Computer and Internet Acceptable User Agreement

Author: Angela Padfield
Date of Publication: July 2017
Revision August 2023 (W Harris)
First date of review August 2024

All learners have a responsibility to use York Learning’s computer systems in a professional, lawful, and ethical manner.

York Learning seeks to promote and facilitate the positive and extensive use of Information Technology in the interests of supporting the delivery of learning, teaching, innovation and research to the highest possible standards. This also requires appropriate and legal use of the technologies and facilities made available to learners.  York Learning also has a statutory duty, under Section 26 of the Counter Terrorism and Security Act 2015, termed “PREVENT”. The purpose of this duty is to aid the process of preventing people being drawn into terrorism.

To ensure that learners are fully aware of their responsibilities when using Information Communication Technology (ICT) and the learning network systems, they are asked to read and sign this Acceptable Use Policy.

This is not an exhaustive list and all learners are reminded that ICT use should be consistent with the York Learning ethos, other appropriate policies and the Law.

  • Learners should ensure that they do not create, transmit, display, publish or forward any material that is defamatory, harassing, cause offence, threatening, discriminatory, extremist or which has the potential to radicalise themselves or needless anxiety that could bring them, their families or York Learning into disrepute.
  • Information Systems and ICT include networks, data and data storage, online and offline communication technologies and access\loan devices. Examples include mobile phones, laptops, PDAs, digital cameras, email and social media sites. York Learning’s owned information systems must be used appropriately. Hardware and software provided by York Learning is primarily for learners to use in order to carry out their studies.
  • Learners should not use the system for personal or recreational use unless they have permission.
  • Learners are expected to comply with the requirement to use appropriate passwords and other security measures introduced from time to time.
  • To prevent unauthorised access to systems or personal data, learners must not leave any information system unattended without first logging out or locking the device as appropriate.
  • Learners must not share their passwords or other security information and must not use another’s password to access the system.
  • Learners must not download any software or install any hardware onto the network without agreement from the Network Manager.
  • Learners must not attempt to modify the desktop or otherwise alter the set-up of a device.
  • Learners must not corrupt, alter or destroy another User’s data without their consent;
    • disrupting the work of other Users or the correct functioning of the Learning Network; or
    • denying access to the Learning Network and its services to other users.
    • If a learner suspect a computer or system has been damaged or affected by a virus or other malware they must report this to their tutor immediately
  • Learners may use their own devices in class, providing they have the relevant permissions. This includes use of the WIFI. Learners are expected to follow the rules set out in this agreement, in the same way as if they were using our equipment.

Any breach of good practice that is likely to damage the reputation of the Learning Network will also be regarded as unacceptable use of the Learning Network.

Where the Learning Network is being used to access another network, any abuse of the acceptable use policy of that network will be regarded as unacceptable use of the Learning Network.

Users shall not:

  1. introduce data-interception, password-detecting or similar software or devices to the Learning Network or laptops on loan;
  2. seek to gain unauthorised access to restricted areas of the Learning  Network;
  3. access or try to access data where the user knows or ought to know that they should have no access;
  4. carry out any hacking activities; or
  5. Intentionally or recklessly introduce any form of spyware, computer virus or other potentially malicious software.

Using email for your studies

  • If using Google Education you will be provided with a ‘yorklearningeducation’ email address. Electronic communications with other staff and other professionals should only take place via  or email address.
  • Learners must not open any attachments to emails, unless they know and trust the person / organisation who sent the email, due to the risk of the attachment containing viruses or other harmful programmes.
  • Learners are expected to use the channels of communication in a polite and responsible way without using strong, aggressive or inappropriate language. They must also appreciate that others may have different opinions.

Staying Safe and Respecting other users

In order to stay safe learners are advised:

  • not to disclose or share personal information when on-line.
  • only arrange to meet new friends met on-line in public places and with an appropriate adult
  • to immediately report any unpleasant or inappropriate material or messages or anything that makes them feel uncomfortable when they see it on-line.
  • when using the internet to find information, to take care to check that the information is accurate, as the work of others may not be truthful and may be a deliberate attempt to mislead

Learners must respect other users of the system. They should:

  • respect others’ work and property and not access, copy, remove or otherwise alter any other user’s files, without the owner’s knowledge and permission.
  • ensure that they have permission to use the original work of others in their own work
  • not try (unless with permission) to make large downloads or uploads that might take up internet capacity and prevent other users from being able to carry out their work.
  • where work is protected by copyright, not try to download copies (including music and videos)
  • not take or distribute images of anyone without their permission.

System Monitoring

York Learning constantly monitors the use of information systems, including Internet access and the interception of e-mails in order to monitor compliance with this Acceptable Use Policy and the City of York Council’s Data Security Policy.

Where Management believes unauthorised and/or inappropriate use of York Learning’s information system or equipment, or unacceptable or inappropriate behaviour may be taking place there will be a full investigation which could result in disciplinary action taking place. This is extended to inappropriate behaviour outside York Learning if other members of York Learning community are involved.

If York Learning suspects that their equipment or systems may be being used for criminal purposes or for storing unlawful text, images or sound, the matter will be brought to the attention of the relevant law enforcement organisation.

York Learning uses Senso tracking/filtering software on laptops/devices loaned to learners and the Learning Network.


York Learning offers various support structures to learners.

  • You can report a concern via email: or by speaking to your tutor or any member of staff. If there is an immediate concern and/or threat to life please ring 999.
  • You can get access to support with technology for your course if you struggle to access digital provision. Speak to your tutor.
  • We offer online safety courses for free. These take place regularly and are available for anyone to book – see our web page for more details or speak to your tutor.