A message from the General Manager

Corporate governance and data security are very topical at the moment and rightly so. Nothing becomes more newsworthy when sensitive school data is misused. With this in mind I would like to draw your attention to an important article on the new legislation relating to data breaches. An overview of “Notifiable Data Breaches” legislation is featured on the last page of this newsletter and I would encourage all schools to familiarise yourselves with your obligations under this new legislation.

On another front, a trend that we are seeing is the need for schools to provide flexible payment options. An important centre page feature article on one of our business partners, Ezidebit, highlights the importance of providing payment choices for your fee payers.

Finally, new enrolments are always a key driver for schools and we have taken the opportunity to share with you some important analysis prepared by the highly credentialed professional body Educate Plus.

Gary Stoneham, General Manager

School admission statistics – did you know?

Most effective admissions activities

  • Personal or guided tours

  • Word of mouth

  • Meeting students

  • Your website

  • Meetings with the staff or Heads of School

  • Information evenings

  • Your prospectus

Quality of teaching and student welfare…

…are the top drivers for parents selecting a school for their child.

Notifiable Data Breaches – New Legislation

Commencing in February this year, changes to the federal Privacy Act made it compulsory for organisations to notify specific types of data breaches (Notifiable Data Breaches or NDBs), to individuals affected by the breach, and to the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC).

A data breach occurs where “personal information held by an agency or organisation is lost or subjected to unauthorised access, modification, disclosure, or other misuse or interference”. The new requirement applies to all private organisations, unless they have a revenue of less than $3 million. Not all data breaches will be NDBs. A NDB is defined as a breach that is likely to result in serious harm to any of the individuals to whom the information relates. Serious harm could include: serious physical, psychological, emotional, economic and financial harm, as well as serious harm to reputation.

To ensure that data breaches are identified and dealt with as required by the Privacy Act’s NDB scheme, with the NDB requirements, organisations will need to have procedures in place which are known and understood by employees, and integrated into their existing documented Privacy Program. A key element of this is the development of a data breach response plan so that employees understand their roles and responsibilities should a notifiable breach occur.

SchoolPRO’s parent company, the Education Horizons Group (EHG), has invested significant resources to ensure we are well prepared and that clients have sound reassurance (supported by procedural documentation) of compliance and proactive and collaborative responses, in the event of a suspected breach.

You can request copies of our Data Breach Assistance Plan and Data Breach Response Plans by contacting patrick.nickholds@schoolpro.com.au.

Given the significant changes to the privacy act, we strongly recommend schools review their existing security setup (including encryption) and user permissions in SchoolPRO so that they can take measures to prevent unauthorised access to the system. If further assistance is required in this space please contact Gary Stoneham at gary.stoneham@schoolpro.com.au or 0438 188 132.

New face, new voice at SchoolPRO

Welcome to Pat Nickholds who recently joined the SchoolPRO team. Based in Melbourne, Pat has worked in school management software for many years, initially with the Maze software and more recently with SAS from Human Edge Software.

As Client Support Manager, Pat’s caring attitude and strong financial skills will be a great fillip for all SchoolPRO users. Pat will be an additional contact point for telephone support, training and for schools wishing to optimise their use of SchoolPRO.

An AFL fan, Pat supports the Hawthorn football team and is looking forward to the Hawks rebounding in 2018. To relax, Pat opts for a refined lifestyle where he concentrates on the appraisal of quality literature that may be best described as Zombie Horror, Bug-Eyed Monsters from Space or TEOTWAWKI (the end of the world as we know it) – ie pulp science fiction – either classical or new wave. Welcome Pat!