Safer Technologies for Schools

20 April, 2023

Safer Technologies for Schools

What you need to know

The ST4S initiative provides schools with invaluable information about the security and privacy of software products, enabling them to make informed decisions when selecting technology solutions.


As technology becomes increasingly integral to daily school operations and student education outcomes, ensuring the security and privacy of the software used is of utmost importance. In response to these concerns, the Ministry of Education has joined the Safer Technologies for Schools (ST4S) initiative, which aims to streamline the process of selecting secure and privacy-compliant technology solutions for schools and kura.

What is ST4S?

ST4S is a program designed to provide schools with impartial advice on digital products, ensuring that the selected software meets security and privacy standards. It offers a catalogue of reports on commonly used school software, assessing them against security and privacy criteria. ST4S-rated products are given a badge to display on their website, signifying their compliance with critical security and privacy standards.

How ST4S Works

Software suppliers complete a self-assessment, answering security and privacy questions about their products' data management and protection. The responses are assessed and given a rating, which is then shared with state and state-integrated school staff. The ST4S assessment also provides information on the types of personal information collected through the product, allowing schools to make informed decisions.

Accessing ST4S Reports

A list of ST4S badged products is available on the ST4S website. In 2023, self-service access to ST4S reports will be introduced. Meanwhile, state and state-integrated schools can request ST4S reports by contacting Note that the reports are currently created for an Australian context, but efforts are underway to extend protections to New Zealand schools.

Who Performs the Checks?

Education Services Australia (ESA) manages ST4S on behalf of participating education jurisdictions, including the New Zealand Ministry of Education.

List of Assessed Products

Software assessed since 2020 and deemed low or medium risk can display an ST4S badge on their products. The list of badged products is available on the ST4S website, with more products being added as they complete the badging process.

Help Identify Software for ST4S Assessment

Schools can help by identifying and prioritizing software for ST4S assessment. If your school is considering purchasing or currently uses software without an ST4S badge, contact the digital services team at to register your interest.