Introduction to the sharing information guide: Learning support

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.

Sharing information

You may need to share student support information concerning 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. This means not only in written form, talking counts as sharing information too.

But, 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's 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.

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'll need a different type of protocol depending on whether you're 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.

Last reviewed: Has this been useful? Give us your feedback