The Catholic Education Office (CEO) and System Schools are bound by the Australian Privacy Principles (APPs) contained in the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) as amended by the Privacy Amendment (Enhancing Privacy Protection) Act 2012. The CEO and System schools as well as Early Learning Centres and before and after school care facilities is committed to respecting the privacy rights of families, (parent/students) employees, and all individuals in the workplace, and those interacting with the CEO and System Schools. Furthermore, the policy has been established to ensure that all Catholic Education Office workers comply at all times with its obligations under the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) as amended by the Privacy Amendment (Enhancing Privacy Protection) Act 2012.
What personal information do we collect and how?
- The Catholic Education Office operating under the authority of the Archdiocese of Canberra and Goulburn and Systemic schools, as well as Early Learning Centres and Before and After School Care facilities may collect personal information. Schools, Eary Learning Centres and the Archdiocese collect personal information, including sensitive information about pupils and parents or guardians before and during the course of a pupil’s enrolment at Schools. The primary purpose of collecting this information is to enable Schools and the CEO to provide schooling to the pupil and enable the pupil to take part in all the activities of Schools.
- Schools and the CEO will generally collect personal information about an individual using forms completed by the parents or students, face-to-face meetings, interviews and telephone calls. Information may also be collected from perspective employees.
- In relation to personal information of students, parents and employees the CEO’s and school’s primary purpose of collection is to enable it to provide schooling for the student.
- Some of the information we collect is to satisfy Schools’ legal obligations, particularly to enable Schools to discharge its duty of care.
- Laws governing or relating to the operation of schools require certain information to be collected and disclosed. These include relevant Education Acts, Public Health and Child Protection laws with which Schools complies as relevant. Schools may share this information with the CEO.
- Schools may be provided with personal information about an individual from a third party, for example a report provided by a medical professional or a reference from another school or previous school reports. Schools may share this information as necessary with CEO staff.
- Health information about pupils is classified as sensitive information within the terms of the Australian Privacy Principles under the Privacy Act. Schools may request medical reports about pupils from time to time. Again, Schools may share this information as necessary with the CEO staff.
- If we cannot obtain the information referred to above we may be unable to enrol or continue the enrolment of your child.
- Schools, on occasion, disclose personal and sensitive information to others for administrative and educational purposes, including to facilitate the transfer of a pupil to another school within the System. This includes to other schools; government departments or agencies such as the ACT Department of Education, the Teacher Quality Institute, ACT Board of Senior Secondary Studies, the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA); the Catholic Education Office; the Catholic Education Commission; the National Catholic Education Commission; the Archdiocese of Canberra and Goulburn and its parishes; other Dioceses or parishes, medical practitioners and people providing services to Schools, including specialist visiting teachers, (sports) coaches, volunteers and counsellors.
- Personal information collected from students is regularly disclosed to their parents/guardians.
- Schools are permitted under legislation to provide non-educational material to a parent where the student would reasonably expect this to happen. Under the Privacy Act, Schools will consider the age of the student, the nature of the information, and the student’s expectations about what information might be disclosed.
- Schools have in place procedures to protect the personal information it holds from misuse, loss, unauthorized access, unauthorized modification or disclosure.
- Personal information may be used for the purpose of publishing certain school information relating to the general circumstances of parents and students on the MySchool website, in accordance with Australian Government requirements.
- Schools may utilise external providers to deliver certain services including ‘cloud’ data storage to Schools and its staff and students. Schools may store personal information in the ‘cloud’ which may mean that it resides on servers that are located outside Australia.
- Schools from time to time engage in fundraising activities. Information received from you may be used to make an appeal to you. Such information may also be disclosed to organisations that assist in Schools’ fundraising activities solely for that purpose. We will not disclose your personal information to third parties for their own marketing purposes without your consent.
- On occasion information such as academic and sporting achievements, pupil activities and school-related news is published in School and Diocesan newsletters, magazines or other publications and on Schools, Catholic Education Office or Diocesan websites. Photographs of pupil activities such as academic or sporting events, school camps and excursions may be taken for publication in newsletters and magazines and on our intranet. The student enrolment form includes an opt-out provision for parents not wishing to have their children photographed.
- Schools and the CEO will obtain separate permissions from the student’s parent or guardian prior to publication if they intend to include photographs or other identifying material for the purposes of promotion for Schools or otherwise make it available to the public, such as on the internet or forwarded on to commercial media outlets.
- If parents/guardians provide Schools with the personal information of others, such as doctors or emergency contacts, we encourage the parents/guardians to inform them that they are disclosing that information to Schools and why, that they can access that information if they wish. Schools do not usually disclose this information to third parties other than the CEO.
Catholic Education Office
Archdiocese of Canberra & Goulburn
PO Box 3317
Manuka ACT 2603
Phone: (02)6234 5455
You may also submit your complaint to the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner.
How will we use your personal information?
We will use personal information for the primary purpose for which it was collected and for such other secondary purposes that are related to the primary purpose and reasonably expected.
We may use the personal information of Students and Parents:
- to assess enrolment applications, including assessing possible risks associated with known behaviour to safety of Students and Staff
- to facilitate a smooth transition of Students to our schools and before and after school care facilities, which may include a health and allergy management plan, preparing a behaviour management plan or other appropriate strategies aimed at meeting the particular needs of the Student
- to keep Parents informed about a Student’s care, education and development
- to perform day to day administration
- to provide for Students’ educational, social, spiritual and medical well-being and a safe learning environment
- to obtain donations and market our services
- to prepare State and national reports, and
- to discharge our schools’ duty of care and our other legal obligations.
We may use the personal information of Staff and contractors:
- to administer employment processes and contracts
- to enable our Staff and contractors to work together with our schools Early Learning Centres and before and after school care facilities
- to obtain funds and market our services
- to provide a safe working and learning environment
- to discharge our legal obligations, and
- for insurance purposes.
We will also use the information for any purpose to which you have consented or that is required or authorised by law.
To whom might we disclose your personal information?
We may share personal information between our schools, Early Learning Centres and before and after school care facilities and the Catholic Education Office and to:
- another school or care centre to which a student transfers
- government departments
- the local parish of Schools, or your local parish
- medical practitioners
- organisations which assist us with fundraising and marketing, for example a school’s parish, foundation or alumni organisation
- service providers, for example counsellors, specialist visiting teachers and sports coaches
- other service providers, such as email service providers
- recipients of school publications like school newsletters and magazines
- anyone you authorise us to disclose information to, and
- anyone to whom we are required or authorised to disclose the information by law, including to discharge our duty of care.
Parents’ occupation and education – National goals for schooling
Information about Parents’ occupations and education is accessed by the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) to meet the government’s National Goals for Schooling in the 21st century. These state that the achievement of students in schools should not be affected by discrimination based on sex, language, culture and ethnicity, religion or disability; or by differences arising from social and economic background or geographic location. The goals also state that ‘the learning outcomes of educationally disadvantaged students [should] improve and, over time, match those of other students’.
To help schools to achieve these goals, all Parents across Australia, no matter which school their child attends, are asked to provide information about family background. The main purpose of collecting this information is to promote an education system that is fair for all Australian students regardless of their circumstances.
We use the information to evaluate whether our policies are effective and to ensure that no group is experiencing undue disadvantage.
Providing information about Parents’ occupation and education is voluntary, but Parents’ information will help us to ensure that all students are being well served by our schools.
Management and security of personal information
- We have in place steps to protect the personal information we hold from misuse, interference, loss, unauthorised access, modification or disclosure by various methods such as locked storage of paper records and password access rights to electronic records. Wherever possible we require third parties with whom we exchange personal information to observe the Australian Privacy Principles.
- We endeavour not to store personal information for longer than necessary.
Access and correction of personal information
You may access information we hold about you and request that it be updated or corrected. Such requests should be made in writing to schools, Early Learning Centres and before and after school care facilities or the relevant head of service at the Catholic Education Office. We may require you to verify your identity and specify what information you require. We may charge you a fee to access your information to cover expenses of verifying your application and locating, retrieving and copying relevant records. If the information sought is extensive, we will advise the likely cost in advance. We will not charge you for the request or correction of your personal information.
There may be occasions when access to information is denied. Such occasions may include where the disclosure of information may have an unreasonable impact on others, for example if the disclosure breaches a school’s duty of care or the privacy of others. In certain circumstances, we may also refuse access to, or correction of, employee records applying exemptions under the Privacy Act.
Consent and right of access to personal information of Students by Parents
We treat consent given by Parents relating to personal information about Students as consent given by the Student and notices relating to personal information about Students given to Parents as notices given to the Student. An exception to this is when independently of Parents we may, at our discretion:
- give information we hold about a Student to that Student at his/her request, or
- allow a Student to give or withhold consent to release personal information about that Student.
This would normally be done only when the Student is of sufficient maturity and his/her personal circumstances warrant it.
There may be occasions where a Parent’s access to their child’s personal information is denied. Such occasions would include where release of the information would have an unreasonable impact on the privacy of others, or where the release may result in a breach of a school’s, Early Learning Centres, before and after school care facilities or the Catholic Education Office’s duty of care to the Student.
How do we treat sensitive information?
We will only use and disclose sensitive information for the purpose for which it was provided or for a directly related secondary purpose, unless you agree otherwise or the disclosure is permitted by law.