Types of block pages
The precautionary approach of the department's web filtering system matches international online protection standards.
Webpages could be unavailable because they may:
- not yet be categorised by the filtering system
- have restricted access during school hours
- be globally blocked by the department
- be locally blocked at your school
- be within the department's list of 'permanently blocked websites'
- be categorised as 'placeholder'
- be an invalid website
To help school staff identify the different causes of site unavailability, the department has introduced differentiated block pages. Most of the new block pages contain request forms meaning they no longer have to go through their MIS administrator.
Information on requesting the unblocking of each of these types of blocks is now available
Uncategorised sites haven't been fully scanned by the filters as they may be new sites or they may not contain sufficient background detail to allow immediate categorisation. This sometimes results in a website only displaying some of its content. School staff now have immediate access to these uncategorised websites after first selecting a category in the information block page.
The nominated category is then confirmed by the filtering system which takes 24 hours. After this time, if the site's official category is one that is blocked for all school staff statewide, the website will become inaccessible. However, if your principal or MIS admin has granted you 'temporary access' privileges, you can continue to access this blocked website for another 24-hour period only.
You'll receive an email informing you of the result of your nominated category. If you disagree with the final result, you can log a job with the Service Centre to have it assessed by the department's filtering team. Instructions for MIS administrators to grant 'temporary access' privileges to school staff can be found on the FAQ page.
To ensure staff can continue to access core business applications, between 8am and 4pm staff and students at schools, regional office and central office do not have access to a range of social networking and some high-use commercial websites. This includes all social networking websites (except Twitter), all real estate websites, eBay, carsales.com.au, drive.com.au, carpoint.com.au, boatsales.com.au, bikesales.com.au and miniclip.com.
This ensures staff can continue to access applications such as OneSchool and the Learning Place and ease pressure on school bandwidth.
If staff need to use these sites for work purposes, such as updating school Facebook sites or investigating student misuse of social networking which affects the good order and management of the school, they should log a job with the Service Centre and include principal or Director approval. Note that this exemption will apply to all sites within this Timed Access list, not just to one requested site. Log a job online or phone 1800 680 445.
The department has restricted access to websites and categories of websites that meet any of the following criteria:
- inappropriate content
- pose a potential security risk, for example spyware or malware
- host insecure instant messaging or peer-to-peer sessions
- be related to scams or identity theft
- store personal information off the department's network
- decrease bandwidth in your school
These blocks are sites which are available statewide, but your MIS Admin has chosen to restrict access to for users at your school only. For more information, refer to How does web filtering work.
The department has identified certain websites which are a risk to the network and access contravenes department policy. These websites will remain permanently blocked until further advised.
The sites that have been blocked permanently are those that:
- Store data outside the department's network
- Contain possible security risks to the departments network
- Utilise high bandwidth
- Contain inappropriate content
To see which websites are permanently blocked and why, visit the frequently asked questions page
The department has recognised that websites categorised as 'Placeholders' are inappropriate for the department's network.
These types of websites usually:
- Are under construction
- contain malicious software
- have no owner that supports or maintains the website
- have no content on the website and generally have no useful value.
Use a search engine to see if the original website has changed their web address.
The 'invalid website' block page informs that the web page no longer exists or is unable to be found.
Websites can cease to exist at any time. Use a search engine to see if the original website has changed their web address.