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Privacy Policy

PURPOSE

This statement outlines Parklands Christian College (hereinafter referred to as the “College”) policy on how the College uses and manages personal information provided to or collected by it. The College is bound by the National Privacy Principles contained in the Commonwealth Privacy Act. The College may, from time to time, review and update this Privacy Policy to take account of new laws and technology, changes to the College’s operations and practices and to make sure it remains appropriate to the changing school environment.

SCOPE

The policy applies to board members, employers, employees, volunteers, parents/guardians and students, contractors, and people visiting the school site; and describes the type of information the school collects, how the information is handled, how and to whom the information is disclosed, and how the information may be accessed.

REFERENCES

  • Privacy Act 1988 (Cth)
  • Privacy Amendment (Enhancing Privacy Protection) Act 2012
  • Student Protection Policy
  • Disabilities Policy

OBLIGATIONS
The College is required to comply with the Australian Privacy Principles (APPs) in the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) (Privacy Act). The APPs direct the way in which personal information is processed throughout its life cycle, from collection, to use and disclosure, storage, accessibility and disposal.

EXCEPTION in relation to employee records:

Under the Privacy Act, the Australian Privacy Principles do not apply to an employee record held by the employing entity. As a result, this Privacy Policy does not apply to the School’s treatment of an employee record, where the treatment is directly related to a current or former employment relationship between the School and employee.

DEFINITIONS

What is personal information?
Personal information means information or an opinion, whether true or not and whether recorded in a material form or not, about an individual who is identified or reasonably identifiable.

What is sensitive information?
In referring to ‘sensitive information’, the School means: information relating to a person’s racial or ethnic origin, political opinions, religion, trade union or other professional or trade association membership, philosophical beliefs, sexual orientation or practices or criminal record, that is also personal information; health information and biometric information about an individual.

Sensitive information will be used and disclosed only for the purpose for which it was provided or a directly related secondary purpose, unless you agree otherwise, or the use or disclosure of the sensitive information is allowed by law.

INFORMATION

What kinds of personal information does the School collect and how does the School collect it?

The type of information the School collects and holds includes (but is not limited to) personal information, including health and other sensitive information, about:

  • pupils and parents and/or guardians (‘Parents’) before, during and after the course of a pupil’s enrolment at the School;
  • job applicants, staff members, volunteers and contractors; and
  • other people who come into contact with the School.

Personal Information you provide:

The School will generally collect personal information held about an individual by way of forms filled out by Parents or pupils, face-to-face meetings and interviews, emails and telephone calls. On occasions people other than Parents and pupils provide personal information.

Personal Information provided by other people:

In some circumstances the School 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.

How will the School use the personal information you provide?

The School will use personal information it collects from you for the primary purpose of collection, and for such other secondary purposes that are related to the primary purpose of collection and reasonably expected by you, or to which you have consented.

Pupils and Parents

In relation to personal information of pupils and Parents, the School’s primary purpose of collection is to enable the School to provide schooling for the pupil. This includes satisfying the needs of Parents, the needs of the pupil and the needs of the School throughout the whole period the pupil is enrolled at the School.

The purposes for which the School uses personal information of pupils and Parents include:

  • to keep Parents informed about matters related to their child’s schooling, through correspondence, newsletters and magazines;
  • day-to-day administration of the School;
  • looking after pupils’ educational, social and medical wellbeing;
  • seeking donations and marketing for the School; and
  • to satisfy the School’s legal obligations and allow the School to discharge its duty of care.

In some cases where the School requests personal information about a pupil or Parent, if the

information requested is not provided, the School may not be able to enrol or continue the enrolment of the pupil or permit the pupil to take part in a particular activity.

Job applicants, Staff Members and Contractors

In relation to personal information of job applicants, staff members and contractors, the School’s primary purpose of collection is to assess and (if successful) to engage the applicant, staff member or contractor, as the case may be.

The purposes for which the School uses personal information of job applicants, staff members and contractors include:

  • in administering the individual’s employment or contract, as the case may be;
  • for insurance purposes;
  • seeking donations and marketing for the School; and
  • to satisfy the School’s legal obligations, for example, in relation to child protection legislation.

Volunteers

The School also obtains personal information about volunteers who assist the School in its functions or conduct associated activities, such as alumni associations, to enable the School and the volunteers to work together.

Marketing and fundraising

The School treats marketing and seeking donations for the future growth and development of the School as an important part of ensuring that the School continues to provide a quality learning environment in which both pupils and staff thrive. Personal information held by the School may be disclosed to organisations that assist in the School’s fundraising, for example, the School’s Foundation or alumni organisation [or, on occasions, external fundraising organisations].

Parents, staff, contractors and other members of the wider School community may from time to time receive fundraising information. School publications, like newsletters and magazines, which include personal information, may be used for marketing purposes.

Who might the School disclose Personal Information to?

The School may disclose personal information, including sensitive information, held about an individual to:

  • another school;
  • government departments;
  • medical practitioners;
  • people providing services to the School, including specialist visiting teachers, counsellors and sports coaches;
  • recipients of School publications, such as newsletters and magazines;
  • Parents;
  • anyone you authorise the School to disclose information to; and
  • anyone to whom we are required to disclose the information to by law.

Sending Information Overseas

The School may disclose personal information about an individual to overseas recipients, for instance, when storing personal information with ‘cloud’ service providers which are situated outside Australia or to facilitate a school exchange.

However, the School will not send personal information about an individual outside Australia without:

  • obtaining the consent of the individual (in some cases this consent will be implied); or
  • otherwise complying with the Australian Privacy Principles or other applicable privacy legislation.

The School may use online or ‘cloud’ service providers to store personal information and to provide services to the School that involve the use of personal information, such as services relating to email, instant messaging and education and assessment applications. Some limited personal information may also be provided to these service providers to enable them to authenticate users that access their services. This personal information may be stored in the ‘cloud’ which means that it may reside on a cloud service provider’s servers which may be situated outside Australia.

An example of such a cloud service provider is Google. Google provides the ‘Google Apps for Education’ (GAFE) including Gmail, and stores and processes limited personal information for this purpose. School personnel and the AIS and its service providers may have the ability to access, monitor, use or disclose emails, communications (e.g. instant messaging), documents and associated administrative data for the purposes of administering GAFE and ensuring its proper use.

APP 8 imposes an obligation on Schools, if they use cloud computing, to take reasonable steps to ensure that the overseas provider does not breach the APP’s. This imposes an additional obligation upon them in a similar way to the other privacy principles.

Countries in which personal information may be located include:

  • Cambodia – use of information for student care and safety on College Missions trip.
  • Ireland – use of information by off-site RTP Facilitator to provide home communications to students and parents related to incomplete homework, drafts and assignments and well as data collection for student care and wellbeing reports.

Overseas Students

Overseas students, who are enrolled at Parklands Christian College, should be made aware that information provided, by the student to the College, may be made available to Commonwealth and State agencies. Acknowledgement of this disclosure would be in the form of a student signature on the College’s enrolment form; which should clearly state the above.

Management and security of personal information

The School’s staff are required to respect the confidentiality of pupils’ and Parents’ personal information and the privacy of individuals. The School has in place steps to protect the personal information the School holds from misuse, interference and loss, unauthorised access, modification or disclosure by use of various methods including locked storage of paper records and password access rights to computerised records.

Access and Correction of Personal Information

Under the Commonwealth Privacy Act, an individual has the right to obtain access to any personal information which the School holds about them and to advise the School of any perceived inaccuracy. Pupils will generally be able to access and update their personal information through their Parents, but older pupils may seek access and correction themselves.

There are some exceptions to these rights set out in the applicable legislation.

To make a request to access or update any personal information the School holds about you or your child, please contact the [School Principal] in writing. The School may require you to verify your identity and specify what information you require. The School may charge a fee to cover the cost of verifying your application and locating, retrieving, reviewing and copying any material requested. If the information sought is extensive, the School will advise the likely cost in advance. If we cannot provide you with access to that information, we will provide you with written notice explaining the reasons for refusal.

Consent and Rights of Access to the Personal Information of Pupils

The School respects every Parent’s right to make decisions concerning their child’s education. Generally, the School will refer any requests for consent and notices in relation to the personal information of a pupil to the pupil’s Parents. The School will treat consent given by Parents as consent given on behalf of the pupil, and notice to Parents will act as notice given to the pupil.

As mentioned above, parents may seek access to personal information held by the School about them or their child by contacting the [School Principal]. However, there will be occasions when access 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 the School’s duty of care to the pupil.

The School may, at its discretion, on the request of a pupil grant that pupil access to information held by the School about them, or allow a pupil to give or withhold consent to the use of their personal information, independently of their Parents. This would normally be done only when the maturity of the pupil and/or the pupil’s personal circumstances warrant it.

SOCIAL WORK AND WELLBEING TEAM

The College is committed to providing all stakeholders (staff, parents and students) free access to social work and wellbeing support. More over any member of the College, may make a referral to social work and wellbeing support, related to concern for a person/s health and mental wellbeing.

Collection of Sensitive Information

Information recorded by the social work and wellbeing team is considered sensitive information. Sensitive information is given heightened protection in the Privacy Amendment Act. More stringent requirements are put in place for the collection, storage and use of sensitive information than that of personal information.

The collection of sensitive information is subject to higher protections, as the School cannot collect information of this kind unless the individual consents to the collection and the information is reasonably necessary for one or more of the School’s functions or activities[1]. An objective test is used to consider whether the College would be able to undertake their functions and activities without that information, or with a lesser amount of that information

Means of Collection

Information may be collected for the purposes of ongoing quality student support and data analysis. The type of information collected will depend on the specific dealings with each person. In circumstances where information is collected, the College will whenever practical, outline the purpose of collecting and sharing information.

The type of information collected may include:

  1. emails or information shared via social media
  2. written statements and care notes
  3. sms messages
  4. requests to obtain resources such as referral information
  5. requests to provide you with services – including in person, online or by phone
  6. meeting minutes
  7. data required for statistical analysis

At times we may collect your personal information from persons or sources other than you. For example:

  1. information or concerns reported by staff, students or parents
  2. information or concerns reported by external services such as local schools, transport services, community based services,
  3. from third parties if you are engaged in external support such as Allied Health and Medical Professionals

A School may collect sensitive information in the absence of consent where:

  • It is required or authorised by a court/tribunal;
  • A permitted general situation exists;
  • Lessening or preventing a serious threat to life, health or safety;
  • Suspected unlawful action or serious misconduct;
  • Locating a missing person; or establishing, exercising or defending a legal or equitable claim;
  • Where it is reasonably necessary for a confidential alternative dispute resolution process;
  • Necessary for a diplomatic or consular function/activity; and
  • Necessary for Defence Force activities outside Australia;
  • A permitted health situation exists (providing a health service or conducting research);
  • For an enforcement activity

Unsolicited Personal Information

The College may become aware of personal or sensitive information about their students via social media. This may be via an alert by a concerned parent, inadvertently through word-of-mouth of other students in the School or by misdirected correspondence. These prominent social media sites will include Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Tumblr

If the School has not taken active steps to acquire this information and has not explicitly requested it from an external source, this kind of information will be classified as unsolicited personal information and will be governed by the rules of APP 4.

The Privacy Act defines “solicited” but does not define “unsolicited”. Therefore unsolicited information is all information that does not fit in the category as being actively solicited by the School. It will also include information provided to a School that is additional to the specific information that a School has solicited.

The main step that a School must take when they become aware of this information is to consider, as soon as reasonably possible after they receive the information, whether or not they could have solicited it under the rules of APP 3[2].

Information that could not have been collected in compliance with APP 3 must be destroyed or deidentified as soon as practicable[3]. Before it is destroyed, you must consider whether there is a law or legal order preventing it from being destroyed.

Information Sharing

Personal information may be disclosed in situations where it relates directly to the purpose for which it was collected. In circumstances where secondary information is provided, that is information collected without a specific purpose, it is considered private unless there is a Duty of Care concern.

Social work and wellbeing staff are expected to maintain confidentiality and privacy standards at all times. Sensitive information sharing is restricted to the following circumstances:

  1. Principal and Head of School members may be informed of any circumstances related to staff, parents or students which may adversely affect the College culture or positive outcomes to a person/s ongoing positive health and wellbeing.
  2. If required social work notes and statistical data may be provided to The Principal or Head of School for ongoing best practice, quality and accountability. As well as to inform policy and program development.
  3. The provision of information to Allied Health or Medical professionals, with direct consent from relevant parties.
  4. In situations which require immediate intervention or support for the care of a College member due to Duty of Care concerns.
  5. The use or disclosure of the information is required or authorised by or under and Australian law or a court/tribunal order.
  6. In circumstances where it is deemed relevant for Head of School or academic staff to be informed about specific student or staff concerns, information may be shared with appropriate consent from relevant parties.

All persons can request access to their personal information collected by the Social Work and Wellbeing team. The College, must on request, provide access to this information unless:

  1. The College deems that access would pose a threat to the life, health or safety of an individual, or to public health or public safety.
  2. If access to information would pose an unreasonable impact on the privacy of other individuals.
  3. The information correlates to existing or foreseeable legal proceedings between the College and the individual, and would not be accessible by the process of discovery in those proceedings.
  4. Giving access would be unlawful.
  5. Giving access would likely prejudice the likelihood of appropriate actions being taken in relation to a matter.

Information Storing

Information collected electronically by the Social Work and Wellbeing Team is stored in a secure location on the College server with restricted access. Social Work and Wellbeing Team technology access is password protected.

Any additional hard copy information is secured within a secure office and lockable file accessible only by the Social Work and Wellbeing team.

ENQUIRIES AND COMPLAINTS

If you would like further information about the way the School manages the personal information it holds, or wish to complain that you believe that the School has breached the Australian Privacy Principles please contact the school principal in writing. The School will investigate any complaint within a reasonable time of approximately 30 days, and will notify you of the making of a decision in relation to your complaint as soon as is practicable after it has been made. If you feel that your complaint was not adequately dealt with, then the complaint may be taken to an External Dispute Resolution scheme or subsequently the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner.

[1] Privacy Amendment (Enhancing Privacy Protection) Act 2012 (Cth) Schedule 1, APP 3.3(a)(ii).

[2] Privacy Amendment (Enhancing Privacy Protection) Act 2012 (Cth) Schedule 1, Item 104 (APP 4.1).

[3] Privacy Amendment (Enhancing Privacy Protection) Act 2012 (Cth) Schedule 1, Item 104 (APP 4.3)