Your privacy is important

This statement outlines the Catholic Schools Office (CSO) policy on how the CSO uses and manages personal information provided to or collected by it. The CSO is bound by the National Privacy Principles contained in the Commonwealth Privacy Act. The CSO may, from time to time, review and update this Privacy Policy to take account of new laws and technology, changes to a CSO's operations and practices and to make sure it remains appropriate to the changing CSO environment.

What kind of personal information does the CSO collect and how does the CSO collect it?

The type of information the CSO collects and holds includes (but is not limited to) personal information, including sensitive information about:

  • pupils and parents and/or guardians before, during and after the course of a pupil's enrolment at a school;
  • job applicants, staff members, volunteers and contractors; and
  • other people who come into contact with the CSO.

Personal information you provide

The CSO will generally collect personal information held about an individual by way of forms filled out by parents or pupils, face-to-face meetings and interviews, and telephone calls. On occasions people other than parents and pupils provide personal information.

Personal information provided by other people

In some circumstances the CSO may be provided with personal information about an individual from a third party, for example a report provided by a medical professional.

Exception in relation to current employee records

Under the Privacy Act the National Privacy Principles do not apply to an employee record. As a result, this Privacy Policy does not apply to the CSO's treatment of an employee record, where the treatment is directly related to a current or former employment relationship between the Trustees and employee.

How will the CSO use the personal information you provide?

The CSO will use personal information it collects from you for the primary purpose of collection, and for such other secondary purposes that are related to the primary purpose of collection and reasonably expected, or to which you have consented.

Pupils and parents

In relation to personal information of pupils and parents, the CSO's primary purpose of collection is to enable the CSO to provide for the pupil. The purposes for which the CSO uses personal information of pupils and parents include:

  • to keep parents informed about matters related to their child's schooling, through correspondence, newsletters and magazines;
  • day-to-day administration;
  • looking after pupils educational, social and medical well being;
  • to satisfy the CSO's legal obligations and allow the CSO to discharge its duty of care.

Job applicants, staff members and contractors

In relation to personal information of job applicants, staff members and contractors, the CSO's primary purpose of collection is to assess and (if successful) to engage the applicant, staff member or contractor, as the case may be. The purposes for which the CSO uses personal information of job applicants, staff members and contractors include:

  • in administering the individual's employment or contract, as the case may be;
  • for insurance purposes;
  • to satisfy the CSO's legal obligations, for example, in relation to child protection legislation.


The CSO also obtains personal information about volunteers who assist the CSO in its functions or conduct associated activities to enable the CSO and the volunteers to work together.

Exception in relation to related CSOs

The Privacy Act allows each CSO, being legally related to each of the other CSOs conducted by the Diocese of Lismore to share personal information with other CSOs conducted by the Diocese. Other Diocesan CSOs may then only use this personal information for the purpose for which it was originally collected by the Diocese. This allows CSOs to transfer information between them, for example, when a pupil transfers from a Diocesan CSO to another CSO conducted by the Diocese.

Who might the CSO disclose personal information to?

The CSO may disclose personal information, including sensitive information, held about an individual to:

  • another CSO;
  • government departments;
  • medical practitioners;
  • people providing services to the CSO;
  • anyone you authorise the CSO to disclose information to.

Sending information overseas

The CSO will not send personal information about an individual outside Australia without:

  • obtaining the consent of the individual (in some cases this consent will be implied); or
  • otherwise complying with the National Privacy Principles.

How does the CSO treat sensitive information?

In referring to 'sensitive information', the CSO means: information relating to a person's racial or ethnic origin, political opinions, religion, trade union or other professional or trade association membership, sexual preferences or criminal record, that is also personal information;and health information about an individual. Sensitive information will be used and disclosed only for the purpose for which it was provided or a directly related secondary purpose, unless you agree otherwise, or the use or disclosure of the sensitive information is allowed by law.

Management and security of personal information

The CSO's staff are required to respect the confidentiality of pupils and parents personal information and the privacy of individuals. The CSO has in place steps to protect the personal information the CSO holds from misuse, loss, unauthorised access, modification or disclosure by use of various methods including locked storage of paper records and pass worded access rights to computerised records.

Updating personal information

The CSO endeavours to ensure that the personal information it holds is accurate, complete and up-to-date.A person may seek to update their personal information held by the CSO by contacting the Director of Schools at any time. The National Privacy Principles require the CSO not to store personal information longer than necessary.

You have the right to check what personal information the CSO holds about you

Under the Commonwealth Privacy Act, an individual has the right to obtain access to any personal information which the CSO holds about them and to advise the CSO of any perceived inaccuracy. There are some exceptions to this right set out in the Act. To make a request to access any information the CSO holds about you or your child, please contact the Director of Schools in writing. The CSO may require you to verify your identity and specify what information you require. The CSO may charge a fee to cover the cost of verifying your application and locating, retrieving, reviewing and copying any material requested. If the information sought is extensive, the CSO will advise the likely cost in advance.


If you would like further information about the way the CSO manages the personal information it holds, please contact the Director of Schools.