CensusAtSchool NZ has carefully considered the issue of privacy and confidentiality of the data. The project has absolutely no research agenda and the data will not be released for commercial benefit or the advantage of any outside body. The motivation for the project is to provide a rich educational resource for both teachers and students to enhance statistical literacy and learning.
Individual anonymity is guaranteed because no names are attached to individual participants’ submitted surveys. Also, since data is released in randomly selected samples, individuals will not be able to be identified.
School participation is completely voluntary, with teachers registering interest through the website and subsequently receiving information on how to take part. Principals of participating schools will be fully informed about the project and their own responsibility regarding parental information and consent. An information sheet to be sent home to parents will be available on the website.
The survey design and questions are modelled on the partner projects overseas, which have already proven successful. Statistics NZ are involved in checking the question design to ensure that they comply with their guidelines. The questions have been piloted with over 100 students in Auckland to check their design.
Data security is a high priority and considerable effort has been made to put security measures in place, using encryption and login systems on the website.