Privacy Compliance Manual

In 2001 ISA (then ISCA) and the National Catholic Education Commission (NCEC) jointly produced a Privacy Compliance Manual to assist non-government schools to comply with the privacy legislation.

This Schools Privacy Compliance Manual (updated to November 2019) supersedes the Privacy Compliance Manual published in 2001 and updated in 2004, 2007, 2010, 2013, 2014 and 2016.

It contains changes which address privacy issues for Independent schools and the concerns raised by schools pending the introduction of NAPLAN Online. Issues covered relate to the storing and movement of electronic student background and test data from schools to outside agencies, such as ACARA.

Particular changes that schools need to be aware of are;

  • changes to the template privacy collection notices (see Chapter 8)
  • changes to the template privacy policies (see Annexure 2)
  • changes to the cloud computing section (see Chapter 22)
  • the addition of a new chapter on responding to privacy breaches (see Chapter 22 and Annexure 6) and a template privacy breach response protocol (see Annexure 7).

The previous Manual should be discarded to ensure that only the current Manual is used.

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.