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Update on ACT public school student email incident

25 Aug 2020

Google services restored following email incident

Student access to their Gmail accounts has now been restored. This follows the restoration of Google Classrooms and Google Drive last week.

The Education Directorate has worked very hard to remove all inappropriate content from Gmail accounts and to ensure proper controls are in place. In order to do this effectively, all emails sent after 10am on Friday 14 August have been removed from the system. Students needing to retrieve essential emails sent after that time can make a request to their teacher or an Information Technology Officer who can arrange for the email to be retrieved.

A number of security enhancements have been made to the student email system. These include limiting access to global groups, limiting the number of recipients a student can email, as well as updated internal filters.

The upgrades that have been made to our systems follow the advice of an external consultant to ensure our system is safe and secure.

The Education Directorate is taking this matter very seriously. We are working across schools to ensure consistent and appropriate action is taken for those involved. We are continuing to engage with ACT Policing on this matter and we will be discussing this matter with the students involved and their families, prior to determining what action will be taken.

We also understand that this incident has caused anxiety for some students and families, and that it has disrupted some students being able to study effectively. The Education Directorate apologises for any inconvenience or trauma caused for students, families and teachers.

Schools are also being provided with a range of supports to assist with this incident, and there are many supports available for students and their families as required. We encourage students and families to talk to their school about any needs they may have, including facilitating sessions with school psychologists where required.

To raise concerns with the ACT Education Directorate about this issue, please contact the Families and Students, Complaints and Feedback Unit online via the ACT Education Directorate contact form or by phone (02) 6205 5429.