Chapter 3 — Preparing for the Information Sharing Schemes
To prepare for the Information Sharing Schemes, Victorian government schools must do the following.
Identify school staff who can request and share information under the Information Sharing Schemes on behalf of the school. This will include the school principal and any other staff member identified by the principal to request and share information under the schemes, on behalf of their school.
Before identifying a staff member to request and share information under the Information Sharing Schemes, the principal must be satisfied that the staff member:
- is employed or otherwise contracted (other than on a voluntary basis)
- is sufficiently competent in the use of the Information Sharing Schemes — refer to the for professional learning options
- has appropriate skills, understanding and experience in the identification and management of student wellbeing or safety, and the appropriate and sensitive management of confidential information
- wherever possible, has regular engagement with students and families whose information may be shared or requested, and/or the children in whose interest information may be shared or requested.
Note: This point does not prohibit information sharing entities identifying appropriate roles to use the scheme which do not have direct contact with students and families.
Appropriate professionals who principals may identify to make decisions under the Information Sharing Schemes and share confidential information on behalf on the school include (but not limited to):
- year level coordinators
- student wellbeing coordinators
- mental health in schools practitioners
- psychologists employed by the school
- school chaplains funded or employed by the school.
Professionals and other school connected roles who principals may not identify as those who can make decisions under the Information Sharing Schemes and share confidential information on behalf of the school include:
- private psychologists
- non-staff members of school council
- school administration staff members
The examples above do not limit who can perform other functions under the Information Sharing Schemes (for example, administration, or contributing relevant information to identified school staff about students or their families, or having conversations with students and their family members about the sharing of their information).
Schools must also ensure that people exercising administrative functions, such as storing and transmitting information, are competent in the appropriate, sensitive and compliant management of confidential information.
Where schools are an approved education and care provider under the National Law, such as those that employ staff and deliver Outside Schools Hours Care services, school councils, in consultation with school principals, will identify appropriate staff to request and share information on behalf of the school as an approved provider.
Complete professional learning
It is recommended at least one school leader and 2 staff members complete available professional learning on the Information Sharing Schemes. These staff may then train and support other identified school staff to understand and manage information sharing under the schemes.
There is not a requirement for all school staff to undertake professional learning.
Refer to the Resources tab for professional learning options.
Establish initial point of contact for information sharing requests
Establish an initial point(s) of contact in the school to respond to information sharing requests made under the Information Sharing Schemes and to triage requests to identified staff as appropriate.
Schools should ensure office staff responsible for answering telephone calls and managing emails to any generic school email address are aware of the initial point of contact for information sharing requests under the schemes.
Schools may also wish to update their website with the initial point of contact information.
Update local school policies
Updates to local school policies for alignment with the Information Sharing Schemes are minimal as Victorian government schools are expected to follow the Department’s policy and guidance on this PAL topic rather than develop their own policy on requesting and sharing information under the schemes.
Minor updates have been made to the following government school template policies:
- Health Care Needs Policy
- Child Safety Policy
Reviewed 26 April 2021