It is no longer necessary for schools to collect program consent and assent forms for QuickSmart and QuickSmart Comparison students. These permissions can now be included in general communication from the school; consent is now presumed and students need to “opt out” rather than “opt in”.
As you are aware, while a school may deliver QuickSmart instruction to whichever students it chooses, SiMERR may not receive student data from the schools without first gaining consent for their participation in the QuickSmart research project. Following feedback from schools and consultation with the University of New England’s Human Research Ethics Committee, the process for schools to gain this consent has now been made easier.
Schools may now include QuickSmart research participation within their procedures for gaining Standing Parental Consent per 4.2.10 of the National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research (ECHR) for the entire suite of QuickSmart programs*. That is, schools may:
- include information regarding the QuickSmart research participation along with information about other school programs and activities circulated to parents for their consent; and
- presume consent unless a parent or student communicates otherwise, that is, an opt out system.
The information given to parents should note:
- the QuickSmart Numeracy and Literacy programs provided by the school are linked to the QuickSmart in Schools research project conducted by the SiMERR National Research Centre at UNE;
- the QuickSmart website https://simerr.une.edu.au/quicksmart/ can be visited for more information;
- the QuickSmart in Schools research project collects student data in order to report on the effectiveness of the QuickSmart programs; and
- SiMERR does not report on individual student results or make public any personal information.
The consent thus gained is then indicated by selecting Consented for the student in the QuickSmart Portal.
This will reduce your administrative burden in implementing QuickSmart and reduce barriers to getting students started in QuickSmart.
*The QuickSmart suite of programs includes QuickSmart Numeracy, Literacy, Catch-Up Numeracy, FABS, Diagnostic Assessment and QuickSmart@Home.