Privacy Policy

Privacy Policy

Welcome to Steps, the specialist literacy programme which can be used by a non-specialist. This Privacy Policy applies to the Learning Staircase range of software which includes StepsWeb. When you use StepsWeb, you are agreeing to this Privacy Policy. Please read it carefully.

By purchasing a licence for Steps or StepsWeb, you acknowledge that you have read and understood this Privacy Policy.

StepsWeb does not provide students with any way of communicating directly with each other. There are no chat rooms or forums provided in StepsWeb. All interaction with StepsWeb, or its associated websites, is entirely for educational purposes.

StepsWeb only collects the bare minimum of user data to enable the programme to function effectively. For the account owner (Teacher or Parent), we need to know enough to contact you and bill you for the service. For the students, we require a log in name (which doesn’t need to be their actual name) and a password, which is only viewable by the account owner.

Only staff who are required to have access to database to provide customer support or software maintenance are allowed such access. A log is kept of access to the database.

We are fully compliant with the 13 privacy principles as set out by the Privacy Commissioner.

Confidentiality and Privacy

Using Steps and StepsWeb creates data about the student's progress on the courses.

The data for StepsWeb is created and held on a secure website run by The Learning Staircase. That data is recorded under the username you entered when you first set up StepsWeb. The database also holds enough information to identify the user and the account owner for billing and administration purposes, but no more. Class records are made available to teachers within the same school who have been granted authority to do so by the Administrator of that school's account.

The Learning Staircase uses some of the data held on the StepsWeb database to evaluate the effectiveness of the programme and to help to develop enhancements to the software. The data which is used for this purpose does not link to any identifying details such as the username.

Some feedback reports require certain pieces of information about the student. In particular, the date of birth is used to determine their chronological age which is then compared to the student's spelling age. If you do not provide the student's date of birth, or do not provide it within a reasonable level of accuracy (the specific date is not relevant, but it does need the correct month and year), you will not be able to use that feedback function within Steps or StepsWeb. However, in all other respects, the programme will fully function and, accordingly, you do not need to enter the student's date of birth to use Steps or StepsWeb.

Device data collected by StepsWeb is only used for running and analysing StepsWeb, and analysing traffic, by The Learning Staircase. No adverts are allowed on StepsWeb or its associated websites. No personal data or information collected by StepsWeb or its associated websites is given or sold to any third party. A Parent can only view the results of the students they have set up on their account. Teachers can only view the results of students within the school account as authorised by the Root Administrator. There is no other opportunity for any user to view any data of another user.

If you, or we, terminate a user or account, the data is initially kept as a soft delete and can usually be reactivated. We do this in case you accidentally delete the wrong user. However, you can request a hard delete which involves the total and permanent deletion of the relevant users' data. All customer and student data will be hard deleted after one year of being inactive. We do not guarantee keeping any student's records after they have been soft deleted and we take no responsibility for any data lost.

All Supervisor account passwords are hashed for security reasons. Please choose your password carefully and keep it secure to prevent unauthorised access. We take no responsibility for anything that happens to your data or your account set-up if you divulge your password or choose one with weak security.

Student passwords are stored by default in "plain text" so that Supervisors can view and print their password. Administrators can enable student password hashing from within StepsWeb which will prevent viewing of student passwords. This is the recommended option for optimum security.

Use of Cookies

To make the StepsWeb site work properly, we sometimes place small data files called cookies on your device. Most websites do this. A cookie does not identify you personally or contain information about you, but it does identify your computer.

A cookie is a small text file that a website saves on your computer or mobile device when you visit the site. It enables the website to remember your actions and preferences (such as login, language and display preferences) over a period of time, so that you don't have to keep re-entering them whenever you come back to the site.

There are two types of cookies; persistent cookies and session cookies. Persistent cookies remain on your device and they help our website recognise you as an existing user. A session cookie only remains open while you are using StepsWeb and tracks your usage of the site. This helps us to develop and improve the way StepsWeb works.

StepsWeb needs to use cookies to operate satisfactorily. You can choose not to accept cookies on your device, but we cannot guarantee that StepsWeb will function satisfactorily without them.

We do not install cookies which do anything other than enable StepsWeb to function and to improve its performance. We do not collect any other information and no personal information is passed on to any third party.

Requesting or Removing Student Information and Your Right To Be Forgotten

You may request a copy of the student information we hold, or for student information to be permanently deleted. However, we will require confirmation that you are authorised to request either of these. If you have a 'Home Account' and you are the owner of that account, or if you have a 'School Account' and you are the Root Admin of that account, then we will respect your request providing it comes from the same email address as is registered with StepsWeb. If you are the parent or guardian of a child who has a licence to use Steps or StepsWeb provided by another party, e.g. their school, then we will need you to show, to our satisfaction, that you do in fact have the right to request a copy of the student information or for a permanent delete. We would normally expect to do this by asking the owner of the Steps or StepsWeb account to confirm that they recognise you as a person who has a legitimate right to request student information or a permanent deletion.

When requesting a copy of all information we hold on a student, it will be provided in digital format as a human-readable collection of database entries.

If you request a permanent deletion and wish 'to be forgotten' we can execute a hard delete and this will permanently and irrevocably delete all records to do with that student. We do, however, need to keep a record of any financial transactions to comply with tax regulations. Records of financial transactions would typically record who bought what and when, and how they paid. All our financial records are highly confidential and would only ever be released to a third party if we were compelled to do so by a legal warrant.

We do not respond to or honour 'do not track' requests at this time.


The best way to contact us is by email at one of the following email addresses:

Our postal address is:

The Learning Staircase Ltd
PO Box 582
Rangiora 7440
New Zealand