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Internet Access and Filtering Policy
This page is intended to describe the internet service provided by the Bolton SICT Unit for all schools within the Local Authority. Bolton SICT Unit is fully committed to supporting the work of all schools within the Bolton LA and it is our intention to ensure a safe and secure network environment for both staff and pupils within all schools.
- The SICT Unit provides a centralised web filtering service for the use of all schools. The filtering policies have been decided upon by consultation between the Schools ICT Unit, Curriculum/Advisory staff and school feedback.
- The SICT Unit will monitor and record all traffic which flows through our network. You can request a copy of any relevant information and logs we hold at any time.
- The SICT Unit may block any site which is deemed as non-educational, inappropriate or which cause degradation of the service
- Whilst a last resort, the SICT Unit may disconnect any schools which are causing a detrimental effect on the Wide Area Network
- The SICT Unit may also block specific protocols, this is to reduce the number of ‘uncontrollable’ programs which may be installed on machines.
Allowing a blocked site
Generally speaking, there are two sets of circumstances which we will consider allowing access to a blocked site
- The site has been incorrectly classified. In this case, please contact the SICT Unit on any method below or use the online web filtering change form
- The site is correctly classified but you need access to the site for a specific purpose (e.g. current class project, personal development etc…).
Please try to provide any relevant information, particularly the URL being shown as blocked, any categorisation details and any required timescales. Please note, whilst we action most requests within an hour, we request 24 hours notice for changes – failure to give the required notice may mean we will be unable to carry out your request in time.
Blocking an inappropriate site
Although the filtering product relies on both list based and real time categorisation, there may still be some sites which ‘slip through’ the filtering system. If you feel this is the case and you have found a web site which you feel should be blocked, please contact us using any of the methods below, detailing the site in question (URL) and a brief description (if necessary) of the site and why you feel it should be blocked. When we receive the information we will investigate and carry out the work
What about reporting and monitoring?
As of December 2015 we are aware of new requirements for monitoring and reporting internet access for pupils. We are currently reviewing the changes and will issue further guidance after the new legislation is formalized. We expect this to be around April 2016. In the meantime, if the school has any specific requirements or requires any further information then please use the contact details below to get in touch. We feel that the new filtering system will address most of these requirements and we will provide guidance which you may wish to use in any PREVENT planning and policies.
Bolton Schools ICT Unit
Bolton ICT Centre
Smithills Dean Road