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PARENT / CAREGIVER / GUARDIAN INFORMATION AND CONSENT LETTER

Dear Parent / Caregiver / Guardian,

This letter is to inform you about the 2023 Student Attitudes to School Survey (AtoSS), that your child is invited to participate in. 

About the survey

We value student voice as a means to improving student engagement, wellbeing and quality instruction and are conducting a survey to find out what your child thinks of their school.

The AtoSS is an annual student survey offered by the Department of Education to assist schools to gain an understanding of students’ perceptions and experience of school. Students will be asked about their thoughts and feelings in relation to their school, their learning, peer relationships, resilience, bullying, health and wellbeing, physical activity, and life in general.

This year, the AtoSS will be conducted at your school from 22 May to 9 June

What are the benefits?

Young people enjoy having a say! This survey has been running for nearly 20 years and is invaluable in helping schools understand student views to plan programs and activities to improve your child’s schooling experience. The survey responses also help the Department of Education understand how student’s learning experiences can be improved.

What are the risks?

While we do not anticipate many risks of participation, some students may find some of the survey questions personal and sensitive in nature. Should you agree for your child to participate, they are still free to skip questions or to withdraw at any stage if the survey makes them upset or uncomfortable. A teacher will be present during the survey to support students.

The questions are selected from validated survey instruments used in Australia and around the world, are strength-based, and tailored for each year level group.

What will my child be asked to do?

Your child will be invited to complete the survey online during class time using a purpose built secure online survey tool. It is important to note that we are not in any way “testing” your child. Please note:

  • Student participation in the survey is voluntary and students may withdraw at any time.
  • The survey will take around 20-45 minutes to complete.

How is my child’s confidentiality protected?

Your child will be provided with a unique login to complete the survey from their teacher. The student login is an assigned identifier that may be used to link data for statistical and research purposes only. Personally identifiable data will not be recorded in the survey response file to ensure the confidentiality of your child’s responses is protected at all times.

How will results be reported?

The survey results will be reported back to the school in aggregate form throughout the survey period. All survey data that is made available in reports are for groups of students only so that no individual student can be identified. Data suppression rules are used for schools with low student numbers per year level.

Your school may share the results of the survey with parents, in documents such as the School Annual Report.

Options for participation Participation in this survey is voluntary. If you do not wish for your child to do the survey, please opt out via email to your school: mhs@mhs.vic.edu.au. Please do so before 22 May stating that you wish to opt out of your child’s participation, along with their name and year level. If your school does not receive a Refusal of Consent email from yourself before the survey commencement date mentioned within this letter, it means that you give your consent for your child to participate in the 2023 Attitudes to School Survey.

A copy of the survey that we are asking your child to complete is available from your child’s school. Please contact the administration office if you would like to see the survey before making your decision about whether you would like your child to participate.

If you would like more information, please speak to your child’s teacher, or contact the department at school.surveys@education.vic.gov.au.

Yours sincerely,

Department of Education, Victoria