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© The Association of Independent Schools of NSW ICT Conference Canberra Legal Ramifications Cathy Lovell Senior Advisor Employment Advisor 31 May 2013
© The Association of Independent Schools of NSW Outline Legislative Regime Legal Compliance and Accountability Stakeholders Risks Students Staff Parents School Community Legal Ramifications
© The Association of Independent Schools of NSW Legislative Regime Child Protection Children and Young Persons (Care and Protection) Act 1998 Risk of significant harm Ombudsman Act 1974 Reportable conduct Commission for Children and Young People (CCYP) Pre employment checks
© The Association of Independent Schools of NSW Legislative Regime Common law – negligence Civil Liabilities Act 2002 (NSW) or other Privacy Act 1988 Workplace Surveillance Acts Crimes Act School Registration bodies (i.e. Board of Studies in NSW)
© The Association of Independent Schools of NSW Legal Compliance and Accountability Contract of Employment Position Descriptions Delegation of responsibility Monitoring and gate keeping
© The Association of Independent Schools of NSW Stakeholders School Board School Executive Students Staff Parents Community
© The Association of Independent Schools of NSW Risks Students Inappropriate interactions with students Grooming and other inappropriate interactions with adults Bullying and harassment Exposure (selfies) or distribution of child porn Breach of privacy Breach of copyright Identity theft cheating
© The Association of Independent Schools of NSW Risks Staff Inappropriate conduct resulting in employment action Bullying and harassment Discrimination Racial vilification Breach of contract
© The Association of Independent Schools of NSW Risks Parents and Community Breach of privacy Advocacy sites Defamation
© The Association of Independent Schools of NSW Risks for the School Consequences BOS Registration (lack of policy and procedure) Human Rights Commission Fair Work Commission Common law negligence claim Privacy Act – fine Work Health and Safety Act – failure to provide a safe place of work (students and teachers) Reputation Loss of enrolments Breach of copyright
© The Association of Independent Schools of NSW Expectations of you? Implement and abide by policies and procedures Monitor and gate keep and REPORT Proactive innovation and Strategy Management of resources Seek to eliminate or minimize risks Constantly update skills and legal awareness Collection, use and disclosure of information Investigation Collection of evidence Confidentiality
© The Association of Independent Schools of NSW Legal Liability School is vicariously liable for the actions of its employees Unless You are blatantly negligent Failure to follow and implement school policy despite knowledge of them Purposefully acting outside of policies i.e. Inappropriate contact with students Failure to report criminal act
© The Association of Independent Schools of NSW Managing Obligations Internet, Email and Mobiles The School has authority to: Monitor email and internet activity with notice Inspect school property (computers and mobile phones) Owns the copyright in emails Block access to websites The School should: Report breaches to authorities Community Services, Police Conduct regular audits to ensure compliance with policies and procedures by staff and students.
© The Association of Independent Schools of NSW Managing Obligations Privacy and Confidentiality Managing Obligations Storage of personal/sensitive/health information Access to personal, sensitive and health information. Software security Network security Data breaches & rectification Personnel training Regular monitoring and review Back up
© The Association of Independent Schools of NSW Managing Obligations Child Protection Responsibility of staff Duty of care Report concerns around safety, welfare and wellbeing of students Report in accordance with school policies or protocols All teachers are mandatory reporters via Principal (NSW)
© The Association of Independent Schools of NSW Record Retention School should retain: Business records5 years > ATO Employment Records7 years > FWA 2009 Contractual Documents6 years > after relationship Business Records7 years > Corporations Act Student recordsdepends? BOS attendance 7 years (NSW) Managing Obligation Record Retention Policy Disaster Recovery Plan Business Continuity Plan (testing and back up) Breach can result in fines from ATO or FWC
© The Association of Independent Schools of NSW Scenarios The Federal Police arrive at the School because a teacher has been linked to a child porn ring on the internet. What might you be required to do? Stop access to internet, email, network Retrieve historical information Search your network for images and/or data Review data in phones and laptops Maintain absolute confidentiality
© The Association of Independent Schools of NSW While monitoring internet and email activity you become aware of some inappropriate exchanges between a student and a senior member of staff to whom you report. The information in the emails is not excessively inappropriate but borderline and you are concerned because the student is using the teacher’s private email address. Your responsibility?
© The Association of Independent Schools of NSW You are aware that your colleague was off sick on Friday. However, when you check your facebook page on Saturday you notice that she has posted photos of herself at a food and wine festival on Friday. Further, it is clear she has been making derogatory comments about the school and the Principal on facebook Your responsibility?
© The Association of Independent Schools of NSW You become aware that two members of staff are having an affair. Do you have an obligation to disclose? You become aware of an email between a staff member and her partner that is sexually explicit. Your obligation? You system traps an email which has been forwarded by a staff member to some of his friends outside the network. It contains offensive racist material. Your obligation?
© The Association of Independent Schools of NSW Questions?
© The Association of Independent Schools of NSW Level 12, 99 York Street, Sydney NSW 2000 Phone: (02) 9299 2845 Fax: (02) 9290 2274 Web: aisnsw.edu.au ABN 96 003 509 073 Thank you The Smarter Schools National Partnership (on Improving Teacher Quality) is a joint initiative of the Australian and NSW Governments and The Association of Independent Schools of NSW.
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