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School ICT Policies Thread, Been asked to provide logs/possibly investigate member of staff in School Administration; What do I need to know/do on this? Been asked by head to supply access logs etc for preliminary investigation ...
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    Oops_my_bad's Avatar
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    Been asked to provide logs/possibly investigate member of staff

    What do I need to know/do on this? Been asked by head to supply access logs etc for preliminary investigation into inappropriate teacher behaviour (it's quite serious and may involve someone losing their job if it's true).

    We have no policy in place for this sort of thing yet I can obviously provide logs etc.. but what can I legally do/not do? as depending what info I give them (and it is pretty incriminating) could see someone losing their job..

    Do they need to know they are being investigated?

    help

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    AngryTechnician's Avatar
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    Our policy is that if it data is officially requested by SMT, we supply it. We have clear notices at every login warning every user that their session is logged, and it is in the AUP that all staff receive with their logon details when they join.

    If the user does have any legal right to know they are being investigated (and I'm not sure they do in an internal investigation), then it's almost certainly not your responsibility to notify them. In my view it is important that you play exactly by the book in these sorts of matters. Not having your own written policy does complicate matters in that respect. Are there any policies laid down by the LA that you could defer to?

    Be sure you keep a separate record in your control of every request that is made and precisely what data you supply in response.

    The golden rule of course is, if in doubt, consult your union.

  3. Thanks to AngryTechnician from:

    Oops_my_bad (12th March 2009)

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    IrritableTech's Avatar
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    If you're doing an abnormal investigation. Delving in further than you have informed the you will / might do then it comes under the RIPA rules I believe.

    I did the RIPA training our LEA put on, but they have changed their minds and decided all RIPA must be done by them. I would check that your head knows the official proceedure, and follows it.

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    JJonas's Avatar
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    You are being asked to do this by your head who must have their reasons to investigate. If you are unhappy about how to proceed it might be worth running this by your union rep. One thing that might complicate things is if you were having anything other than a professional relationship with the member of staff being investigated. If thats the case then it is probably worth bringing that to your heads attention before you proceed.

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    Oops_my_bad (12th March 2009)

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    I usually advise that you should ask for as many restrictions on their data as possible.

    Eg. HT asks for "All Daves logs for the last month" - no thanks, smells like witch-hunt

    Ask for:

    * a limited date range - if there is an offence suspected, the accuser should know at least roughly when it has taken place
    * a limited range of sites - if it is todo with a particular site, maybe all facebook logs would do for example?
    * aggregate data - where possible you should try and provide data as charts or tables with limited drill-down

    Ask whoever requires this data if they can limit it like that - this will mitigate risk to both of you.

    HTH,

    Tom

  8. Thanks to tom_newton from:

    Oops_my_bad (12th March 2009)

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    nephilim's Avatar
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    Use this instance to write up an AUP to cover this for future reference.

    What you should do is the following.
    • Make sure they are asking for specific information, not just generic info like bringing up last months records - try to get them to provide specifics, dates and times if possible
    • If no specifics can be provided, ask what sort of "filter" (eg facebook, myspace, bebo) you should apply to the search, as everything could be upto 50-60 A4 pages worth of websites
    • Make a copy of all logs pertaining to this person for the Headteacher
    • Keep a copy for your records should you be asked anything about this in the future
    • Make a copy for the member of staff involved, if he/she is smart he will want a copy of all paperwork
    • Do not inform anyone other than those who asked you to pull up the logs that you are doing this
    • Notify your union rep that you are unsure what consequences may come of this in terms of your job security (it should be fine but you never know when ANYONE is getting investigated)
    • Ask to remain neutral at all costs unless it is absolutely vital that you are bought into the investigation


    That in theory will keep your nose clean and you will have covered all bases.

    As I said, in future write up an AUP which will cover you, and give you a basis on which to operate in these situations. Thankfully I have never had to act on my AUP, but it is there just in case.

  10. 2 Thanks to nephilim:

    Oops_my_bad (12th March 2009), tom_newton (12th March 2009)

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    tech_guy's Avatar
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    Is it a potential criminal investigation? You examining the PC / laptop used by the member of staff may render any evidence inadmissable.

  12. Thanks to tech_guy from:

    Oops_my_bad (12th March 2009)

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    As I seem to keep saying at the moment, get it in writing. Anything you have been asked to do by the head needs to be in writing so you exactly what you are being asked. Like others, all users are aware(even if they deny knowledge) that the systems are monitored, if you have instructions to provide details of a particular user you should be able to do that. You should inform the head however, if you discover something which needs to be reported that you will inform the appropriate people(for example your LEA if it needs auditing) and let them take over.

    I have provided information on user logs previsouly and I provided exactly what was asked. It should be up to the SMT to determine if the users logs are worthy of discipline, and they can use your information to make up their mind.

    As others have said, it is not your responsibility to inform people they are being investigated, you are only being asked to provide some information. If you are uncertain about anything contact your union, document everything and make sure you get all requests in writing(email is fine)

  14. Thanks to penfold from:

    Oops_my_bad (12th March 2009)

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    further to tech_guy's repsonse, if it is a criminal investigation then the machine in question should be isolated so noone can touch it until authorised people can investigate it(I think?)

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    I had a similar issue here. I spotted the problem and had a word with the individual (probably wrong but wth!) It didn't stop so I told the Dep Head who asked me to have another word! Before this happened the HT got wind of it and asked for logs. I said I felt uncomfortable doing it. He was fine with it and got someone from the LEA in to investigate and advise. I would suggest you ask your HT to do likewise. If for no other reason that it will leave a bad taste if you do it.

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    Oops_my_bad (12th March 2009)

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    Get the request in writing.

    Amazing how people get selective memory when the mucky stuff and lawers get involved.

    If they do loose their job, you can bet someone will be looking for a way to blame others.

    Don't let them have reason to blame you.

  19. Thanks to Polski from:

    Oops_my_bad (12th March 2009)

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    Treat it in the same way you treat things like CCTV logs.

    What is the reason the information is required?
    What date / time ranges is it required for?
    Who will the information be shared with? (unions, the LA, etc)
    Once the data is handed over will there be signatures, etc.
    Is there a log kept of who looks at this data?

    There should be satisfactory answers to all of this for you to go ahead. If there are not satisfactory answers then the data may be laughed at should it go to tribunal and you need to remember that you are protecting yourself, the Head and the school.

  21. Thanks to GrumbleDook from:

    Oops_my_bad (12th March 2009)

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    Quote Originally Posted by penfold View Post
    further to tech_guy's repsonse, if it is a criminal investigation then the machine in question should be isolated so noone can touch it until authorised people can investigate it(I think?)
    If thats the case you will also need to document things like:

    date and time you were asked to remove machine

    date and time you did remove the machine

    explain any significant difference between the times eg teacher did not have laptop in school

    was the machine in use when it was removed?

    how was it in use?

    How you isolate the machine is also important. somebody will probably have to sign a police statement documenting its isolation and who could have had access to it. The police will need to be sure the trail of evidence is maintained. so if it is in a safe in the heads office. The key to the safe and the office should not be in the possession of one individual.

  23. Thanks to JJonas from:

    Oops_my_bad (12th March 2009)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Oops_my_bad View Post
    What do I need to know/do on this? Been asked by head to supply access logs etc for preliminary investigation into inappropriate teacher behaviour (it's quite serious and may involve someone losing their job if it's true).

    We have no policy in place for this sort of thing yet I can obviously provide logs etc.. but what can I legally do/not do? as depending what info I give them (and it is pretty incriminating) could see someone losing their job..

    Do they need to know they are being investigated?

    help

    You don't need to tell them they are beeing investigated. It's the job of the HR Department.

    You are following the instruction of a Senior Manager and you have to do what he is requesting. And like Nephilim and Tom suggest ask for detailed informations (range, time) on what type of logs you have to retrieve

    Monitoring Staff Behaviour:
    The laws relating to monitoring your employees | OUT-LAW.COM

  25. Thanks to Aurora77 from:

    Oops_my_bad (12th March 2009)

  26. #15
    Oops_my_bad's Avatar
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    To everyone who has replied, A1 advise as usual, thanks for the help.

    Obviously I cant say whats going on, will just have to see what pans out over the next few weeks given the advise

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