Aquinas College Policy 5 – Originally Released: 2013

Your privacy is important.

This Privacy Policy applies to schools conducted by The Perth Diocese/Catholic Education Office of the Western Australia (the “CEO”), of which Aquinas College is a member.

The CEO is bound by the National Privacy Principles contained in the Commonwealth Privacy Act.

The CEO may, from time to time, review and update this Privacy Policy to take account of new laws and technology, changes to schools’ operations and practices and to make sure it remains appropriate to the changing school environment.

What kind of personal information does Aquinas College collect and how does the college collect it?

The type of information Aquinas College collects and holds includes (but is not limited to) personal information, including sensitive information, about:

  • students and parents and/or guardians before, during and after the course of a student’s enrolment at Aquinas College;
  • job applicants, staff members, volunteers and contractors; and
  • other people who come into contact with Aquinas College.

Personal Information you provide: Aquinas College will generally collect personal information held about an individual by way of forms filled out by parents or students, face-to-face meetings and interviews, and telephone calls. On occasions people other than parents and students provide personal information.

Personal Information provided by other people: In some circumstances Aquinas College may be provided with personal information about an individual from a third party, for example a report provided by a medical professional or a reference from another school.

Exception in relation to employee records: Under the Privacy Act the National Privacy Principles do not apply to an employee record. As a result, this Privacy Policy does not apply to the Aquinas College’s treatment of an employee record, where the treatment is directly related to a current or former employment relationship between Aquinas College and employee.

How will Aquinas College use the personal information you provide?

Aquinas College will use personal information it collects from you for the primary purpose of collection, and for such other secondary purposes that are related to the primary purpose of collection and reasonably expected, or to which you have consented.

Students and Parents: In relation to personal information of students and Parents, a school’s primary purpose of collection is to enable Aquinas College to provide schooling for the student. This includes satisfying both the needs of Parents and the needs of the student throughout the whole period the student is enrolled at Aquinas College.

The purposes for which Aquinas College uses personal information of students and Parents include:

  • to keep Parents informed about matters related to their child’s schooling, through correspondence, newsletters and magazines;
  • day-to-day administration;
  • looking after students’ educational, social, spiritual and medical wellbeing;
  • seeking donations and marketing for Aquinas College;
  • to satisfy the CEO’s and Aquinas College’s legal obligations and allow Aquinas College to discharge its duty of care.

In some cases where Aquinas College requests personal information about a student or Parent, if the information requested is not obtained, Aquinas College may not be able to enrol or continue the enrolment of the student.

Job applicants, staff members and contractors: In relation to personal information of job applicants, staff members and contractors, a school’s primary purpose of collection is to assess and (if successful) to engage the applicant, staff member or contractor, as the case may be. The purposes for which Aquinas College uses personal information of job applicants, staff members and contractors include:

  • in administering the individual’s employment or contract, as the case may be;
  • for insurance purposes;
  • seeking funds and marketing for Aquinas College
  • to satisfy the CEO’s and Aquinas College’s legal obligations, for example, in relation to child protection legislation.

Volunteers: Aquinas College also obtains personal information about volunteers who assist Aquinas College in its functions or conduct associated activities, such as alumni associations, to enable Aquinas College and the volunteers to work together.

Marketing and fundraising: Aquinas College treats marketing and seeking donations for the future growth and development of Aquinas College as an important part of ensuring that Aquinas College continues to be a quality learning environment in which both students and staff thrive. Personal information held by a school may be disclosed to an organisation that assists in Aquinas College’s fundraising, for example, Aquinas Colleges Foundation or alumni organisation.

Parents, staff, contractors and other members of the wider school community may from time to time receive fundraising information. School publications, like newsletters and magazines, which include personal information, may be used for marketing purposes.

Exception in relation to related schools: The Privacy Act allows Aquinas College, being legally related to each of the other schools conducted by the CEO to share personal (but not sensitive) information with other schools conducted by the CEO. Other CEO schools may then only use this personal information for the purpose for which it was originally collected by the CEO. This allows schools to transfer information between them, for example, when a student transfers from Aquinas College to another school conducted by the CEO or EREA.

Who might Aquinas College disclose personal information to?

Aquinas College may disclose personal information, including sensitive information, held about an individual to:

  • another school;
  • government departments;
  • your local parish;
  • medical practitioners
  • people providing services to Aquinas College, including specialist visiting teachers and sports coaches;
  • recipients of school publications, like newsletters and magazines;
  • Parents; and
  • Anyone you authorise Aquinas College to disclose information to.

Sending information overseas: Aquinas College will not send personal information about an individual outside Australia without:

  • obtaining the consent of the individual (in some cases this consent will be implied); or
  • otherwise complying with the National Privacy Principles.

How does Aquinas College treat sensitive information?

In referring to “sensitive information”, Aquinas College means: information relating to a person’s racial or ethnic origin, political opinions, religion, trade union or other professional or trade association membership, sexual preferences or criminal record that is also personal information; and health information about an individual.
Sensitive information will be used and disclosed only for the purpose for which it was provided or a directly related secondary purpose, unless you agree otherwise, or the use or disclosure of the sensitive information is allowed by law.

Management and security of personal information

The CEO’s and the Aquinas College staff are required to respect the confidentiality of students’ and Parents’ personal information and the privacy of individuals.
Aquinas College has in place steps to protect the personal information Aquinas College holds from misuse, loss, unauthorised access, modification or disclosure by use of various methods including locked storage of paper records and pass worded access rights to computerised records.

Updating personal information
Aquinas College endeavours to ensure that the personal information it holds is accurate, complete and up-to-date. A person may seek to update their personal information held by a school by contacting either Aquinas College Office, or in the case of a staff member, the Headmaster’s Office at any time.
The National Privacy Principles require a school not to store personal information longer than necessary.

If you are a parent or a student at Aquinas College, you have the right to check what personal information the college holds about you

Under the Commonwealth Privacy Act, you have the right to obtain access to any personal information which the CEO or Aquinas College holds about you and to advise the CEO or Aquinas College of any perceived inaccuracy. There are some exceptions to this right set out in the Act. Students will generally have access to their personal information through their Parents, but older students may seek access themselves.
To make a request to access any information the CEO or Aquinas College holds about you or your child, please contact the Headmaster in writing.
Aquinas College may require you to verify your identity and specify what information you require. Aquinas College may charge a fee to cover the cost of verifying your application and locating, retrieving, reviewing and copying any material requested. If the information sought is extensive, Aquinas College will advise the likely cost in advance.

Consent and rights of access to the personal information of students

The CEO respects every Parent’s right to make decisions concerning their child’s education.
Generally, Aquinas College will refer any requests for consent and notices in relation to the personal information of a student to the student’s Parents. Aquinas College will treat consent given by Parents as consent given on behalf of the student, and notice to Parents will act as notice given to the student.
Parents may seek access to personal information held by a school or the CEO about them or their child by contacting Aquinas College’s Headmaster. However, there will be occasions when access is denied. Such occasions would include where release of the information would have an unreasonable impact on the privacy of others, or where the release may result in a breach of Aquinas College’s duty of care to the student.
Aquinas College may, at its discretion, on the request of a student grant that student access to information held by Aquinas College about them, or allow a student to give or withhold consent to the use of their personal information, independently of their Parents. This would normally be done only when the maturity of the student and/or the student’s personal circumstances so warranted.


If you would like further information about the way the CEO or Aquinas College manages the personal information it holds, please contact Aquinas College.