Brighton Hill Community School

23. E-mail Policy

Information & Policies

Published on - 08-12-2016

Scope

This policy covers all e-mail systems and facilities that are provided by Brighton Hill Community School for the purpose of conducting and supporting official business activity through the Schools network infrastructure and all stand alone and portable computer devices.

This policy is intended for all Brighton Hill Community School employees, partners, students, contractual third parties and agents of the school who have been designated as authorised users of e-mail facilities.

The use of e-mail facilities by staff or students that have not been authorised for that purpose will be regarded as a disciplinary issue.


Definition

All e-mail prepared and sent from Brighton Hill Community School e-mail addresses or mailboxes is subject to this policy.


Applying the Policy

All e-mails that are used to conduct or support authorised Brighton Hill Community School business must be sent using the ">“@brightonhill.hants.sch.uk ” address. 

Other e-mail accounts must not be used to conduct or support official Brighton Hill Community School business.

All e-mails sent using the “@brightonhill.hants.sch.uk ” address are the property of the school and not of any individual employee.

The legal status of an e-mail is similar to any other form of written communication.  Consequently, any e-mail message sent from a facility provided to conduct or support authorised Brighton Hill Community School business should be considered to be an official communication from the school.

Whilst respecting the privacy of authorised users, Brighton Hill Community School maintains its legal right, in accordance with the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000, to monitor and audit the use of e-mail by authorised users, to ensure adherence to this policy.  Any such interception or monitoring will be carried out in accordance with the provisions of that Act.  Users should be aware that deletion of e-mail from individual accounts does not necessarily result in permanent deletion.  It should also be noted that e-mail and attachments (whether sent or received) may need to be disclosed under the Data Protection Act 1998 or the Freedom of information Act 2000.  Further information regarding this can be obtained from the Network Manager.



Usage

E-mails sent externally (including, but not limited to, parents/carers) must not be considered any less formal than printed letters that are sent out by the school.  When sending external e-mail, care should be taken not to contain material which could reflect poorly on the school’s reputation with parents, members of the local community, employees, partners, students, contractual third parties and agents of the school.

Under no circumstances should users communicate material (either internally or externally), which is, or could be seen as, defamatory, obscene, or which does not comply with the school’s Equal Opportunities Policy, or which could reasonably anticipated to be considered inappropriate.  Any user who is unclear about the appropriateness of any material, should consult their line manager prior to sending any such e-mail.

The use of e-mail facilities provided by Brighton Hill Community School for the following activities will be treated as a serious disciplinary issue.

  1. The transmission of unsolicited commercial or advertising material, chain letters, or other junk-mail of any kind, to other organisations.
  2. The unauthorised external transmission to a third party of confidential information or restricted material concerning activities of the school.
  3. The transmission of material such that this infringes the copyright of another person including intellectual property rights.
  4. Activities that corrupt or destroy other users’ data.
  5. The creation or transmission of any offensive, obscene or indecent images, data, or other material, or any data capable of being resolved into obscene or indecent images or material.
  6. The creation or transmission of material that is abusive or threatening to others, or serves to harass or bully others.
  7. The creation or transmission of material that either discriminates or encourages discrimination on racial or ethnic grounds, or on grounds of gender, sexual orientation, marital status, disability, political or religious beliefs.
  8. The creation or transmission of defamatory material.
  9. Activities that violate the privacy of other users.
  10. The creation or transmission of anonymous message – i.e. without clear identification of the sender.
  11. The creation or transmission of material which brings the school in to disrepute.
  12. Disclosure of a user’s password to anyone other than the user.


Confidential Data

In accordance with the Data Protection Policy, personal data, whether pertaining to employees or students, sent via e-mail, must be clearly labelled as ‘confidential’.  Personal data sent as an e-mail attachment must be clearly labelled as ‘confidential’, both in the file name and the document itself.


Monitoring E-mail Facilities

All users should be aware that e-mail usage is monitored and recorded centrally.  The monitoring of e-mail (outgoing and incoming) traffic will be undertaken in order to:

  1. Plan and manage its resources effectively.
  2. Ensure that users act only in accordance with policies and procedures.
  3. Ensure that standards are maintained.
  4. Prevent and detect crime.
  5. Investigate any unauthorised use

Where an employee suspects that Brighton Hill Community School e-mail facilities are being abused by an employee, they should inform a member of the senior leadership team.  Where an employee suspects that Brighton Hill Community School e-mail facilities are being abused by a student, they should inform the Network Manager or a member of the senior leadership team.

Employees may access students’ e-mail accounts with permission from the Network Manager or a member of the senior leadership team.

All users, including the Network Manager, may only access another employee’s e-mail account under any of the following conditions.

  1. Written permission to access an employee’s e-mail account is given by the employee.
  2. Written permission to access an employee’s e-mail account has been given by the Headteacher.
  3. Written permission to access the Headteacher’s e-mail account is given by the Chair of Governors.

Written permission must state the purpose of the request, and the priod of time for which access is requested.  For the purposes of above, permission sent in an e-mail will be deemed written permission.

Unauthorised access of another user’s e-mail account is strictly forbidden, and will be treated as a serious disciplinary issue.

When access of another user’s e-mail account is given, a log will be kept of the request will be kept by the Network Manager, the reason and the employees involved.

For the purposes of the above, the Network Manager may delegate his authority to other members of the IT Support team.


Personal Use

Personal use of Brighton Hill Community School e-mail facilities is permitted, but should be kept to a minimum and users are held responsible for such e-mails’ contents at all times. 

If any user is found to have breached this policy, they will be subject to Brighton Hill Community School’s disciplinary procedure.  If a criminal offence is considered to have been committed, further action may be taken to assist in the prosecution of the offender(s).


Last ratified: April 2016
Next review date: April 2018