Privacy statement frequently asked questions

We have received questions regarding He Pānui Kōhungahunga, Special bulletin date 3 November 2022 where we updated the wording of the Privacy Statement. Our decision to no longer recommend the retention of documents used to verify the identity of children has been made in line with advice from the Privacy Commissioner.

He Pānui Kōhungahunga, Special bulletin - 3 November 2022

Enrolment form template

Evidence a child's official identification document has been sighted by staff

We require you to keep evidence of which identity verification documents have been sighted by staff. Below is an image from the enrolment agreement template showing an example of how you may wish to record which children’s official identification document has been sighted by staff:

Screenshot of Enrolment agreement template: Official Identification documents sighted by staff

How and when to introduce the updated mandatory wording

We require services to update their enrolment agreements as soon as possible. These changes are for new enrolments moving forward. There is no need for currently enrolled families to sign the enrolment form again.

Managing children's identification documents

We no longer recommend services retain a copy of children’s official identification documents.

Under the Privacy Act 2020, personal information should only be kept for as long as it is required for the purposes for which it is collected. Where an identity document is used to verify a child’s identity, it is no longer required once identity is verified. It is therefore sufficient to sight the original document. You must sight the original document. If a copy is received as well, it is recommended this be securely disposed of once verification is complete.

There is more information about this on the Privacy Commissioner’s website.

Photocopying proof of identity – Office of the Privacy Commissioner(external link)

Managing Ministry requests for children's identification documents

We are reviewing our ELI Data Quality checking processes in light of our updated privacy advice. But there will be scenarios where you do need to source documentation from the parent and caregiver to confirm child details in response to validation requests from the Ministry. In all instances, it is important the records you hold are accurate and complete.

Mandatory wording services need to embed in their own Privacy Statement

Personal information about your child collected on this enrolment form is shared with the Ministry of Education who store it securely and treat it in accordance with the Privacy Act 2020. Information is disclosed to the Ministry:

  • for funding allocation purposes
  • for monitoring purposes
  • to allow the assignment of a National Student Number* to your child, and
  • to allow the Minister or Secretary of Education to exercise any of their other powers or responsibilities under the Education and Training Act 2020, and as permitted by Privacy Principles 10 and 11.

Completed forms may also be viewed by Ministry officials on request for the purposes of monitoring and licensing.

*A National Student Number is a unique identifier for your child within the education system. You can find more information about National Student Numbers and what they are used for.

National Student Number (NSN) – NZQA(external link)

My Student Management System (SMS) requires me to use or collect the child's official identification document

We are working closely with SMSs to ensure their processes align with the Privacy Commissioner’s advice. In the meantime, you should notify parents if you are retaining their child’s identity document for data entry purposes. Services should not hold personal information for longer than it is needed for the purposes for which it was collected.  If you no longer have a reason for retaining copies of children’s official identification documents (which relates to the purpose for which these were first collected), then we recommend secure deletion.

Reminders

Services are required to retain staff identification documents and children’s immunisation records. These requirements have not changed.

It is a requirement of the ECE Funding handbook that children’s enrolment records be retained for 7 years.

Enrolment records

Services need their own Privacy Statement

You will need your own broader Privacy Statement. Mandatory wording provided by the Ministry of Education must be embedded within your own privacy statement. The mandatory wording alone is not sufficient as it explains sharing of information with the Ministry of Education but does not provide the further required details about collection and privacy rights under Information Privacy Principle 3 of the Privacy Act. We recommend you read the advice on the Privacy Commissioner’s website. (external link)

Principle 3 Collection of information from subject: What to tell the individual – Office of the Privacy Commissioner(external link)

Service would like to retain children's official identification documentation

In some cases, there may be reasons your service may wish to keep copies of children’s identity documents. The Privacy Act 2020 requires that personal information should not be held for longer than it is required for the purposes for which it was collected. If a service has a valid business purpose to retain personal information, they should communicate this clearly to parents via their Privacy Statement so that parents and caregivers are aware of what personal information is retained by the Service and for what purpose. If this is the case, you must ensure you meet your responsibilities under the Privacy Act 2020. Where identity documents are requested solely for the purposes of verifying the identity of a learner, we recommend these documents be securely disposed of once services have completed the verification processes.

What to do with child identification documents for current and previously enrolled children that are already stored by your service

As per the Privacy Act 2020, services should not hold personal information for longer than it is needed for the purposes for which it was collected. If you no longer have a reason for retaining copies of children’s official identification documents (which relates to the purpose for which these were first collected), then we recommend secure deletion.

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