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Privacy and Information Policy

Policy: Privacy and Information Policy

Writer: Principal

Reviewed: May 2005

 

Rationale

The Board of Trustees of Northcote College is required to comply with the Privacy Act 1993 and the Official Information Act 1982 in all aspects for employees, and in its role as the body with the overall responsibility for the running of the school.

 

Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to promote individual privacy with regard to:

  1. The collection, use and disclosure of information relating to individuals.
  2. Access by each individual to information relating to that individual held by the school.

 

In complying with the provisions of the Privacy Act 1993, the Board will appoint at least one Privacy Officer.

 

The Privacy Officer’s duties are to:

  • Encourage compliance with the privacy principles.

  • Deal with access and correction requests.

  • Assist the Privacy Commissioner in relation to investigations of complaints.

  • Ensure compliance with the Act.

 

Definitions

Personal information (as defined in both the Official Information Act and the Privacy Act) is any information held about an identifiable individual or person.

 

Personal Information that could be requested:

Address

Telephone Number

Family Status or Marital Status

Residence Status

Reports

Individual marks (privy only to that student or designated guardian)

Computer readouts of examination results of students

Personal details such as age, ethnicity, medical condition or history, psychological or Special Education reports.

 

Any information held by the College which was collected or developed by the College. This does not include information held by the College on behalf of other government departments or organisations such as Special Education or Ministry of Education etc. In these cases, the request must be referred to the other organisation.

 

Guidelines

Procedures will be designed to comply with the principles contained in the Privacy Act 1993 which specify requirements in terms of:

  • Purpose and collection of personal information

  • Source of personal information

  • Collection of information from subject

  • Manner and collection of personal information

  • Storage and security of personal information

  • Access to personal information

  • Correction of personal information

  • Accuracy etc of personal information to be checked before use

  • Agency not to keep personal information for longer than necessary

  • Limits on the use of personal information

  • Unique identifiers

 

Privacy Act Procedures

  • Purpose and Collection of Personal Information
    Only information that is necessary for the lawful operation of the secondary school, language school and community education programme will be collected from employees and students.

  • Source of Personal Information
    For employees, the best source of personal information is from the employee himself/herself. The Board would expect all applicants to give their permission to the school to contact referees by phone or through a written report or both. Such permission will be sought through the application form.

  • Collecting Personal Information
    It must be made clear on application forms and enrolment forms that personal information is being collected, why it is being collected, who will receive it and hold it and the access rights of the employee.

  • Storage of Personal Information
    For employees, personal information is to be stored in the locked filing cabinets in the office. Key information will also be kept on the employee database.

  • Access to Personal Information
    For employees or former employees, they are entitled to access all personal information held on their files other than evaluative material as defined by the act (Evaluative material would include confidential referees reports). Access within the school to existing employees is restricted to: The Principal, the Principal’s Secretary (who are bound by confidentiality) and the employee in question. Employees files must not leave the office of the Principal or his/her Secretary.

    For students or former students, they are entitled to access all personal information held on their files other than evaluative material which may include Teacher, Dean or Senior Management notes. Access to student files is restricted to Senior Management, Deans, Counsellors, HOD Special Needs and Nurse, along with the Principal’s Secretary and pupil files operator (who are all bound by confidentiality). Student files may not leave the school office without being signed out by the authorised staff member.

  • Retention of Personal Information
    For employees, personal information other than key facts held on our database, will be destroyed three years after resignation.

    For students, personal information will be held indefinitely in electronic form in particular personal details, reports and the testimonial.

 

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