The Catholic school is a reflection of the Church’s commitment to the dignity of the individual (Mandate para 6). It is important for schools to demonstrate this commitment in the manner in which they protect information that they hold about their school community. The Catholic school requires information about students and their families in order to provide for the education of these students.
The Privacy Act 1988 directs the manner in which private sector organisations, including Catholic schools and systems, manage the personal and sensitive information of individuals.
The purpose of the legislation is to ensure that organisations, which hold information about individuals, handle that information responsibly. It aims to establish a nationally consistent approach to the management of personal information.
Personal Information – information which can identify an individual.
Sensitive Information – information about a person’s religious and political beliefs, sexual preferences, racial or ethnic origin, membership of political associations, philosophical beliefs, criminal record or health information.
- Majella Catholic Primary School has a responsibility to use and manage personal and sensitive information collected in accordance with the Privacy Act 1988.
- Majella Catholic Primary School has a responsibility to inform individuals of the purpose of collecting personal and sensitive information.
- All information is collected for the primary purpose of the Catholic education of the student.
YOUR PRIVACY IS IMPORTANT
The school is bound by the Australian Privacy Principles contained in the Commonwealth Privacy Act. In relation to health records, the school is also bound by the Health Records Act.
WHAT KINDS OF PERSONAL INFORMATION DOES MAJELLA CATHOLIC PRIMARY SCHOOL COLLECT AND HOW DOES IT DO THIS?
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/guardians 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/guardians or pupils, face-to-face meetings and interviews, and telephone calls. On occasions people other than parents/guardians 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 MAJELLA CATHOLIC PRIMARY 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 both the needs of parents/guardians, 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/guardians include:
- to keep parents/guardians 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/guardian, 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 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 Parents and Friends’ Committee.
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 MAJELLA CATHOLIC PRIMARY 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 and sports coaches;
- recipients of school publications, like newsletters and magazines;
- anyone you authorise the school to disclose information to; and
- anyone to whom the school is required to disclose information to by law.
Sending and storing information overseas: The school may disclose personal information about an individual to overseas recipients, for instance, 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 National Privacy Principles or other applicable privacy legislation.
HOW DOES MAJELLA CATHOLIC PRIMARY SCHOOL TREAT 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.
HOW WILL MAJELLA CATHOLIC PRIMARY SCHOOL MANAGE PERSONAL INFORMATION?
The school's staff are required to respect the confidentiality of pupils' and parents’/guardians’ 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.
CAN AN INDIVIDUAL GAIN ACCESS TO AND UPDATE THEIR PERSONAL INFORMATION?
Under the Commonwealth Privacy Act and the Health Records 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/guardians, 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 information the school holds about you or your child, please contact the 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.
WILL PARENTAL CONSENT BE SOUGHT TO ALLOW OTHERS ACCESS TO THE PERSONAL INFORMATION OF PUPILS?
The school respects every parent’s/guardian’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/guardians. The school will treat consent given by parents/guardians as consent given on behalf of the pupil, and notice to parents/guardians will act as notice given to the pupil.
As mentioned above, parents/guardians may seek access to personal information held by the school about them or their child by contacting the 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/guardians. This would normally be done only when the maturity of the pupil and/or the pupil's personal circumstances so warrant.
CAN AN INDIVIDUAL ACCESS THEIR PERSONAL INFORMATION HELD BY MAJELLA CATHOLIC PRIMARY SCHOOL?
Under the Commonwealth Privacy Act and the Health Records Act, an individual may seek access to personal information which the School holds about them. There are some exceptions to this set out in the applicable legislation. Pupils will generally have access to their personal information through their parents/guardians, but older pupils may seek access themselves.
To make a request to access any information the school holds about you or your child, please contact the principal in writing.
The school may require you to verify your identity and specify what information you require. The school may charge a fee for access and will advise the likely cost in advance.