Purpose of this statement
This transparency statement explains how we collect, use, and share information gathered about individuals and education organisations for the purposes of carrying out our statutory functions under the Education and Training Act 2020.
In particular, this statement relates to our regulatory compliance activity that ensures compliance with education legislation. Note that we do not collect personal information on our website.
It also explains how you can make a complaint about our information-gathering activities, and how you can request information from us.
We take care to exercise our information-gathering powers lawfully and appropriately and to meet our legal obligations, including those in the Privacy Act 2020. We also take care to fulfil our obligations under the Public Service Commission’s code of conduct, Standards of Integrity and Conduct, and Information Gathering and Public Trust Model Standards, and to follow the ERO Code of Conduct
Any information gathered is done in accordance with relevant internal processes and procedures and internal delegations and authorisations. Our processes and activities are reviewed when required to ensure compliance with the law and with our own internal policies and procedures.
This statement applies to information gathered by us, our contractors, or any third parties engaged by us.
What information is covered by this statement and why do we collect it?
Our legislation gives us powers to request the information we need to perform our statutory functions, that is to:
- review and inspect the performance of schools, including registered private schools, licensed early childhood education and care services, and home-school educators, and the provision of a safe physical and emotional environment to boarders in school hostels; and
- provide review reports for the Minister of Education and the public.
When carrying out these functions, we may receive a range of information, including personal information as a by-product about the education institutions.
Information collected directly
Most of the information we collect is provided directly by licensed early childhood services or educational organisations, or their authorised representative, in order to meet their statutory obligations and according to our powers as reviewers during a review of the early childhood services or educational organisations.
Where we obtain information using statutory powers, we are clear about the powers we have and the reasons for collecting the information. We are clear not to collect personal information identifying individuals, especially children, and where any personal information is received as a by-product, we comply with the provisions of the Privacy Act 2020.
Information received from third parties
In carrying out our statutory functions, we may receive unsolicited personal information from other people or agencies.
ERO, acting through the appropriate senior manager will decide what we do with any unsolicited information. If ERO received the information in error, we will consider contacting the person or agency who sent it. If we think there is an existing lawful purpose for using the information (in other words, if the information is relevant to ERO’s business), then we can keep the information if we want.
However, if we do keep the information, the other obligations set out in the Privacy Act principles apply, including the obligation to keep the information secure, rights of access and correction, and restrictions on use and disposal under the Public Records Act 2005.
We take all steps that are reasonable to ensure that the information we collect or receive from third parties is accurate.
What do we do with the information we collect?
Generally, if we collect personal information for a particular purpose, we only use it for that purpose, such as for research and statistical purposes. We can only use the information for another purpose where we are allowed or required to do so by the law, or with permission from the person in question.
Do we share the information we collect?
We may share information where necessary to carry out our statutory functions. This may include situations when we are considering and reviewing compliance breaches, complaints, and initiating our own reviews or inquiries against the education institution. We take all steps that are reasonable to ensure that the information we provide to third parties is accurate.
We may, for example, share information with:
- other regulatory agencies where we consider sharing may assist that regulatory agency to carry out its statutory functions;
- other government departments where we are permitted to do so by law (such as under the Education and Training Act 2020, Privacy Act 2020, the Oranga Tamariki Act 2017, the Official Information Act 1982); or
- the Police, if our staff are threatened or abused.
How will we protect information?
Information is stored and retained in accordance with our privacy, information management and information security policies. We also comply with legal obligations regarding retention and protection of information under the Privacy Act 2020 and the Public Records Act 2005.
Enquiries and complaints
If you have any enquiries or complaints about our information-gathering activities, or believe we have not acted in accordance with this statement, contact us.
Our website also has information about how you can request information under the Official Information Act 1982 and the Privacy Act 2020.