Introduction to the sharing information guide
The purpose of this guide is to help groups of education providers and other service providers safely and appropriately share information about children and young people who need learning support.
This could be because of a disability or disadvantage, or for behavioural or emotional reasons. The support could be short term or long term.
This guide applies to all forms of information sharing, not only in written form – talking counts as sharing information too. However you are sharing information, you need to follow the right processes to keep the information safe.
Why groups share learning support information
In the past, early learning services and ngā kōhanga reo (services), kura and schools sought agreement from parents to share information about individual children and young people with the Ministry of Education to get help with their additional learning needs.
A new model for delivering learning support involves groups working together to identify solutions more quickly and innovatively and respond to the needs of a whole population of children and young people.
Who this guide is for
This guide is for education professionals working in groups. Groups may include teachers, principals, managers of early learning services, special education needs coordinators, Ministry of Education staff, resource teachers learning and behaviour, and people in related roles, such as child and adolescent mental health specialists.
Education providers, the Ministry of Education and other agencies (such as District Health Boards) are responsible for making sure that their employees and contractors comply with the Privacy Act when they collect and share learning support information.
That also means protecting the information to make sure it is not accidentally disclosed or accessed by the wrong people. This guide aims to provide practical suggestions to help employers and their staff meet these responsibilities.
Before you start sharing information, put a protocol in place
A protocol is a formal record that sets out the agreed steps to share information safely and appropriately. It means that everyone is clear about what they can and can’t do with the information.
You will need a different type of protocol depending on whether you are sharing personal or aggregate information.
Protocol templates for sharing personal information and aggregate information are included in this document and are available as word documents for downloading.
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