Publishing your documents online
Find the requirements for publishing your school's annual report online.
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Under Section 136 of the Education and Training Act 2020, school boards are required to make their school’s annual report available to the public on an internet site maintained by or on behalf of the board.
Making your annual report available ensures parents and the wider community can access information about what your school has achieved, and how your board has managed school finances in the previous school year.
Your board is required under section 136 of the Education and Training Act 2020(external link) to make your school’s annual report available to the public on an internet site maintained by or on behalf of your board.
Before you make any of your annual report publicly available, your board must check if it contains any information that might breach an individual's privacy. If it does, you may have grounds to redact this information to protect their privacy.
Guidelines about the Privacy Act(external link) are available from the New Zealand School Trustees Association.
You may also find the information in the following document helpful.
Why does our board need to publish its school’s annual report on its website?
It is a legislative requirement. Section 136 of the Education and Training Act 2020 states: A board must ensure that its annual report is available to the public on an Internet site maintained by or on behalf of the board.
Annual reports are also public documents. Making annual reports available online ensures that parents and your wider community can access information about the achievements of your school or kura, and how your board has managed its finances during the previous financial year.
How do I know what kind of information may need to be redacted?
The types of information which may impact on the privacy of an individual include:
- Names of individual students
- Comments about individual students / families / teachers
- Any lists of data about individual students
- Photos of students where permission has not be given by the student/parents for their use.
- References to specific disabilities of students may be withheld depending on context and whether it poses a risk to privacy.
When writing your analysis of variance, which forms part of the annual report, you should ensure that where possible it does not include any of the above. If you identify that your analysis of variance does include information which could be attributed to an individual, which may be unavoidable in smaller schools, the information can be redacted before the annual report is published. However, care must be taken to ensure that the analysis of variance still provides the necessary information for the reader to be able to understand the achievements of the school.
Our annual report contains information that may breach an individual’s privacy; what should I do?
It’s the board’s responsibility to ensure their school’s annual report doesn’t contain any information that may breach an individual’s privacy before it’s made publicly available.
It is important to note that while identifying characteristics such as those above may be redacted before publishing online, the disclosures included in the Kiwi Park model financial statements(external link) are legislative requirements and cannot be redacted.
- This includes information about the Principal’s remuneration and any settlement payments paid to staff or board members.
- Note that where a school or kura has only one person employed in either Property or Administration roles, the Kiwi Park required disclosures allow both salaries to combined under the Administration expense category.
While the Statement of Responsibility document must be signed by the school’s principal and board chair, the documents you then publish online do not need to contain these signatures; a typed name for each signature is sufficient. If you are scanning the document for publication, it is recommended to redact or cover up the signatures. However, the document must state the name of the person who has signed the Statement of Responsibility.
If you require any further advice on these matters, please contact the New Zealand School Trustees Association (0800 782 435).
What if our school doesn’t have a website or its website is no longer maintained?
If you do not have a website, we can host your annual report on our Education Counts website. You can send your request for us to host your annual report to email@example.com
Before your Annual Report can be hosted on Education Counts, the board must first confirm it has considered any possible breaches of an individual’s privacy and have made any redactions it considers necessary.
I don’t want to publish our annual report on our school’s website, can I choose to publish it on the Ministry’s website instead?
The Ministry will only publish annual reports on Education Counts for schools that do not have websites, or who have websites that are not being maintained.
Your school’s website is the first place a parent or someone from the your community will go when searching for information about your school.
Is it acceptable to only publish our annual report on our school’s Facebook page?
Facebook (or any social media platform) isn’t considered an appropriate place to publish your school’s annual report. Not all members of your community will know how to use Facebook, have a login, belong to your Facebook ‘group’, or wish to use social media. As your annual report is a public document it must be accessible to all.
What is the deadline to publish our school’s annual report online?
It’s expected that your annual report will be published on your website at the same time that you submit your school’s annual financial statements to the Ministry, or as soon as practical afterwards. You are required to provide your audited financial statements to the Ministry by the 31 May following the end of the school financial year.
How long does our annual report need to stay on our school’s website?
It’s expected that your annual report will remain on the school’s website until the next annual report is published as a minimum. It is good practice to retain previous year’s annual reports on your website in case people want to refer to them.
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