Plain Language Awards

Celebrate the stories of our clearest business communicators

Finalist: Best Plain English Document — Public Sector 2021

Leading Lights

Document name

Consent to Request Support and Share Information

Judges’ comments

Your consultation and evaluation were extraordinary. We admired the way you made a complex and sensitive process relatively simple after consulting so many organisations.

Your target readers should have no difficulty finding the information they need. The clarity of your layout and your information should mean that readers are well aware of their obligations when sharing information.

Media statement

Leading Lights is part of the Mana Ake – Stronger for Tomorrow programme. Leading Lights is aimed at educators working in Canterbury schools with children in Years 1 to 8, and service providers that schools contact to request additional support for children’s wellbeing.

Although the whole site is a great example of plain English, the Consent to Request Support and Share Information page was chosen for our entry because it’s a complex and confusing topic. The page provides easy-to-follow, concise guidance for educators to gain consent from family/whānau to share information with services that can support their child’s wellbeing.

The document was the result of collaboration across sectors. A multi-sector work group was convened to discuss the topic of information sharing for schools. Among other things, the group noted that failure to share information was seen as a major barrier to getting best outcomes for children and their family/whānau. By providing plain English guidance, the document aims to overcome this barrier by helping educators confidently and knowledgably approach difficult conversations around consent with family/whānau.

Polly Hutchinson
Content Advisor
Leading Lights