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Duty of care

The College owes a duty to take reasonable care for the safety and welfare of students whilst students are involved in school-related activities, including activities that extend to online environments. Students need to be protected from exposure to inappropriate online material or activities, to be aware of the risks associated with some online activities, and to adopt protective online behaviour. ICT can offer many positive educational and social benefits to young people, but unfortunately there are some dangers. As in any other area of life, young people are vulnerable and may expose themselves to danger, whether knowingly or unknowingly, when using the internet and other technologies. Additionally, some young people may find themselves involved in activities which are inappropriate, or possibly illegal. For example
  • Copyright infringement
  • Excessive use of Internet and ICTs
  • Exposure to inappropriate materials
  • Inappropriate behaviour such as bullying or harassment
Nearly all Australian children who use the Internet go online both at school (96%) and at home (87%). Additionally students access the Internet from friend's or relative's' devices, in living rooms or in the privacy of their bedroom, Australian children are more likely to access the internet using a range of platforms, including their own laptop (31%); via the television (43%), a games console (51%), and a mobile phone (40%) or other hand-held device (45%)1.

The College uses Internet tracking and filtering technologies; however, students' Internet use involves an increasingly sophisticated range of devices in many locations other that the confines of a school network. This combined with the technical limitations of filtering technologies means that student access to potentially unsuitable materials cannot be guaranteed.

The College’s duty of care, therefore is that of working with parents to educate our girls; teaching them the appropriate behaviours and critical thinking skills to enable them to remain both safe and legal when using the internet and related technologies, anytime, anywhere.

The College will
  • Make every reasonable effort to provide a safe and secure online learning experience for students when using the College’s online services. 
  • Use network management products such as filters and tracking software to provide basic information on how students use the network. 
  • Deny network access to users and their personal devices if there are concerns regarding content on the device or in how it is used. In this case, parents / caregivers will be contacted and required to meet with the Assistant Principal, Students, to discuss appropriate action.
  • Articulate appropriate ICT use through an ICT Acceptable Use Guide. 
  • Respond to specific incidents relating to ICT in a timely and professional manner in accordance with other school policies such as the Personal Protection and Respect Policy.
  • Develop and implement a comprehensive Digital Responsibility program involving students, staff and parents.
The rapidly evolving nature of the Internet virtually ensures that no filtering technology can be a hundred percent perfect. While our network management products may provide basic information on how students and staff are using the network, parental and school guidance will remain our primary means of caring for our students in online environments. 

* Green, L., Brady, D., Olafsson, K., Hartley, J., & Lumby, C. (2012). Risks and Safety for Australian Children on the Internet: Full Findings from the AU Kids Online Survey of 9-16-year-olds and Their Parents.