QuickSmart Ethics: Information on Parental Consent and Update to Student Assent

The QuickSmart program has recently gone through some updates regarding consent and assent for research data collection, which are summarised below:

What remains the same:

There is no need for parental consent for a child to be involved in a QuickSmart program, as this is an instructional decision by the school. Parental consent is required only when providing data to UNE for analysis and research purposes.

Schools may include student participation in QuickSmart research as part of their standard process for obtaining Standing Parental Consent, as outlined in section 4.2.10 of the National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research (ECHR). This procedure applies to both the QuickSmart Numeracy and Literacy programs.

That is, schools should:

  • provide information sheet(s) regarding the QuickSmart research along with information about other school programs and activities circulated to parents for their consent; and
    • presume consent unless a parent or student communicates that they wish to opt-out or withdraw from the research.

An Information Sheet which has been approved by the University of New England Human Research Ethics Committee is provided for this purpose. You can customize this sheet for your school by adding your school’s letterhead and name. This can be downloaded from the “Research Consent Forms” section of the QuickSmart Portal.

What has changed:

As of 2024, Student Assent must be obtained from both QuickSmart Students and Comparison Students to confirm that they personally agree to participate in the research project. An ‘Assent Form for Students’ is provided for this purpose and can be downloaded from the “Research Consent Forms” section of the QuickSmart Portal.

Your school’s QuickSmart personnel should ask the student to fill out the Student Assent Form before the program starts, ensuring it’s completed right before their pre-tests. Schools should retain the completed Student Assent Forms for the duration of the research project (2024-2026). DO NOT send the forms to SiMERR/QuickSmart.

After obtaining both Standing Parental Consent and Student Assent, please update the student’s profile on the Portal to reflect their consent status.


The QuickSmart in Schools project has been approved by the Human Research Ethics Committee of the University of New England (Approval No. HE23-191, Valid to 18/12/2026).

The Information Sheets and Consent/Assent Forms can be downloaded from the “Research Consent Forms” section of the QuickSmart Portal.