The Privacy Act sets out when and how personal information can be shared. If you collect, hold or use personal information, you must comply with the Privacy Act 1993.
Personal information is any information that relates to an individual and could identify them.
Sometimes there are good reasons for sharing this information. Early learning services operate under the same legislation as schools and kura for information sharing.
Information sharing provisions are also included in other legislation that is relevant for the education sector: the Oranga Tamariki Act 1989 and the Family Violence Act 2018.
Oranga Tamariki Act 1989
Information sharing provisions in the Oranga Tamariki Act 1989 relate to the wellbeing and safety of children.
In practice, this legislation is likely to be more directly relevant for our sector than the Family Violence Act, because it involves children.
Guidance about information sharing is available on the Oranga Tamariki website.
The Ministry has created additional guidance to support the education sector.
Family Violence Act 2018
The Ministry of Education, school boards, licensed early childhood services and teachers with current practising certificates or limited authority to teach, are all covered by information sharing provisions in this Act.
We are required to consider sharing information if it may help protect a victim from family violence, or if we receive a request for information. Guidance about information sharing under the Family Violence Act is available on the Ministry of Justice website.
We work closely with the Teaching Council in early learning. Sometimes:
- we need to inform the Council about concerns regarding the conduct or competence of an early learning teacher
- the Council needs to inform us about a risk to a child’s wellbeing or safety.
We have a Memorandum of Understanding with the Council, which sets out how to share this type of information with each other.
Sharing information with the Council
We have agreed to share information with the Council if:
- we have conduct/competence concerns about an early learning teacher
- an early learning teacher has been convicted of an offence punishable by imprisonment for 3 months or more.
However, in the first instance we will ask the service and teacher to share this information with the Council themselves.
- We will contact the teacher’s early learning service and remind them to immediately report the teacher to the Council, and to notify us when they have done so. If this is not done by the date we request, we will advise the Council ourselves.
- We will contact the teacher and remind them to self-report to the Council. If this is not done by the date we request, we will advise the Council ourselves.
- We will also provide any further info requested that the Council considers necessary for their investigation.
Sharing information with us
The Council has agreed to share information with us if they become aware that there has been, or is potential for, a risk to a child’s wellbeing or safety while at an early learning service.
- If the Council has received a report from an early learning service, and it meets the threshold for notification to us under our licensing criteria, the Council will contact the early learning service and remind them to immediately notify us. The Council will also advise us.
- The Council will also advise us about concerns even if they don’t meet the threshold for notification to us under our licensing criteria.
- The Council will keep our regional office informed of the progress of any serious investigation.
Review of the Memorandum
This understanding will be reviewed after 12 months, then every 3 years.
Learning support information about individual children and young people may need to be shared in groups.
The guide below applies to sharing learning support information in groups. It contains practical suggestions based on real scenarios, a consent checklist and protocol templates.
Guide for groups sharing learning support information
Download the guide
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