01 December 2014


The SMH reports that NSW public, private and Catholic schools "will be asked to swap information about the background and past behaviour of students who transfer between schools".

A protocol under the auspices of state Education Minister Adrian Piccoli reflects "duty of care all schools have to their students and staff" and is intended to "help principals to better meet the safety, health, welfare and well-being of all their students and families".
"It will equip them to avoid compromising student and staff safety and well-being while offering the incoming student a better chance of a more successful transition into the new school," Mr Piccoli said.
"Information may be forwarded or requested, better preparing schools which may be presented with a student who has been expelled, had their enrolment terminated or asked to leave another school."
Private schools do not have any requirement to report expulsion rates to the Department of Education but they do have to provide their policies to the Board of Studies, Teaching and Educational Standards.
Under the protocol, information shared between schools could include education records, counselling records, and family details, as well as any history of physical violence or verbal abuse, including harassment using text messages or Facebook stalking.
Catholic Education Commission NSW director Brian Croke said the new protocols would set out the obligations and legal basis for sharing a range of personal information on students with other schools.
"The fundamental purpose of information sharing is to assist each school to fulfil its duty of care to all enrolled students," Dr Croke said. "School principals have a responsibility to share relevant information that assists in the effective and pastorally supported movement of a student between schools or sectors."