This policy details how Perth College protects an individual’s privacy and complies with the requirements of The Privacy Act 1988 and The Privacy (Enhancing Privacy Protections) Act 2012 and the 13 Australian Privacy Principles.
This policy also describes:
- who we collect information from;
- the types of personal information collected and held by us;
- how this information is collected and held;
- the purposes for which your personal information is collected, held, used and disclosed;
- how you can gain access to your personal information and seek its correction;
- how you may complain or inquire about our collection, handling, use or disclosure of your personal information and how that complaint or inquiry will be handled; and
- whether we are likely to disclose your personal information to any overseas recipients.
Who do we collect personal information from?
At Perth College we collect personal information from students, parents, prospective parents, job applicants, staff, volunteers and others including past students, contractors, visitors and those who come into contact with the School.
It is noted that employee records are not covered by the Australian Privacy Principles where they relate to current or former employment relations between the School and the employee.
What kinds of personal information do we collect?
The kinds of personal information we collect are largely dependent upon whose information we are collecting and why we are collecting it, however, in general terms the School may collect:
- Personal Information: including names, addresses and other contact details; dates of birth; next of kin details; financial information; photographic images and attendance records.
- Sensitive Information: (particularly in relation to student and parent records) including religious beliefs, government identifiers, nationality, country of birth, languages spoken at home, professional or union memberships, family court orders and criminal records.
- Health Information: (particularly in relation to student and parent records) including medical records, disabilities, immunisation details, individual health care plans, counselling reports, and nutrition and dietary requirements.
How does the School collect your personal information?
How the School collects personal information will largely be dependent upon whose information we are collecting. If it is reasonable and practical to do so, we collect personal information directly.
Where possible the School has attempted to standardise the collection of personal information by using specifically designed forms (e.g. a Student Particulars Form or a Medical Details Form). However, given the nature of our operations, we often also receive personal information by email, letters, notes, over the telephone, in face to face meetings, through financial transactions, and through surveillance activities such as the use of CCTV security cameras or email monitoring.
We may also collect personal information from other people (e.g. a personal reference) or independent sources (e.g. a telephone directory), however, we will only do so where it is not reasonable and practical to collect the information directly.
Sometimes we may be provided with personal information without having sought it through our normal means of collection. We refer to this as ‘unsolicited information’. Where we collect unsolicited information we will only hold, use and/or disclose that information if we could otherwise have done so had we collected it by normal means. If that unsolicited information could not have been collected by normal means then we will destroy, permanently delete or de-identify the information as appropriate.
How We Use Personal Information
We only use personal information that is reasonably necessary for one or more of our functions or activities (the primary purpose) or for a related secondary purpose that would be reasonably expected, or to which consent has been obtained.
Our primary uses of personal information include but are not limited to:
- providing education, pastoral care, co-curricular and health services;
- satisfying our legal obligations including our duty of care and child protection obligations;
- keeping parents informed as to School community matters through correspondence, newsletters and magazines;
- marketing, promotional and fundraising activities;
- supporting the activities of School parent associations such as Friends of Perth College, Friends of Music, Friends of Rowing, Old Girls’ Association etc;
- supporting the activities of the Perth College Foundation;
- supporting community-based causes and activities, charities and other organisations in connection with the School’s functions or activities;
- helping us to improve our day-to-day operations including training our staff; systems development; developing new programmes and services; undertaking planning, research and statistical analysis;
- School administration including for insurance purposes;
- the employment of staff;
- the engagement of volunteers.
We only collect sensitive information that is reasonably necessary for one or more of these functions or activities if we have the consent of the individuals to whom the sensitive information relates, or if the collection is necessary to lessen or prevent a serious threat to life, health or safety, or another permitted general situation (such as locating a missing person) or permitted health situation (such as the collection of health information to provide a health service) exists.
If we do not have the relevant consent and a permitted health situation or permitted general situation does not exist, then we may still collect sensitive information provided it relates solely to individuals who have regular contact with the School in connection with our activities. These individuals may include students, parents, volunteers, former students and other individuals with whom the School has regular contact in relation to our activities.
We will only use or disclose sensitive information for a secondary purpose if individuals would reasonably expect us to use or disclose the information and the secondary purpose is directly related to the primary purpose.
Storage and Security of Personal Information
The School stores personal information in a variety of formats including on databases, in hard copy files and on personal devices including laptop computers, mobile phones, cameras and other recording devices.
The security of personal information is of importance to us and we take all reasonable steps to protect the personal information we hold from misuse, loss, unauthorised access, modification or disclosure.
These steps include:
- Restricting access to information on School databases on a need-to-know basis with different levels of security being allocated to staff based on their roles and responsibilities and security profile
- Ensuring all staff are aware that they are not to reveal or share personal passwords
- Ensuring where sensitive and health information is stored in hard copy files that these files are stored in lockable filing cabinets in lockable rooms. Access to these records is restricted to staff on a need-to-know basis
- Implementing physical security measures around the School buildings and grounds to prevent break-ins
- Implementing ICT security systems, policies and procedures, designed to protect personal information storage on our computer networks
- Implementing human resources policies and procedures, such as email and internet usage, confidentiality and document security policies, designed to ensure that staff follow correct protocols when handling personal information
- Undertaking due diligence with respect to third party service providers who may have access to personal information, including cloud service providers, to ensure as far as practicable that they are compliant with the Australian Privacy Principles or a similar privacy regime
Personal information we hold that is no longer needed is destroyed in a secure manner, deleted or de-identified as appropriate.
Our digital services such as OneNote, the School portal and our website may contain links to other websites. We do not share personal information with those websites and we are not responsible for their privacy practices.
When We Disclose Personal Information
We only use personal information for the purposes for which it was given to us, or for purposes which are related (or directly related in the case of sensitive information) to one or more of our functions or activities. We may disclose personal information to government agencies, other parents, other schools, recipients of School publications, visiting teachers, counsellors and coaches, our service providers, agents, contractors, business partners and other recipients from time to time, only if one or more of the following apply:
- consent has been obtained;
- it is reasonable that personal information would be disclosed;
- we are authorised or required to do so by law or legislative instruments;
- disclosure will lessen or prevent a serious threat to the life, health or safety of an individual or to public safety;
- where another permitted general situation or permitted health situation exception applies;
- disclosure is reasonably necessary for a law enforcement-related activity.
Personal Information of Students
The Privacy Act does not differentiate between adults and children and does not specify an age after which individuals can make their own decisions with respect to their personal information.
At Perth College we take a common sense approach to dealing with a student’s personal information and generally will refer any requests for personal information to a student’s parents/carers. We will treat notices provided to parents/carers as notices provided to students and we will treat consents provided by parents/carers as consents provided by a student.
We are, however, cognisant of the fact that children do have rights under the Privacy Act, and that in certain circumstances (especially when dealing with older students and especially when dealing with sensitive information), it will be appropriate to seek and obtain consent directly from students. This would normally be done only when the maturity of the student and/or the student’s personal circumstances so warranted. We also acknowledge that there may be occasions where a student may give or withhold consent with respect to the use of their personal information independently from their parents/carers.
There may also be occasions where parents/carers are denied access to information with respect to their children, because to provide such information would have an unreasonable impact on the privacy of others, or result in a breach of the School’s duty of care to the student.
Disclosure of Personal Information to Overseas Recipients
We may disclose personal information about an individual to overseas recipients in certain circumstances, such as when we are organising an overseas excursion, facilitating a student exchange, or storing information with a “cloud computing service” which stores data outside of Australia. We will, however, take all reasonable steps not to disclose an individual’s personal information to overseas recipients unless:
- we have the individual’s consent (which may be implied); or
- we have satisfied ourselves that the overseas recipient is compliant with the Australian
Privacy Principles, or a similar privacy regime; or
- we form the opinion that the disclosure will lessen or prevent a serious threat to the life, health or safety of an individual or to public safety; or
- we are taking appropriate action in relation to suspected unlawful activity or serious misconduct
How We Ensure the Quality of Personal Information
We take all reasonable steps to ensure the personal information we hold, use and disclose is accurate, complete and up-to-date. These steps include ensuring that the personal information is accurate, complete and up-to-date at the time of collection and when using or disclosing the personal information. On an ongoing basis we maintain and update personal information when we are advised by individuals or when we become aware through other means that their personal information has changed.
How to Gain Access to the Personal Information We Hold
Individuals may request access to the personal information we hold or request that we change the personal information, by contacting us.
If we do not agree to provide access, or to amend personal information as requested, the person will be notified accordingly. Where appropriate, we will provide the reason/s for our decision. If the rejection relates to a request to change personal information the person may make a statement about the requested change and this will be attached to the record.
A data breach occurs when personal information is lost or subjected to unauthorised access, modification, use or disclosure or other misuse.
Pursuant to the Privacy Amendment (Notifiable Data Breaches) Act 2017, Perth College is obligated to notify individuals affected by a data breach that is likely to result in serious harm. The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner must also be notified.
To make a complaint about a breach of the Australian Privacy Principles by Perth College, you may do so by providing your written complaint by email, letter, facsimile or by personal delivery to any one of the contact details as noted below. A complaint verbally may also be made. The School’s Complaints Policy can be found on the Perth College website.
We will respond to a complaint within a reasonable time (usually no longer than 30 days) and we may seek further information in order to provide a full and complete response.
Complaints may also be taken to the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner http://www.oaic.gov.au/.
How to Contact Us
To contact Perth College about this policy or about personal information held by Perth College:
- emailing email@example.com;
- calling 08 9471 2100;
- write to our Privacy Officer at PO Box 25 MOUNT LAWLEY WA 6929,
or by facsimile at 08 9471 2101.
If practical, contact can be made anonymously (i.e. without identifying the individual) or by using a pseudonym. However we may not be able to give the information or provide the assistance that might otherwise be received if it is not practical to do so.
Changes to our Privacy and Information Handling Practices
This policy applies to all current, past and future staff, students and parents of Perth College.
Associated Policies and Procedures
Code of Conduct
Communication With Parents Policy
Separated Parent Access Policy
Concerns and Complaints Policy
Notifiable Data Breach Guidelines
Relevant Legislation and Authority
The Privacy (Enhancing Privacy Protections) Act 2012
Privacy Act 1988
Privacy Regulations 2013
Privacy Amendment (Notifiable Data Breaches) Act 2017
Freedom of Information Act 1992
School Education Act 1999
School Education Regulations 2000
Health Services (Conciliation and Review) Act 1995
State Records Act 2000
Spent Convictions Act 1988
Surveillance Devices Act 1998
Telecommunications (Interception) Western Australia Act 1996
This policy will be reviewed on an annual basis.