Consent, Acceptable Use Agreements and Online Services

Acceptable Use Agreement (AUA) Templates

The Department has provided these templates to assist schools to develop agreements around the acceptable use of internet, other online and digital technologies. Whilst not legal documents, they play an important part in describing how the school educates and supports its students as well as the expectations on students themselves to be safe, responsible and ethical users of digital technologies.

These agreements are templates. Schools can add and/or delete information where necessary to make them relevant to their school environment. It is recommended that teachers work through and discuss the behaviours described in the agreement with their students. Inclusion of student voice in the AUA can assist with addressing relevant issues and share knowledge of current technologies and social media sites.

Each template includes references and provides ideas for schools that are implementing 1-to-1 programs.

For more information, see:  Parent Payment Policy

The AUA must be accurate, communicated across the community and reviewed regularly. Sending a copy of the AUA home or publishing it on the school website will assist parents to support their child's appropriate internet use at home.

Primary Schools

Upper Primary and Secondary Schools

Please note: For best results viewing and saving the PDFs, we recommend you first download and save it onto your desktop and then open it using the latest version of Abode Reader (free) or Adobe Acrobat. For more information, see: Adobe

Schools may wish to recommend that parents discuss, develop and implement a similar 'family agreement' at home. This will assist students to understand what is and isn't appropriate behaviour and that approprate behaviour is expected everywhere and anytime they are online.

For more information, see: Parents and Cybersafety

Additional Information

Schools should consider their Duty of Care responsibility to students using online and digital technologies that are provided at or by the school. The AUA is a school's statement of its Duty of Care. Therefore, a school is required to:

  • add information about programs, online and digital technologies including social media tools specific to their school
  • describe strategies designed to teach students to be safe, responsible and ethical users of digital technologies when they are not at school
  • align expected behaviours described in the AUA with the school's Student Engagement Policy
  • provide information to parents and/or guardians about the AUA, the school's programs and considerations for at home use of online and digital technologies
  • retain a copy of the completed and signed AUA on file at the school.

Schools are reminded that students' signing of these agreements is aimed to raise awareness and support student learning. They are not legally binding on those students. There are however some online activities which are illegal and schools are required to report these to appropriate authorities. 

Consent - sharing personal information

Posting and sharing information about a person other than you online or in any other way requires consent. Consent must be:

  • fully informed,
  • freely given,
  • current, and
  • specific in how the information will be presented and to whom it will be presented.

Schools will require signed authority for any work, images or information posted online. School should understand that while consent can be freely given, it can also be withdrawn at any time. The school would then be required to remove the content/resource immediately.

Schools should also consider and obtain consent for the personal information they share or allow their students to share in the backend of systems and services.

Consent forms - students

The following template has been designed for schools to use when requesting permission to publish, reproduce and communicate a student’s work or image.

To access the template, see: Student and parent/guardian consent for recording &/or publishing (doc - 76kb) 

The following template has been provided by the Department to assist school communities to develop agreements with students as to what constitutes acceptable use of internet, netbooks and other online and digital technologies in their communities.

To access the template, see: Student Acceptable Use Agreement 

Consent forms – adults

The following template has been designed for schools to use when requesting permission from adult members of the school community who will be participating in an event that may be recorded (photograph, video, audio and/or other recordings) for promotional, marketing and or communication activities.

To access the template, see: Adult consent for recording &/or publishing (doc - 68kb)

Online Services for schools

Online services include virtual spaces and portals through which information can be stored and shared, and transactions between schools and parents and carers can be recorded. Online services are also referred to as cloud technologies and are used by schools to deliver learning and teaching and to assist in the administrative and information management activities of schools.

For more information, see: Online Services Information Sheet

The range of online services available to schools is constantly evolving but currently includes learning management systems, subscriptions and social media (for example: Facebook, Twitter, blogs, email, wikis, Google Apps, Microsoft 365 and iTunes). These online services have a diverse range of functions and terms of use. Schools should consider the purpose of the technology and how it manages and stores information. A template has been developed for schools to assist with their evaluation of the online spaces they use.

For more information, see: Online Services Assessment Template

The information provided in the Online Services Information Sheet is intended to help schools to become aware of some of the key legal issues involved in the use of online systems. Once informed of these key issues schools may wish to approach the Legal Division to provide further instructions to us so that we can provide you with legal advice.

All legal queries should be forwarded to: legal.services@edumail.vic.gov.au

More information

To access the policy on photographing and filming students, see: Photographing and Filming Students - School Policy and Advisory Guide