It is important to be transparent and communicate with students and their parents about how their personal information will be handled in the school environment. One of the ways we do this is by using collection notices (sometimes referred to as privacy or collection statements).
A collection notice is a plain language statement that explains to people what information needs to be collected, why, and how it will be handled after being collected.
Privacy collection notice (enrolment)
Schools must publish the standard collection notice below on their public-facing website.
This notice covers the standard reasons that schools need to collect and use information in order to perform core functions. It must be used by schools during the enrolment process, communicated annually via a link in their annual privacy reminder to parents and carers and at other times on request.
Annual privacy reminder
Schools must include a privacy reminder in their first or second school newsletter or usual school communication channel at the start of each year.
This reminder explains to students and parents how their personal information is handled in the school environment and is an important part of schools complying with the Privacy and Data Protection Act 2014 (Vic).
Notifications for online services
For third party online services or applications (online services) which handle student or parent information, for example, Compass or Mathletics, schools can customise the following templates and use them to notify parents. These notices are used in addition to the standard privacy collection notice.
Use this notice to communicate to parents through the usual school communications channels (for example, newsletter or email) before implementing each new service.
Alternatively, use a consolidated notification about all relevant third party online services currently used in the school. This is sometimes known as a digital learning statement or an online services statement. This removes the need for detailed individual notices to be provided each time a new service is implemented. This statement should be updated regularly and made available to parents on the school’s website.
The Department can provide schools with a template tool called a privacy matrix to document and assess third party online services that handle student or parent information. If using a consolidated notification, schools are encouraged to first complete the privacy matrix. Content from the matrix can then be incorporated into the statement. Refer to: (login required)
Other collection notices
For projects or activities that include collection of personal information that are not covered in the standard collection notice or an online services statement, such as for fundraising purposes, you may need to create a separate notification to inform parents and students.
Any collection notice must include:
- the identity of the organisation collecting the information and how to contact it
- the purposes for which the information is collected
- to whom (or the types of individuals or organisations to which) the organisation usually discloses information of that kind
- the fact that the individual is able to gain access to the information
- any law that requires the particular information to be collected
- the main consequences (if any) for the individual if all or part of the information is not provided.
School staff needing assistance can contact the Privacy team.
Reviewed 22 February 2022