New guidance resource for safe and effective data sharing in Communities of Learning | Kāhui Ako

Issue: Volume 97, Number 4

Posted: 12 March 2018
Reference #: 1H9hqS

A guidance resource is now available to help Kāhui Ako share personal information effectively, safely and securely. This will give principals, teachers and parents confidence over the way this data is used, creating positive change for students.

The guidance was developed by the Ministry of Education, working with the Office of the Privacy Commissioner.

The guidance helps Kāhui Ako:

  • share personal information for a specific purpose in the interest of the children and young people concerned
  • inform parents, caregivers and students what they are doing with the information and seek their consent where required
  • decide what can be shared and what can’t
  • put protocols in place to keep information safe.

The guidance has been tested with 12 Kāhui Ako around the country.

Principal Tim Anderson of St Matthew’s Primary School in Hastings was one of those who got involved.

“Previously, what we quickly found when collecting data to identify achievement challenges was that as principals, we didn’t have enough meaningful information across the Kāhui Ako to share. We started to run into data handling issues, like privacy, collection techniques, and that sort of thing.

“The guidance resource provides very clear guidelines around protocols that can be used to approach data sharing. But also, it provides us with great guidance on the issues we need to be aware of, from non-sensitive information, to highly sensitive,” Tim says.

“For example, when we were looking at aggregate data from schools, and there were no names with it, it’s just numbers, and that’s not an issue. However, we have a lot of transience within our Kāhui Ako, so when we started looking at our data as a whole, across nine schools, there are some big gaps where kids have moved; so we needed to get the permission of a previous school to get that data. The resource provides guidance around that sort of thing.”

Advice from the Privacy Commissioner

The Privacy Commissioner was consulted by the Ministry of Education during the development of the guidance for sharing personal information in Kāhui Ako. The office of the Privacy Commissioner told Education Gazette:

“The guide includes clear diagrams and step-by-step checklists for sharing personal information. This makes it easy to do the right thing with learner information and ensure privacy is top of mind. It does this while also achieving the goals of the Kāhui Ako and supporting learners.

“If any schools, boards, or school privacy officers have questions or concerns about sharing personal information, they can contact the Office of the Privacy Commissioner for advice.”

No doubt

Tim says the guidance removes any doubt about the way Kāhui Ako collect and use data – and that makes it easier to identify needs and strengths, which will clearly benefit students as they’ll have access to the support that they need.

“Essentially, it’s about digging up the success stories and finding the issues.

“We have the opportunity, using these protocols, to use our data in a robust manner, for the improvement of learning. It allows us to know what we’re talking about, when we’re looking for shifts in achievement.

“For example, there might be a cohort of Year 3 boys having difficulty in maths, in seven schools in our Kāhui Ako; but two of the other schools have outstanding success with the same cohort. Great data quality, and the ability to get our hands on that, means that we can identify the issue straight away. That means we can work towards figuring out what those successful schools are doing differently, and share that knowledge.”

Resource on sharing personal information in Communities of Learning | Kāhui Ako(external link)

Any queries or comments can be emailed to the national information sharing email address:

BY Education Gazette editors
Education Gazette | Tukutuku Kōrero,

Posted: 9:00 am, 12 March 2018

Get new listings like these in your email
Set up email alerts