LawSense School ICT Law 2024

Updating Policies and Navigating Student & Parent Data Access Rights, Wellbeing/Health Records, Consent & Monitoring Student Activity – Live Online & Recorded

Date27 March 2024
Time12.00pm-3.45pm (includes breaks). Times are AEDT (Syd/Melb time)
Venue & RecordingsLive Online with recording available to view until 27 April 2024
Price includes gst.
CPDAddresses 7.2 of the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers
SectorNon-State Schools


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12.00    LawSense Welcome

12.05    Chairperson’s Remarks

Brenton Harty, Director of ICT & Privacy Officer, Presbyterian Ladies’ College, Melbourne

12.10    ICT Policies Update: Outlining the ICT Policies You Should Have Now, How They Interact with Other Policies and What Should be Updated

Examining Key ICT Polices to Have and Interaction with Other Policies

  • Identifying key policies to have and what is driving change requiring updates
  • Ensuring you customise policies for your school’s circumstances, values and environment
  • Simplifying structures and the relationship between policies to deal with grey areas and conflicts and optimise workability, updates and effectiveness
  • Examining key student, staff, parent and community related ICT polices, including reviewing policy updates to consider in different areas

Policy Focus and School Case Studies: Data Access, Retention and Destruction Polices

  • Examining key drivers of policy updates with access, retention and destruction of data – privacy, duty of care and liability exposure, record retention obligations and preservation of evidence, wellbeing data
  • Learning from examples of how schools have balanced competing risks and obligations to optimise protections and operational effectiveness in data access, retention and destruction policies

Policy Focus and School Case Studies: AI Policies

  • AI Policies: Exploring key liability exposure, policy options and what other schools have been implementing

Cecelia Irvine-So, Practice Leader, Education and Corporate Advisory, Moores

1.10      Break

1.20      Monitoring Staff and Student Activity, Including Outside School: Examining the Limits of Rights, Obligations and Liability

  • Interpreting key laws applying to the monitoring of students and staff, including obligations to protect student and staff wellbeing and child protection obligations
  • Monitoring outside school hours:
    • exploring the extent of your obligations to monitor student activity on school or BYOD devices or platforms outside school hours. What are your obligations where students are using their own applications?
    • what access and control should parents be given?
    • understanding your rights in monitoring staff conduct
    • exploring rights and obligations in monitoring students or staff social media
  • Monitoring software, fuzzy logic and AI – understanding when a school may be overreaching
  • Examining potential liability where wellbeing issues flagged by software are misinterpreted, missed or not acted upon in a timely manner

Steve Troeth, Partner, Gadens

2.20      Break

Ally Eddy, Director of ICT, Our Lady of Mercy College, Parramatta

2.30      Data Access Rights of Students and Parents: Navigating Student Consent, Counselling Records, Health Data, and Issues from Separated Parents

Student and Parent Consent – Requirements for a Valid Consent and Online Consent

  • Examining the key elements of informed consent
  • Evaluating express versus implied and oral versus written consent
  • How is age considered in assessing consent in different circumstances?
  • Challenges with consent:
    • what level of information and detail is required to make it “informed” consent?
    • when is a “blanket” consent adequate?
    • when should you also get consent from parents? Should both the student and parent sign the ICT User agreement?
  • Examining online consent:
    • understanding how the law views consent obtained online – what are the challenges in establishing and proving valid consent?
    • Exploring steps to implement, including:
      • ensuring information is reviewed
      • verifying the identity of the person giving consent
      • electronic signatures, tick boxes or logins – exploring how to optimise consent
    • Dealing with consent for photos or video

Wellbeing, Health Data and Obligations of School Counselling and Nursing Staff Versus Management Access

  • Outlining privacy and confidentiality obligations applying to wellbeing and health data in schools
  • School Counsellors and control of access to information:
    • understanding additional professional obligations/guidelines regarding confidentiality applying to school counsellors
    • examining the potential difference where the school counsellor is a registered psychologist versus non-registered psychologist
    • Examining exceptions to privacy and confidentiality applying to wellbeing and health records
    • exploring the potential conflict between professional obligations not to disclose and duty of care obligations of school management – who has authority over what information is released?
  • Examining professional obligations and duties of school nursing and health staff

Separated Parents and Consent

  • Examining which parent can provide consent regarding student data

Providing Information to One Parent or the Other

  • Examining key laws, agreements and orders that would dictate what information can be provided to a parent or withheld from a parent
  • Understanding the role of the students wishes/consent:
    • when should student consent be sought in releasing information to parents
    • when do student wishes about parent information access override parent requests
    • understanding how student wishes should be documented where information is going to withheld from one parent or another
  • Identifying what information can be shared with parties who are not parents

Ben Wilding, Principal/Managing Director, Wilding & Co Lawyers; Former Senior Legal Counsel, Catholic Schools NSW

3.30      Closing Remarks

3.40      Event Close

Presenters / panelists include:

Brenton Harty boasts four decades of experience in education, spanning roles as a teacher, digital learning manager, and ICT Manager within both government and independent schools. Presently, he holds the dual roles of Director of ICT and Privacy Officer at Presbyterian Ladies’ College Melbourne, while also serving as President of MITIE, a national organization dedicated to representing ICT professionals in the education sector.
Cecelia Irvine-So is accredited as a specialist in Business Law by the Law Institute of Victoria. Cecelia works for a significant number of independent schools regarding joint ventures, corporate compliance, enrolment terms, and privacy compliance, including the new mandatory data breach reporting regime. Cecelia believes in best achieving change and compliance by drawing on the powerful values of each school.
Steven Troeth has extensive experience in the education sector, including acting for independent and Catholic schools. He advises on employment, student and parent issues, including staff and teacher disputes, discrimination, bullying, cyber and social media issues, enterprise agreements and contractual disputes.
Ally Eddy is Director of ICT at Our Lady of Mercy College, Parramatta. Prior to that, Ally was the ICT Manager at Santa Sabina College, in Sydney, and for 17 years the ICT Manager at GiantSteps Australia, a special needs school that operates in Sydney and Melbourne. For the past 7 years, Ally has held several integral executive roles in MITIE Inc. and since July 2019 has been the President. MITIE is an Association of ICT Directors, Managers, Technicians and Support Staff who work in Education, that operates across Australia and New Zealand.

Ben Wilding, the Principal Lawyer at Wilding & Co Lawyers, brings a unique blend of educational and legal expertise to his practice. Before transitioning to law, Ben spent 12 years as a high school teacher, imparting knowledge in PDHPE and Mathematics. His passion for law, however, was ever-present, leading him to pursue legal studies full-time during the night while maintaining his teaching career during the day.

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