These guidelines are provided for individuals and institutions applying to conduct research within Catholic Primary Schools and Colleges under the governance of the Catholic Education Office Rockhampton.
Catholic Education Diocese of Rockhampton comprises 9 Kindergartens, 31 Primary Schools and 8 Colleges, with over 16 000 students. The geographical area extends from Bundaberg to Mackay and west to Longreach.
There are two types of Catholic schools
- Diocesan or systemic schools, which are schools under the authority of the Director of Catholic Education
- Religious Institute schools are independent of the Rockhampton Catholic Education Office and operate under the authority of religious institutes/orders.
- St Brendan’s College and St Ursula’s College Yeppoon are Religious Institute schools and do not come under the governance of the Catholic Education Office Rockhampton. Applications to conduct research with these colleges must be directed to the individual school or school authority.
Details of schools located within the Diocese of Rockhampton are available via the Catholic Education Office website www.rok.catholic.edu.au
Researchers wishing to undertake research in other dioceses within Queensland will need to direct their requests to the Catholic Education Office in the respective diocese in which the schools are located. (Brisbane, Toowoomba, Townsville and Cairns)
Applications to conduct research within Catholic Education schools are coordinated centrally through the Diocesan Director’s Office. Applications to conduct research made directly to schools will be re-directed to the Director’s Office.
Approval Procedures and conditions:
Researchers applying to conduct research within Catholic schools within the Diocese of Rockhampton must ensure that their research does not negatively impact on the learning and teaching environment within schools. In submitting the research application researchers agree to comply with the procedures and conditions outlined within these guidelines and application form.
Approval to conduct research will be based on the evidence provided in relation to the nature and standard of the research being proposed. Any approval granted to conduct research is in principle only. The decision to allow the proposed research to be conducted in any particular school resides with the respective school principal.
The Rockhampton Catholic Education Office Research Committee meets on a monthly basis and providing the application is supported by relevant documentation, the principal researcher will receive a response to their application within a week following the committee meeting. If the research is approved a letter of approval to approach the principal/s at the respective school/s nominated will be issued. As stated above the participation in research is at the discretion of the school principal.
It is a condition of approval that the researcher keeps the Rockhampton Catholic Education Office informed of progress of the research. If the research is discontinued, Catholic Education must be informed.
On completion it is requested that the researcher
- provide Catholic Education with a copy of the research findings;
- provide the schools in which the research was conducted with a summary of the research findings;
- give permission for Catholic Education to disseminate reports to its personnel.
Privacy and Confidentiality
Researchers must ensure that the privacy and confidentiality of any personal details or information collected from research participants is maintained at all times. This includes the maintenance of privacy and confidentiality in the publication of research data collected for the duration of the research project.
The Federal Privacy Act 1988 regulates the way in which private sector organisations collect, use, keep secure and disclose personal information. Catholic Education Diocese of Rockhampton has adopted and is bound by the 13 Australian Privacy Principles established by the Act.
Researchers who collect any personal information from schools and colleges while conducting research are required to comply with Catholic Education’s privacy statement.
Please note that if a research participant discloses to a researcher, during a research project, confidential information in relation to sexual or physical abuse/harm or circumstances where a student’s health, safety or wellbeing is in danger, the researcher is required to disclose this information to the school principal or the Catholic Education Student Protection Officer on 1800 228 433 immediately.
Working with Children (Risk Management and Screening) Act 2000
Catholic Education, Diocese of Rockhampton, has very clear expectations of employees in matters relating to student protection. It rightly expects that children and young people, while at school, will be protected from all forms of abuse/harm.
Filming and any other process by which a child could be identified will not be approved in any research application unless the following conditions are met:
- That research participants and caregivers are fully informed regarding the intent, nature and scope of the research and that written consent is specifically given by the Parents/Caregivers in relation to any filming/photography/videoing etc of participants;
- That the above condition also applies to research projects that involve longitudinal studies;
- That the researchers must provide details of the procedures they will use to ensure participant confidentiality – for example, strategies for information storage, access and disposal of data; and
- Catholic Education Media Consent upon enrolment does not apply to research projects;
- Therefore additional written consent from the primary caregiver will be required, prior to utilising filming or any other participant identifying information, in any forum such as conference, teacher in-service, professional development, teaching instruction etc.
The Working with Children (Risk Management and Screening) Act 2000 is an important child protection initiative. The Act requires people working in ‘child related employment’ to undergo employment screening and obtain a Positive Notice Blue Card. Researchers making application to conduct research in Catholic Education, Diocese of Rockhampton schools whose research involves working with children under 18 years of age are required to contact Blue Card Services Public Safety Business Agency to ensure they are aware of and comply with their obligations in relation to the possession of a Positive Notice Blue Card.
Information in relation to researcher’s obligations in accordance with the Working with Children (Risk Management and Screening) Act 2000 can be obtained by contacting the Blue Card Services Public Safety Business Agency: Website: www.bluecard.qld.gov.au
NB: Applications to conduct research that involves direct contact with children under the age of 18 years of age will not be approved unless the researcher is able to provide either a Positive Notice Blue Card or evidence that a Positive Notice Blue Card is not required.
Further information and submissions of applications:
Complete the application form
Ensure the following documents are included to support your application:
- Project overview or copy of your HREC application;
- Institutional organisation human research ethics approval;
- Copy of each research instrument and/or set of interview questions that will be used in your research;
- Participant Information Sheet(s); and
- Participant Consent Form(s).
For further information regarding the research application process, please contact the Executive Assistant to the Director via 1800 228 433 or email ResearchApplications@rok.catholic.edu.au
Applications should be emailed to ResearchApplications@rok.catholic.edu.au or posted to
Research Applications Catholic Education Office PO Box 524 Rockhampton QLD 4700.
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