This statement outlines the policy on how Independent Schools Victoria (ISV)* and Victorian Independent Schools Block Grant Authority Limited (VIS BGA) use and manage personal information provided to or collected by the organisations.
ISV is bound by the National Privacy Principles (NPPs) contained in the Commonwealth’s Privacy Act 1988 as amended and will collect, use and retain personal information, including any sensitive information, in accordance with those Principles.
The Principles are designed to protect the confidentiality of information and the privacy of individuals by regulating the way personal information is managed. Personal information is, generally, information or an opinion relating to an individual which can be used to identify that individual.
ISV may, from time to time, review and update this policy to take account of new legislation and technology, as well as changes to its operations and practices, and the changing business environment.
2. Information Collected by ISV and VIS BGA
The type of information ISV collects and holds includes (but is not limited to) personal information, including sensitive information about:
- School staff and Governors
- Students, for the purposes of funding applications and other program activities
- Job applicants, staff members, volunteers, consultants and contractors
- Other people who come into contact with ISV.
ISV collects personal information on customers, suppliers, employees, contractors, other contacts and others about whom information is to be given, to understand and meet their needs, to conduct ISV and VIS BGA activities and to meet legal obligations.
Personal information you provide
ISV may collect personal information about an individual. This is generally by way of forms filled out by those individuals (including on-line registration), e-mails, face-to-face meetings and interviews, and telephone calls.
Personal information provided by other people
ISV may also be provided with personal information about an individual from a third party, for example, student data from schools and government agencies, or a referral or reference from a school or educational organisation.
Exception in relation to employee records
The NPPs do not apply to employee records, and this policy does not apply, in relation to the treatment of an employee record where the treatment is directly related to a current or former employment relationship between ISV and the employee.
3. Use of Information
ISV will use personal information it collects for the primary purpose of collection, and for such other secondary purposes that are related to the primary purpose of collection and reasonably expected, or to which the individual has consented.
In certain circumstances, ISV may use aggregated data to meet its commitments as a service provider to independent schools and their students. In such circumstances, data will be aggregated in such a manner that personal information will not be accessible to third parties.
In relation to personal information of students, the primary purpose of collection is to enable ISV to assess applications for funding or other program activities.
Where ISV requests personal information about a student, if the information requested is not obtained ISV may not be able to assess the student’s eligibility for funding, services or other support.
Job applicants, staff members, consultants and contractors
In relation to personal information of job applicants, staff members, consultants and contractors, ISV’s primary purpose of collection is to assess and (if successful) to engage the applicant, staff member, consultant or contractor.
The purposes for which ISV uses personal information of job applicants, staff members, consultants and contractors include:
- In administering the individual’s employment or contract
- For insurance purposes
- To provide information to Member schools
- To satisfy ISV’s legal requirements.
School staff and governors
ISV uses personal information about School Staff and Governors to provide services to Member schools including the provision of information, professional development, administration of programs, representation and advocacy and the promotion of independent schools to the public.
ISV will not disclose personal information other than as necessary to perform the above tasks, or as required or authorised by law, or with permission.
Who might ISV disclose personal information to?
ISV may disclose personal information, including sensitive information, held about an individual to:
- Member schools
- Government departments and education authorities
- People providing services to ISV
- Recipients of ISV publications, like newsletters and magazines
- Anyone to whom the individual authorises ISV to disclose information.
Such information will only be disclosed in accordance with the other clauses contained in this Policy.
Sending information overseas
ISV 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)
- Otherwise complying with the NPPs.
4. Sensitive Information
In referring to ‘sensitive information’, ISV means information relating to a person’s racial or ethnic origins, political opinions, religion, trade union or other professional or trade association membership, sexual preferences or criminal record, that is also personal information; and health 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 agreed otherwise by the individual, or the use or disclosure of that sensitive information is allowed by law.
Management and security of personal information
ISV staff are required to respect the confidentiality of personal information and the privacy of individuals.
ISV has in place steps to protect the personal information it holds from misuse, loss, unauthorised access, modification or disclosure by use of various methods including locked storage of paper records and password protected access rights to computerised records.
ISV regards privacy as a serious matter and will take appropriate action in response to breaches of the obligations imposed by the NPPs.
Updating personal information
ISV endeavours to ensure that the personal information it holds is accurate, complete and up-to-date. An individual may seek to update their personal information by contacting ISV Office at any time.
The NPPs require ISV not to store personal information longer than necessary.
Under the Commonwealth’s Privacy Act, an individual has the right to obtain access to any personal information which ISV holds about them and to advise ISV of any perceived inaccuracy. There are some exceptions to this right set out in the Act.
To make a request to access any personal information ISV holds about an individual, they should contact ISV in writing.
For further information about the way ISV manages the personal information it holds, please contact the office.
The current version of this policy is available at www.independentschools.vic.edu.au
Revised: July 2010