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Disclosing student personal information to operators of school bus services procedure

Version number 5.0 | Version effective 12 April 2022
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Disclosing student personal information to operators of school bus services procedure

Audience

All state schools

Purpose

This procedure outlines the process for disclosing student personal information to school bus operators for the purpose of investigating breaches of the Code of conduct for school students travelling on buses (the Code).

Overview

All students who use buses to travel to and from school, or for other school-related activities such as school sports or excursions, are expected to behave in line with the Code.

The disclosure of student personal information enables school bus operators to handle student misconduct on school bus services in a consistent, effective and timely manner within the guidelines of the Code.

Section 426 of the Education (General Provisions) Act 2006 (Qld) (EGPA) provides that departmental employees who gain or have access to personal information about a student, must not make a record of, use or disclose the information unless one of the exceptions set out in s.426(4) of the EGPA applies.

Under s.426(4)(e)(ii) of the EGPA, the Director-General (or delegate of the Director-General) may disclose student personal information to a school bus operator if reasonably satisfied –

  1. the disclosure is in the public interest; and
  2. the school bus operator needs the student personal information for the purpose of investigating a breach of the Code.

Delegates of the Director-General may only exercise the power where the disclosure concerns personal information about a student, prospective student or former student of a school within the delegate’s area of administrative responsibility.

Responsibilities

Bus operators

Bus operators are responsible for:

  • complying with the Code
  • instructing bus drivers to report any breach of the Code to the bus operator in the first instance
  • submitting requests for student personal information to the Director-General (or delegate) using the SBO-1 form if it is determined the Code has been breached.

Director-General (or delegate)

The Director-General (or delegate) is responsible for:

  • considering requests from school bus operators and disclosing student personal information to a school bus operator if reasonably satisfied that:
    • it is in the public interest to disclose the information to the school bus operator; and
    • the school bus operator needs the information for the purpose of investigating a breach of the Code

Process

Bus operators

If student personal information is needed for the purpose of investigating a breach of the Code, the bus operator submits a written request to the Director-General (or delegate) using the SBO-1 form.

  • Section A of the SBO-1 form must be completed outlining all relevant information for the Director-General (or delegate) to make a decision. Include the circumstances of the incident (specific detail of dates, times, place and persons involved), why the information is required and why disclosure of the information is in the public interest.

Director-General (or delegate)

The Director-General (or delegate) must ensure requests received from a school bus operator for student personal information are made using the SBO-1 form.

  • Ensure the school bus operator has completed section A of the SBO-1 form and has outlined all relevant information, including the circumstances of the incident (specific detail of dates, times, place and persons involved), why the information is required and why disclosure of the information is in the public interest.
  • For delegates of the Director-General, ensure the request concerns a student within the delegate’s area of administrative responsibility. i.e. the principal’s delegation to release student personal information to school bus operators in the public interest may be exercised only within the principal’s area of administrative responsibility (i.e. in relation to enrolled students, formerly enrolled students or prospective students of his/her school or in relation to his/her school premises).

Disclose the information to the school bus operator in a timely manner if reasonably satisfied that disclosure of the information is necessary for the investigation of a breach of the Code and is in the public interest (guidance for assessing the ‘public interest’ is provided in the SBO-1 form).

  • Complete section B of the SBO-1 form documenting the decision making process, reasons for the decision and information disclosed.
  • File the SBO-1 form and a copy of any information provided in OneSchool or Content Manager, in line with the Information asset and recordkeeping procedure.

Note: If during an investigation of a possible breach of the Code the principal is considering applying a disciplinary consequence to the involved state school student/s, they should:

Definitions

Term

Definition

Personal information

Information or an opinion, whether true or not, about an individual whose identity is apparent, or can reasonably be ascertained, from the information or opinion.

This definition is broad and could include, for example, the following:

  • the phone number and address of the student; or
  • a photograph or image of a student.

The information does not have to clearly identify a student; it only needs to provide sufficient information to lead to the identification of a student.

Delegated officer of the Director-General

Only nominated DoE staff are delegates of the Director-General. The disclosure must be within the delegate’s area of administrative responsibility. i.e. the principal’s delegation to release student personal information to school bus operators in the public interest may be exercised only within the principal’s area of administrative responsibility (i.e. in relation to enrolled students, formerly enrolled students or prospective students of his/her school or in relation to his/her school premises).

Code of conduct for school students travelling on buses

The Code of conduct for school students travelling on buses (the Code) sets out the expected behaviour of students while travelling on buses, the consequences for breaching the Code, and provides a state-wide framework to manage student misconduct in a consistent and timely manner.

Supporting the Code of conduct is the Safe travel of school students – Guiding principles and stakeholder actions to keep other passengers and bus drivers safe and comfortable.

Student

In this procedure, ‘student’ refers to any person, regardless of age, who is enrolled at, has been enrolled at, or has applied to be enrolled at a state educational institution established under ss.13, 14 or 15 of the Education (General Provisions) Act 2006 (Qld)

Legislation

Delegations/Authorisations

Other resources

Superseded versions

Previous seven years shown. Minor version updates not included.

4.0 Disclosing student personal information to operators of school bus services

Review date

12 April 2025
Attribution CC BY
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