Resources for non-government schools

Privacy Compliance Manual

ISA and the National Catholic Education Commission (NCEC) jointly revised the Privacy Compliance Manual in April 2023. The manual was first developed in 2001 as a guide to handling the personal information of students in non-government schools. Since then, a number of updates have been made to the manual to reflect legislative and other changes. This revision ensures that the manual remains a useful resource for schools, by refining the contents and presentation.

The manual is now presented in five parts:

  • An overview of privacy regulation in schools
  • Data breach responses and procedures
  • Common privacy issues in schools
  • A detailed commentary on the Australian Privacy Principles, and
  • Various annexures, templates and policy documents.

This 2023 edition supersedes all previous editions.

Australian Education Act 2013

Under the Australian Education Act 2013 and associated regulatory frameworks, schools are required to meet a range of commitments relating to educational accountability.

More information regarding the accountability requirements for Independent schools is available in the Act and the associated Regulation.

The Australian Education Act 2013Australian Education Act 2013 (legislation.gov.au)

The Australian Education Regulation 2013Australian Education Regulation 2013 (legislation.gov.au)

Collection of student background characteristics

Under the Australian Education Act 2013, schools are required to collect information from parents on family background.

The information will be used to identify factors that influence how well children perform at school. The ACARA Data Standards Manual (ACARA – Student Background data collection for independent schools) provides guidance for schools on the collection of student background characteristics.

National Standards for Student Attendance Data Reporting

Student attendance rates are specified as a performance indicator within the National Education Agreement and as a Key Performance Measure (KPM) in the Measurement Framework for Schooling in Australia.

ACARA developed the National Standards for Student Attendance Reporting (ACARA – national standards for student attendance data reporting) to establish a nationally consistent set of parameters for the collection and reporting of student attendance data.

The national standards are applicable to students in Years 1 to 10 for all government, Catholic and Independent schools in Australia.

Education Services for Overseas Students Act 2000 (the ESOS Act)

The ESOS Act and the associated ESOS legislative framework (https://www.dese.gov.au/esos-framework)  is the legislative framework for education providers in regard to overseas students on student visas.

The ESOS Framework also includes the National Code of Practice for Providers of Education and Training to Overseas Students 2018 (the National Code)( National Code of Practice for Providers of Education and Training to Overseas Students 2018 (legislation.gov.au) and the Tuition Protection Service (Tuition Protection Service – Department of Education, Skills and Employment, Australian Government (dese.gov.au)

The Australian Government Schools International (AGSI) Homestay Standards are also provided to assist schools meet the requirements of Standard 5 of the National Code – Younger Students.

Download the standards here. http://www.agsi.org.au/homestay-standards/

Disability Standards for Education

The Disability Standards for Education 2005 (https://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/F2005L00767) clarify the obligations of education and training providers, and seek to ensure that students with disability can access and participate in education on the same basis as students without disability.

More information is available on the Department of Education, Skills and Employment website at https://www.dese.gov.au/disability-standards-education-2005.