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School ICT Policies Thread, Legal Position on this situation in School Administration; Still need a simple "this is what the legal side is" so that i can use it as the worst ...
  1. #16
    e_g_r's Avatar
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    Still need a simple "this is what the legal side is" so that i can use it as the worst case for SMT to look over

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    Quote Originally Posted by maniac View Post
    Remember under the Data Protection Act the school has to make sure all reasonable measures are put in place to prevent the missuse of data stored on its servers.
    Key word here is reasonable - it's one of those weasel words which lawyers use to keep themselves in jobs :-)

    I don't know why the teacher let the pupil use the computer - it may just be that they're stupid or don't care about the school. It may be that the pupil had a really good reason for using a computer and the teacher listened to it and acted on it. I also don't know *how* the computer was used - eg was the teacher watching or did they just wander off and leave the pupil to it?

    There obviously are good reasons not to let pupils use a staff login (we have a "guest" login which students can use if they can't log on for some reason; it's fairly restricted but it does give access to Moodle, for example - this means there's far less reason for a teacher to let a student use the teacher's login)

    Past experience tells me that if you just tell a teacher "you're a *&^!%"; you shouldn't do that" then it doesn't help. If you can calmly and rationally get them to explain what they're doing and you can point out why they shouldn't then things are better. This won't always be the case - there are plenty of teachers (and IT technicians, network managers, any other occupation you care to mention) with no common sense - but it's generally better to try and keep things civil :-)

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    e_g_r's Avatar
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    Bumpup

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    Taken directly from our DP guidelines for staff
    7 Personal data will be kept safe from unauthorised processing and accidental loss, damage or destruction. This is one of the most important principles. This covers everything from ensuring that you do not share information with those who have no right to it, eg those professing to be ‘family members’, through to allowing unauthorised people access to a computer where you have personal, confidential or sensitive information, eg a student logging on to a staff laptop that has the SEN register on it, or sharing your password with another person, therefore allowing them complete access to all the information that you have.

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    rather than the DPA is it not more thoughly covered in the Computer Misuse Act 1990, I know wikipedia isn't 100% but an quote from there reads as follows

    Thus, using another person's username or identifier (ID) and password without proper authority to access data or a program, or to alter, delete, copy or move a program or data, or simply to output a program or data to a screen or printer, or to impersonate that other person using e-mail, online chat, web or other services, constitute the offence. Even if the initial access is authorized, subsequent exploration if there is a hierarchy of privileges in the system, may lead to entry to parts of the system for which the requisite privileges are lacking and the offence will be committed
    the full text of the Computer Misuse Act 1990 is to be found Here para 17 (5) could be used to highlight the act of staff logging students on as themselves?

    I have to say in the schools I have worked in the back up of the Computer Misuse Act, and presenting this to SMT and govenors had the desired effect of reducing the practice of logging on students with staff accounts (there are always going to be the odd one that like to break the rules!!)

    Also through this I had it highlighted that it was my decision as the NM to call in police if an offence had been committed even if the head didn't agree. This never happened fortunatly, but good to have that understanding!
    Last edited by buzzard; 12th June 2008 at 09:38 AM. Reason: Typo!

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    Quote Originally Posted by maniac View Post
    Remember under the Data Protection Act the school has to make sure all reasonable measures are put in place to prevent the missuse of data stored on its servers.
    Part of our IT policy is that computers in class rooms and other curriculum areas should not have access to MIS or other admin files and resources. Passwords do become compromised, and staff do leave PCs logged-on when they leave class rooms (you can't legislate against stupidity!).

    It is a current issue for us as we are combining our admin and curriculum networks. We have set up scripts and GPOs to ensure admin resources are only available in offices and team rooms.

    (I am not condoning staff letting pupils use their accounts Our AUP clearly states that pupils must not use other peoples computer accounts, I would suggest it is very unprofessional for staff to allow them to do so.)

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    We had exactly this situation 2 years ago. I locked the staff member account, I locked their internet to whitelist, I logged them off. When they came up they tried to justify it, I reduced them to tears and hit them with the AUP, listed the whys and why nots, and said if they'd like to push it further, I'll call the LEA in and they can justify it to them..

    Oh boy, did that make the point...

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