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School ICT Policies Thread, DPA +User Areas in School Administration; This has just come to my attention: http://www.tes.co.uk/section/staffro.../&threadPage=1 Now to my mind, letting all staff run roughshod over user areas ...
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    Dos_Box's Avatar
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    DPA +User Areas

    This has just come to my attention:

    http://www.tes.co.uk/section/staffro.../&threadPage=1

    Now to my mind, letting all staff run roughshod over user areas could lead to all kinds of trouble. So this is my question. Do pupils areas get covered by the DPA and if so how do you, or should you limit access in the face of such 'I am a teacher-ness and can do as I please'?

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    Re: DPA +User Areas

    Very interesting the attitude towards NM's in that thread, that we are there to serve the staff!. Very interesting view, Would be interesting to point out that we serve the staff on behalf of our SMT in the same way they serve the children on behalf of the SMT.

    Anyhoo, we dont allow staff access to areas unless they have a very good reason or one that the information manager believes is sufficent. Its not a case of data privacy its a case of data preservation. Each person has sole responsibilty for their workspace.

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    Re: DPA +User Areas

    I think this sums it up.
    4. A student folder is the ICT equivalent of an excercise book and therefore should be reachable by staff for checking work.
    I keep it read-only mind can't be too careful with 'specialist' teachers.

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    Re: DPA +User Areas

    sounds like teacher has his/her knickers in a twist.

    teaching staff have access to kids work but only have read permissions.
    we have work post box for each member of staff, which allows the kids to drop course work in when done.
    ICT teaching staff have portable hard drives which my self or the network manager copy the kids work to for review. they only do this to take work home over holiday and weekends. (the data is password protected)

    I think if data is lost, not protected ie encypted/password protectd or given to people with out the owners concent then you are breaking the DPA

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    Re: DPA +User Areas

    I thought the DPA only covers data about a person?

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    Re: DPA +User Areas

    At the moment only myself (NM), the IT Tech and head of IT have access to pupil areas. Until recently I would not have trusted the staff, they were often allowing pupils to use PCs under their usernames! Fortunately with support from manglement and a few additions to our staff handbook (i.e. disciplinary procedures) it's now getting under control and I may in the future allow staff access to pupil areas.

    I was tempted to post this on the TES site, but it may have started a flame war!

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    Re: DPA +User Areas

    Reading those posts just make me *SO* angry! "so wrapped up in their own importance that they forget our primary concern is educating children" - Pot... calling... kettle... black. "to the students and curriculum should be the reponsibility of a senior member of the *teaching* staff." - wrapped up in their own importance me thinks.

    The argument that their area is like an exercise book doesn't quite work - They only have access to an exercise book when the student GIVES it to them, if the Teacher had 24/7 access to the book, the students would never be working in it.

    Having said that - our ICT teachers have read access to student user areas - not because they MUST have it - but because they've asked nicely, put forward a proper, reasoned request for it.

    Prehaps if the Teacher's posting in that thread treated the NW like a human being - stopped thinking all NWs are little Hitlers, and treated him/her like a professional in their field, went and had a professional, reasoned, debated about the situation, they might get somewhere. I, for one, always stick my heals in the ground if someone states I *MUST* do something, when I know full well it's not true.

    Yes - we all work in schools to advance the teaching & learning of students - prehaps if the Teachers concerned presented it as such, instead of screaming "I want, I want, I'm a Teacher, I'm important", then they might get somewhere. I don't see supporting the Teacher's as my primary job role at all, I see it as supporting the school in the T&L of students - and if the course of implementing that role, involves supporting teachers, then fair enough.

    Sorry - gone a little OT there... Just getting more than a little fed up of the virtual war going on between Teaching & Associate Staff... we all need to stop b*tching at each other - and concentrate on delivering LEARNING.

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    Re: DPA +User Areas

    We don't let staff access it here - there is a homework folder etc. to share work and our VLE will change things a bit I think.

    I was so outraged by some of the attitudes on the TES thread I posted a reply. What annoys me is this attitude we can't make professional judgements - comments "like some schools need to get a grip of network managers etc".


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    Re: DPA +User Areas

    Well put! :cheers:

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    Re: DPA +User Areas

    Quote Originally Posted by jcollings
    We don't let staff access it here - there is a homework folder etc. to share work and our VLE will change things a bit I think.

    I was so outraged by some of the attitudes on the TES thread I posted a reply. What annoys me is this attitude we can't make professional judgements - comments "like some schools need to get a grip of network managers etc".

    nice 1

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    Re: DPA +User Areas

    I've set it up so that selected members of staff have read access to the students folders. You should never give them write unless its to a drop box or something similar. It protects the student and the staff to withhold write permissions.

    The ability to read students areas is a valid request. I do try to compromise between everything working and everything doing what people want, that said there are some ways of asking that are better than others!

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    Re: DPA +User Areas

    The problem with DPA is when a student has information in their home area that is personal to them that they do not want others to see ... a diary, contact details of family, and so on.

    It is such a grey area.

    I also get seriously miffed when ICT Teachers want access to *everywhere*!!! Why? They don't teach Maths, or Media, or English ...

    I also get hacked off with NMs that aren't willing to communicate why it is a problem or not willing to even discuss things and then just point fingers at moaning teachers.

    As for the TES forums ... yes, they tend to be full of teachers so we see a teacher's point of view raised ... the same way there are many people that seriously enjoy teacher bashing on here ... it is not nice from either side.

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    Re: DPA +User Areas

    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

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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)
    A good counter analogy alan.

    I agree with grumblepants entirely. Perhaps this question needs to be answered officially, once and for all by a respected independant 3rd party.

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    Re: DPA +User Areas

    All our teachers have read only access to student areas. This was put into place because we couldn't think of a reason not to.

    All students know this is the case, and it cuts down on the amount of suspect files we find, like secret stashes of porn or MP3s, as insted of the 4 of us looking, potentially there is now 200+ people with the potential to look. This works in our favour.

    ICT teaching staff have read/write access. Not really sure why, but the director of ICT requested it through SLT. We made them aware of issues surrounding it, then made the change. We've had no issues thou, so it's stayed at the moment. SLT and the head teacher also have read/write access, again we made them aware of the issues, but at the end of the day, SLT request has to be actioned even if we don't like it.

    Personally thou, I would like no one to have read/write access. Reason why? I'm not worried about the DPA or anything like that, I'm just worried that one day a students going to get onto a ICT teachers laptop when they're not looking, and cause havoc, or even a teacher 'accidently' deleting or moving stuff, or renaming folders etc. It hasn't happened yet, but I'm waiting. . . .

    Mike.



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