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School ICT Policies Thread, DPA +User Areas in School Administration; Yes, this does all rely on the teacher being someone with clue. I love the fact that the OP cannot ...
  1. #16

    GrumbleDook's Avatar
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    Re: DPA +User Areas

    Yes, this does all rely on the teacher being someone with clue.

    I love the fact that the OP cannot work out whether I am a techie, a teacher or a pupil.

    I have put alan-d's analogy on there for discussion. Let's hope it is just a decent discussion now rather than rants either way.

  2. #17
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    Re: DPA +User Areas

    I know that I used to keep contact details for placement opportunities, copies of letters I had to send to people and a database of contacts in my network home directory, so there is a possibility for a DPA issue if say a placements/career advisor were to open those files to see what industrial placements I'd applied to etc to open the wrong file and get my boyfriend's mobile number and address etc.

    I think that the OP on TES would be better served with having some kind of centralised work drop off, which, in my opinion would be more efficient than them going round all the student's in their class' home folders scouting out the work. Also you could put it to them that they're paid not to be sat searching around on the network but to be processing this work that they're after in the first place. So, as it was suggested on TES, maybe a VLE or even e-mailing in the work would be more appropriate as it's going to save them time and increase efficiency.

  3. #18

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    Re: DPA +User Areas

    Quote Originally Posted by alan-d
    Look at it another way - would a teacher be allowed to rummage through a students school bag without just cause? The answer is definately not! (with the exception of head teachers with justification)

    We are lucky here in that we work well with the vast majority of teaching staff here, they respect our decisions and we make an effort to provide them with what they want. It may not be exactly what they were expecting but the results are the same The remainder are the usual 'don't want to know' which most school have
    That is a poor analogy - a students home area on a network is not their personal property. It is outlined in their AUP that the network is for use for educational purposes only. This means that anything that is there which is personal *shouldn't be there* and there is no breach by any member of staff by finding such files - it is a breach od the AUP by the child.

    Our teachers have complete access to the pupil area's, as there is no reason not to allow it as far as I can see.

  4. #19


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    Re: DPA +User Areas

    Quote Originally Posted by GrumbleDook
    I love the fact that the OP cannot work out whether I am a techie, a teacher or a pupil.

    .
    Are you going to tell us?

  5. #20
    alan-d's Avatar
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    Re: DPA +User Areas

    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk
    Quote Originally Posted by alan-d
    Look at it another way - would a teacher be allowed to rummage through a students school bag without just cause? The answer is definately not! (with the exception of head teachers with justification)
    That is a poor analogy - a students home area on a network is not their personal property. It is outlined in their AUP that the network is for use for educational purposes only.
    The point I was trying to make - albeit badly - was that teaching staff should not require access to everything in a users area, only those areas which are relevant to them. We are all aware that the students work area is for educational purposes only and it is up to both us and teachers to ensure that users are educated to respect those rules.

    Could you imagine the uproar amongst teachers if it was said that SMT had access to all staff areas (sorry I couldn't resist that one )

  6. #21

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    Re: DPA +User Areas

    There are a number of arguements for and against ....

    The areas in questions are ...

    Does a student have any rights to privacy on a school network?
    What are the legal issues of searching through homeareas of students and staff?
    What are the moral implications?
    What are the operational implications (do the unions agree that it is good use of a teacher's time to search through files?)
    What are the security issues?
    What are the educational benefits?

    I have asked a teaching union rep to comment and will post the reply here and on the TES forum later.

  7. #22

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    Re: DPA +User Areas

    In answer to Dos_box's origenal question.

    As far as I can work out the DPA doesn't apply to the user areas themselves, it only applies to data that the school itself is actively collecting and storing on the individual(s), e.g the data in SIMS, CMIS etc is definitely covered by the act, and any documents the school generates containing sensetive information are covered by the act.

    However documents stored by the actual users, as far as I can work out, are not covered by the DPA itself. The reason being that this information is not actually being actively collected and stored by the school for any means, and the school is not in complete control of what is stored. Any agreement on the privacy of this data would be between the school and its users, and not goverened by the DPA.

    Please feel free to correct me on this, but as far as I can work out, this is correct.

    For those who like reading, a complete copy of the act is here. http://www.opsi.gov.uk/Acts/acts1998..._19980029_en_1

    Mike.

  8. #23

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    Re: DPA +User Areas

    Quote Originally Posted by alan-d
    Could you imagine the uproar amongst teachers if it was said that SMT had access to all staff areas (sorry I couldn't resist that one )
    Well, several people in our SMT *do* have access to all staff areas...

  9. #24
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    Re: DPA +User Areas

    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk
    Quote Originally Posted by alan-d
    Could you imagine the uproar amongst teachers if it was said that SMT had access to all staff areas (sorry I couldn't resist that one )
    Well, several people in our SMT *do* have access to all staff areas...
    Jeepers, they'd all walk out if that happened here!

  10. #25
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    Re: DPA +User Areas

    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk
    Quote Originally Posted by alan-d
    Could you imagine the uproar amongst teachers if it was said that SMT had access to all staff areas (sorry I couldn't resist that one )
    Well, several people in our SMT *do* have access to all staff areas...
    That is obviously a local decision and assuming that all users involved are happy with that then that is fine. However, should a member of staff, or a student for that matter decide that such access is likely to cause damage or distress to that individual then that individual can apply to have that access removed, or curtailed.

  11. #26

    localzuk's Avatar
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    Re: DPA +User Areas

    Quote Originally Posted by alan-d
    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk
    Quote Originally Posted by alan-d
    Could you imagine the uproar amongst teachers if it was said that SMT had access to all staff areas (sorry I couldn't resist that one )
    Well, several people in our SMT *do* have access to all staff areas...
    That is obviously a local decision and assuming that all users involved are happy with that then that is fine. However, should a member of staff, or a student for that matter decide that such access is likely to cause damage or distress to that individual then that individual can apply to have that access removed, or curtailed.
    As the network is for T&L, how can any access be causing damage or distress?

  12. #27
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    Re: DPA +User Areas

    SMT have the right to access anyone's files here, apart from the heads that is.

    In a school environment surely there should only be lesson plans, iep, etc etc nothing personal that the teacher could get upset about ?

  13. #28
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    Re: DPA +User Areas

    In a simplistic term 'Bullying' or using information gained from a users area to intimidate or facilitate decisions.

    User areas are provided for personal and professional development in connection with his/her duties within the school as well as T&L activities.

  14. #29

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    Re: DPA +User Areas

    Quote Originally Posted by alan-d
    In a simplistic term 'Bullying' or using information gained from a users area to intimidate or facilitate decisions.

    User areas are provided for personal and professional development in connection with his/her duties within the school as well as T&L activities.
    Yes, but nothing in there should be able to be used for anything like that. That's the point - personal and professional development are fine, but I can't see anything for that which could be used for bullying etc... As both personal and professional development is facilitated and aided by the school and involves the member of staff's line manager anyway.

  15. #30
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    Re: DPA +User Areas

    Dear Mr ~~~

    I have received your application for ~~~~~ post, but after reviewing your course work in your home folder decided to throw the application in the bin as I feel you are wasting your time, even though you have yet to complete the course.


    You may think the above is extreme - but I have seen it happen on more than one occassion even after the DPA came in.

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