct judgements.

    Part of our staff handbook refers to social medial sites and how to stay safe and professional etc... there are also guides written by teachers on how to stay private on facebook, how to use the privacy settings etc...and all staff know that if they start posting pictures of themselves nude on facebook and a kid finds it that their job will be up for grabs before the end of the week. Simple.

    Staff which are sensible and educated about facebook (and indeed the net in general and their professional responsibilities) dont need to be blocked.

  13. #27

    elsiegee40's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shadowx View Post
    Staff which are sensible and educated about facebook (and indeed the net in general and their professional responsibilities) dont need to be blocked.
    Experience of many schools other than yours suggests that many teachers are not educated about protecting their professional identity... or facebook which is a tiny part of it.

    They may be sensible, but like the children they teach, they do not realise the threat to their career caused by being careless on the internet.

    I'm all for educating them... and carry out that education myself... and don't have an issue with them using non-educational websites from school.... but they MUST be educated. If only school SLTs realised that.

    In my view, the majority of teachers will have smart phones and use facebook on that anyway.

  14. #28

    sonofsanta's Avatar
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    We have a single machine in the staff room which is on a different BT Broadband connection and completely separate from our network (useful for diagnosing VLE access for us, actually). It's completely unfiltered and is provided purely so staff can get onto Facebook etc.

    With a Smoothwall we do have the capacity to enable it on other select staff computers on the network, but it was decided by my line manager in SMT that it was better to keep it quiet and leave FB access self-limiting in this way. So they can get onto it, but only one at a time, and that introduces a certain social pressure to just be quick.

    FWIW, I have been asked to investigate the heavy internet usage of staff members before, even without social networking allowed through the filter. It does happen.

  15. #29

    Theblacksheep's Avatar
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    No, staff don't need it to do their job. It not about trust, it not about education and opening up. Personal sites can be accessed in their own time.

  16. #30
    enjay's Avatar
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    Staff here have access to Facebook, and they are trusted to use their time responsibly - similarly, we don't block newspaper sites, YouTube, personal email, hobbies and interests sites, etc., etc., etc., nor do we ban staff members from carrying smartphones.

    The "what if staff forgot to log out" question is irrelevant; if a staff member leaves themselves logged, then they are opening up all sorts of DPA issues (work email, SIMS, letters to parents, reports, etc.) and action should be taken anyway, irrespective of whether they have Facebook access or not.

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