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The Victorian education department says it is “deeply sorry” for accidentally disclosing personal information of students and parents online.

Including confidential information which identifies children who have self-harmed, bullying victims and students’ medical conditions.

Up to 115 families were affected when more than 500 submissions on proposed new regulations for Victorian schools were uploaded to the department’s website on Friday, The Age has reported.

This included parents’ names and, in a few instances, their home addresses and mobile numbers.

That section of the website was taken offline on Saturday.

“The department took immediate action to take the submissions down as soon as the breach was discovered,” a spokesman said in a statement on Wednesday.

“We understand the seriousness of this incident, and we are contacting those affected to apologise directly.

“We are commissioning an independent investigation to determine what went wrong, and to recommend steps to prevent it from happening again.”

One of the parents whose information should have been redacted was a domestic violence victim, while another had detailed how they started home-schooling their dyslexic child because he was self-harming, The Age said.

Education Minister James Merlino​ has ordered an independent inquiry into the incident, and said he was “deeply concerned”.

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  • wow that was a silly mistake and hope it actually didn’t cause issues for anyone

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  • This is very worrying. For children already identified as vulnerable, this information becoming widely known could be devastating, and never forgotten. I do hope the investigation prevents this from happening again.

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  • These are probably only some of the problems listed on these reports. Some issues may have been resolved and no longer be accurate. As far as I am concerned they have “stuffed up” the validity of new rules they were going to put in place.

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  • This is absolutely disgraceful and I agree in that it need more than an apology.

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  • Needs more than an apology. This should never have happened – shows how lax this department is along with the whole current government here in Vic.

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  • This is completely unacceptable. I would not tolerate this if it had happened to me.

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  • This is a total breach of the privacy laws. An apology will not fix what has happened. My heart goes out to those families affected. I just hope that these children will not be traumatised any more.

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  • How terrible. An apology just does not seem enough. These children were already vulnerable and this is just making things worse for them.

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  • Totally unacceptable. Personally I think that an apology isn’t enough !

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  • So utterly shameful. This corrupt system couldn’t care less about anything other than covering up and control and has long demonstrated a lack of accountability. There is no real or genuine concern for the many people who’s rights have been violated by a system not only failing them in profound ways but then further vilifying and failing them in a mammoth breach of privacy – putting their safety and wellbeing at risk. This is a department that seeks to place further restrictions and hardship on homeschooling families- many of which have removed children from the system as a matter of urgency secondary to incredible trauma and suffering within the school environment.
    This same system delights in being a law unto themselves- flouting their lack of accountability and being ‘above the law’ as is demonstrated purely by the sheer number of discrimination legal actions launched against the DET followed by settlement and silencing. This same system seeks to underhandedly continue to deny and violate the rights of children and families and continue restrictive practices including restraint- with no commitment to the same stringent regulation the rest of society is rightly subject to in the case of restrictive Drive practice. And we are talking about our MOST vulnerable population- yet they are the least protected and valued. This same system is failing children over and over again and then rather than focus on the systemic change so desperately needed to ensure meaningful, inclusive and quality learning experiences for children within schools- further seek to vilify those they have failed and attempt to assert control over them. And yet people are expected to entrust their children within this system. How ironic.

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  • I’d be pretty unhappy if I had this happen to me!
    Makes me glad I’m not in Victoria to have had a chance of this happening to us, but at the same time, it doesn’t matter what state you’re in, or what school your kids are at, schools have a lot of very personal information about our kids and about us and it would not be nice to have it all release like that!

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  • It’s a scarey world for sure when so much of our personal information is so easily available online

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  • My kids school has started an online system that needs 100 points if I’d to set up. There’s so many reasons I don’t want to sign up!

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  • I would be angry if it was my details!

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  • I know accidents happen, but this is absolutely appalling and I would be ropeable if my details were shared.

    Reply

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