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Can a private schools give personal information to parents who request it?

Can a private school give a child’s school report to a parent who requests it?

Generally, it would be reasonable for you to release a child’s school report to their parents, including non-custodial parents, as in most cases a child would reasonably expect disclosure of the information to their parent. There may be exceptions to this, such as where there are court protection orders in place against a parent.

Can a private school give access to a child’s non-educational personal information to a parent who requests it?

Generally, your school can provide non-educational information about child to their parents, where the child would reasonably expect this to happen. Under the Privacy Act 1988, you will need to consider:

  • the age of the child
  • the nature of the information
  • what the child’s expectations are about what information might be disclosed.

Your school should have policies in place that outline what non-educational disclosures you might make, and these should be made available to parents and students.

What factors does a private school need to take into account in regards to disclosing sensitive information, such as health information?

Where sensitive information is involved, your school will need to consider:

  • the age and best interests of the student
  • the need for parents to be informed
  • the school's duty of care to the student.