Privacy

The department's privacy policy embodies our commitment to protecting the personal information we hold.

On this page:

The Department of Education, its employees, contractors and agents (collectively, ‘the department’) is subject to the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) (the Privacy Act) and to the requirements of the Australian Privacy Principles (APPs) contained in Schedule 1 of the Privacy Act.

We also adhere to applicable Privacy guidance for organisations and government agencies provided by the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner.

Our privacy policy has been developed in accordance with APP 1 and embodies our commitment to protecting the personal information we hold as set out in our Privacy Values.

View the complete Privacy Policy.

The remainder of this webpage contains an abridged version of the complete privacy policy (condensed privacy policy).

Condensed Privacy Policy

The complete privacy policy provides more detailed information about:

  • the types of personal information that we collect, hold, use and disclose
  • our personal information handling practices
  • our authority to collect your personal information, why it may be held by us, how it is used and how it is protected
  • whether we are likely to disclose personal information to overseas recipients and if possible, to whom and
  • how you can access your personal information, correct it if necessary and complain if you believe it has been wrongly collected or inappropriately handled.

You should read our complete or condensed privacy policy if you are:

  • a student
  • a parent or guardian
  • a child care service provider
  • a registered higher education provider
  • a tertiary admission centre
  • a principal or teacher
  • an academic or researcher
  • a participant in a program or service delivered by us
  • a contractor, grant recipient, consultant, or supplier of goods or services to us
  • an applicant for a grant or a tenderer for a contract provided by us
  • a policy stakeholder who works with us
  • a person whose information may be given to us by a third party, including other Australian Government agencies
  • an entrant in a competition conducted by us
  • a person seeking employment with us
  • a current or past employee of the department or
  • any other individual whose personal information we may collect, hold, use and disclose.

Information we collect and why we hold, use and disclose it

We are responsible for national policies and programs, which ensure that Australians can experience the wellbeing and economic benefits that quality education provides. The department’s strategic priorities include:

  • ensuring quality, affordable and accessible early education and care for families
  • improving schooling outcomes for children
  • preparing our future workforce through globally competitive tertiary education and research sectors and
  • developing a strong evidence base for effective policy that reflects and understands the varied needs of the Australian population, business and industry.

We collect, hold, use and disclose personal information for a variety of purposes, including:

  • performing management, employment and personnel functions in relation to our employees, labour hire workers and contractors (more detailed information can be found in the Collection of personal information for employment purposes document that supplements the complete privacy policy)
  • performing our legislative and administrative functions
  • policy development, research and evaluation
  • to deliver services to other Commonwealth agencies and so other Commonwealth agencies can provide services, such as ICT services, to the department
  • data sharing or data integration with other Australian Government agencies, including but not limited to, data sharing or data integration with the Australian Bureau of Statistics for the Person Level Integrated Data Asset (PLIDA) (formally known as the Multi-Agency Data Integration Project) and the Data Integration Partnership for Australia
  • assessing eligibility for Commonwealth financial assistance in relation to higher education students
  • complaints handling
  • administering requests received by us under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (Cth) (FOI Act) and the Privacy Act
  • preventing, detecting, investigating or dealing with corruption, misconduct and fraud, cyber-attacks against the Commonwealth, or other unlawful activity relating to the Commonwealth. This includes participation in the Fraud Fusion Taskforce, which is a multi-agency partnership working to disrupt fraud and criminal activity, including serious and organised crime
  • program management
  • maintaining effective working relationships with state and territory governments, non-government education authorities and providers, universities and other relevant stakeholders
  • policy advice and other support to our Ministers
  • contract management, and
  • management of correspondence with the public.

We only collect, hold, use and disclose personal information for a lawful purpose that is reasonably necessary or directly related to one or more of our functions or activities or where otherwise required or authorised by law.

We use and disclose personal information for the primary purposes for which it is collected. We will only use your personal information for secondary purposes where we are able to do so in accordance with the Privacy Act.

Tax file numbers

The following information is provided to comply with the department's obligation under subrule 14(1) of the Privacy (Tax File Number) Rule 2015 (TFN Rule).

Purpose of collection

A tax file number (TFN) is a unique identifier issued by the Commissioner of Taxation. The department may collect TFNs for the following purposes:

  • to administer the programs we manage, including but not limited to the Higher Education Loan Programs
  • to make payments of salaries and wages to eligible employees and contractors
  • to administer child care financial assistance payments.

The department’s collection of TFNs is authorised under the Income Tax Assessment Act 1936 and the Taxation Administration Act 1953. You are not legally obliged to quote your TFN, but there may be financial consequences where you choose not to do so.

Prohibitions and penalties

Certain Commonwealth legislation prohibits the collection, recording, use and disclosure of TFN information. Further information about prohibitions and penalties is available at part 2.3.2 of the department’s Complete Privacy Policy.

Privacy notices

In addition to our complete privacy policy, we may need to explain specific privacy practices in more detail at other times. In such circumstances we develop and provide separate privacy notices to describe how we will handle the personal information that we collect. This separate privacy notice where issued, will detail our personal information handling practices in relation to that particular program.

Electronic communication

There are inherent risks associated with the transmission of information over the internet, including via email. You should be aware of this when sending personal information to us via email or via our website or social media platforms. If this is of concern to you then you may use other methods of communication with us, such as post, fax or telephone (although these also have risks associated with them).

Passive collection

Your information, including personal information, is collected by a variety of software applications, services and platforms used by your device and by the department to support it to deliver services.

This type of information collection is ‘passive’ as the department is not collecting this information directly and it does not directly relate to the department’s provision of services. Your consent for your information to be collected and shared in this way is typically obtained at the time you first use an application or service on your device.

You can opt out of some of these passive data collections, including by:

  • disabling / refusing cookies
  • disabling JavaScript
  • opting-out of Google Analytics
  • disabling location services on your device.

Additional advice regarding how to protect yourself online can be found at Stay Smart Online.

Active collection

The department directly collects some of your information, including personal information, via its website. Generally, this information is collected to enable the department to properly and efficiently carry out its functions and deliver services to you.

No attempt is made to identify you through your browsing other than in exceptional circumstances, such as an investigation into the improper use of the website.

Information may be collected by:Type of information:Information collected to:
  • Internet browser
  • Cookies
  • Google Analytics
  • Social media platforms
  • Qualtrics
  • Your browser type
  • Your browser language
  • Your server address
  • Your location (where location services are enabled on your device)
  • Your top level domain name (e.g. ‘.com’, ‘.gov’, ‘.au’, ‘.uk’)
  • Date and time you accessed a page on our site
  • Pages accessed and documents viewed on our site
  • How our website was accessed (e.g. from a search engine, link or advertisement)
  • Measure the effectiveness of our content
  • Better tailor our content to our audience
The department
  • Name
  • Email address
  • Phone number
  • Education history
  • Employment history
  • Deliver services to you
  • Contact you
  • Identify you
  • Subscribe you to a service or update you have requested
  • Evaluate our programs
  • Inform policy development

Links to external websites and social networking services

Our website includes links to other websites. We are not responsible for the content and privacy practices of other websites. We recommend that you examine each website's privacy policy separately.

We also use social networking services such as Facebook, Twitter, Google+, YouTube, Instagram and Yammer to talk with the public and our staff. When you talk with us using these services we may collect your personal information to communicate with you and the public.

The social networking service will also handle your personal information for its own purposes. These services have their own privacy policies. You can access the privacy policies for these services on their websites.

Disclosure of personal information overseas

We will on occasion disclose personal information to overseas recipients. The situations in which we may disclose personal information overseas include:

  • the publication on the internet of material which may contain personal information, such as departmental reports and other documents; photographs, video recordings and audio recordings and posts and comments on our social media platforms (where consent has been given for this or we are otherwise authorised by law to provide this information)
  • the provision of personal information to overseas researchers or consultants (where consent has been given for this or we are otherwise authorised by law to provide this information)
  • the provision of personal information to recipients using a web-based service where data is stored on an overseas server, for example, the department may use Mailchimp for email subscriptions (further details on this service can be found in the department’s Complete Privacy Policy)
  • the provision of personal information to foreign governments and law enforcement agencies (in limited circumstances and where authorised by law)
  • where recipients of departmental communications use an email account that stores data on an overseas server and
  • where people post and comment on our social media platforms.

Further information about the disclosure of personal information overseas is available at part 2.17 of the department’s Complete Privacy Policy.

Information collected by our contractors

Under the Privacy Act we are required to take contractual measures to ensure that contracted service providers (including subcontractors) comply with the same privacy requirements applicable to us.

Storage and data security

Storage of personal information (and the disposal of information when no longer required) is managed in accordance with the Australian Government's records management regime.

We take all reasonable steps to protect the personal information held in our possession against loss, unauthorised access, use, modification, disclosure or misuse.

Data quality

We take all reasonable steps to make sure that the personal information we collect and store is accurate, up-to-date, complete, relevant and not misleading.

Access to and alteration of records containing personal information

You have a right under the Privacy Act to access personal information we hold about you.

You also have a right under the Privacy Act to request corrections of any personal information that we hold about you if you think the information is inaccurate, out-of-date, incomplete, irrelevant or misleading.

It is also possible to access and correct documents held by us under the FOI Act. Further information about how to make an FOI application is available on the Freedom of Information page. You can also contact our FOI team at foi@education.gov.au

For further detail, including a comparison of both access mechanisms and how you can make a request, please see our Guide to Accessing and Correcting Personal Information.

Privacy Impact Assessments

A privacy impact assessment (PIA) is a systematic assessment of a project that identifies the impact that the project might have on the privacy of individuals, and sets out recommendations for managing, minimising or eliminating that impact.

The Privacy (Australian Government Agencies – Governance) APP Code 2017 (Privacy Code) requires us to undertake a PIA in certain instances and to maintain a register of those PIAs from 1 July 2018. In accordance with the Privacy Code, we publish our PIA Register (see below).

Privacy Impact Assessment Register

The department’s PIA register has been prepared in accordance with section 15(1) of the Privacy Code.

Last updated: 12/03/2024

PIAs completed for the Department of Education's projects since 1 July 2022

TitleDate
Data sharing agreement between the Department of Education and the Australian Bureau of StatisticsMay 2024
Fraud Fusion TaskforceMay 2024
2024 Early Childhood Education and Care National Workforce CensusMay 2024
Schools USIMay 2024
Integration of PRISMS Data into PLIDAMay 2024
Australian Early Development Census (AEDC) data link to the Tas-Connect Research Ready DatasetApril 2024
Remediation of Child Care Subsidy debts in relation to absences after careMarch 2024
Youth Advisory Groups ProgramMarch 2024
Commonwealth Regional Scholarship ProgramFebruary 2024
Commonwealth Teaching Scholarships ProgramOctober 2023
Australian Early Development Census link to PeopleWAOctober 2023
Electronic Payment of Child Care Gap Fees – Exception Provisions and Audit ProgramAugust 2023
Productivity Commission Inquiry into Early Childhood Education and Care – Data SharingAugust 2023
Early Learning STEM Australia (ELSA) Foundation to Year 2 ProgramJuly 2023
National Industry PhD ProgramJuly 2023
PRISMS Modernisation ProjectJuly 2023
Australian Early Development Census – 2024 CollectionJune 2023
Australia's Economic Accelerator ProgramApril 2023
Early Childhood and Youth Case Administration and Request Support (ECARS)April 2023
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission Child Care Price Inquiry – Data SharingMarch 2023
Piloting Joint Monitoring and Data Sharing ProjectFebruary 2023
Review of the Impact of COVID-19 on School Students with DisabilityJanuary 2023

PIAs completed by the then Department of Education, Skills and Employment from 1 February 2020 – 20 June 2022

TitleDate
eSAMJune 2022
Migrant Skills Incentive 3 – Employability AssessmentsJune 2022
Automation of Police ChecksJune 2022
Youth Allowance Data Link ProjectMay 2022
School Leavers Information ServiceMarch 2022
Credit Card Risk Indicator Detection ProgramMarch 2022
Apprenticeship Data Management System – Release 1.4March 2022
Contact Centre Telephony GenesysMarch 2022
English Language Learning for Indigenous Children (ELLIC) – go-live phaseFebruary 2022
Fraud Prevention MeasureDecember 2021
National Schools Constitutional Convention Expansion PilotDecember 2021
UserZoomNovember 2021
Digital Services Contact Centre Customer Relationship Management SystemNovember 2021
Schools USI Project – Options A and BOctober 2021
Literacy and Numeracy Test for Initial Teacher Education Students (LANTITE)October 2021
Boosting Apprenticeships Commencement – Interim data exchange with the ATOOctober 2021
DynatraceOctober 2021
Apprenticeship Data Management System – Release 1October 2021
Employer Reporting LineOctober 2021
Provider access to information on the ESSWebSeptember 2021
Data and Analytics PlatformSeptember 2021
PaTH Business Placement Partnerships 2020−2022July 2021
English Language Learning for Indigenous Children (ELLIC) – beta phaseJuly 2021
Phase 1 of the Gateway ProjectJune 2021
Community Child Care Fund (CCCF) Restricted Services Notification of Serious Incident FormJune 2021
Elasticity review of Australian Apprenticeship IncentivesJune 2021
Amendments to the National Vocational Education and Training Regulator Act 2011 to include information sharing provisionsMay 2021
Data sharing with the ATO for wage subsidy administrationMarch 2021
Literacy and Numeracy Test for Initial Teacher Education StudentsMarch 2021
Supporting Apprentices and Trainees Wage Subsidy MeasureFebruary 2021
Non-government school census 2020January 2021
English Language Learning for Indigenous Children (ELLIC) – alpha phaseDecember 2020
Solv Safety and Solv Injury Case Management SystemDecember 2020
Tuition Protection Service – Up-front payments guidelinesDecember 2020
Commonwealth Scholarships Program for Young AustraliansDecember 2020
Time to Work Employment ServiceDecember 2020
Data Sharing ProjectDecember 2020
Tuition Protection Service ExtensionNovember 2020
Unique Student Identifiers Extension ProjectNovember 2020
WhispliNovember 2020
Youth Jobs PaTH Industry PilotsNovember 2020
Seasonal Worker Programme Regional PilotOctober 2020
Capacity to Contribute Score Review ProcessSeptember 2020
National Vocational Education and Training Regulator Amendment Regulations 2020: National Register detailsAugust 2020
PaTH Internship Vacancy and Caseload Qlik AppAugust 2020

PIAs completed by the then Department of Education between 1 July 2018 and 31 January 2020

Title of PIACompleted
Proposed HESA and VSLA Amendments: impact on the TCSI solutionDecember 2019
SEMS Project (myHELPbalance application and StEMEDecember 2019
Trades Recognition Australia
Note: This PIA relates to a function that was transferred to the Department of Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business on 29 May 2019.
June 2019
NCCD Data Assurance ProjectMay 2019
Schools Census Post-Enumeration ProcessDecember 2018
2018 Student Residential Address CollectionSeptember 2018
Schools Special Circumstances ApplicationAugust 2018

PIAs completed by the then Department of Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business between 1 July 2018 and 31 January 2020

Date AddedReferenceProgram/InitiativeDescription
24/01/2019D19/59748Case study libraryCase studies for media events and media articles
01/11/2019D19/1839278Salesforce Marketing Cloud procurementOnline platform for use in New Employment Services Model
01/11/2019D19/1839233Trades Recognition Australia (TRA)Trades Recognition Australia assessment services
01/11/2019D19/1839417Use of Online Survey ToolDepartmental online survey tool ‘Qualtrics’
01/11/2019D19/1850510Seasonal Workers Program OnlineElectronic administration of the Seasonal Worker Programme
19/12/2019D19/2038120NEIS Payroll and Administration ProjectOnline collection of NEIS participant information
16/01/2020D20/26185New Template Deed of Agreement for the Seasonal Worker ProgrammeImplementation of new template deed for SWP Approved Employers

Complaints

If you think we may have breached your privacy you may contact us to make a complaint using the contact details below. In order to ensure that we fully understand the nature of your complaint and the outcome you are seeking, we prefer that you make your complaint in writing.

For further information about our complaint handling processes please see our Privacy Complaint Handling Procedures.

Contact us

If you have any enquiries or complaints about privacy, or if you wish to access or correct your personal information, please email us at privacy@education.gov.au or write to:

Privacy Officer
Legal Services
Department of Education
LOC: C50MA1
GPO Box 9880
Canberra ACT 2601

Changes to this condensed privacy policy.

Please note that the condensed privacy policy may change from time to time.

Last updated: February 2024.