Schools, Local Education Authorities and the Department for Education all hold information on children in order to run the education system effectively, and in doing so have to follow the Data Protection Act 1998. This requires that the data held about children must only be used for specific purposes allowed by law. We believe it is important that parents are aware of the types of data held, why that data is held, and to whom it may be passed on.
The school processes personal data about its pupils and is a ‘data controller’ in respect of this for the purposes of the 1998 Act. It processes this data in order to support the children’s teaching and learning; to monitor and report on their progress; to provide appropriate pastoral care; to assess how well the school is performing as a whole. This data includes contact details; national curriculum assessment results; attendance information; characteristics such as ethnic group; special educational needs and any relevant medical information.
The data may only be used or passed on for specific purposes allowed by law. From time to time we are required to pass on some of this data to local authorities and its associated services, the Department for Education (DfE), and to agencies that are prescribed by law such as the Standards & Testing Agency (STA), Ofsted, the Department of Health (DH) and Primary Care Trusts (PCT). These organisations are data controllers in respect of the data they receive, and are subject to the same legal constraints in how they deal with the data.
Children, as data subjects, have certain rights under the Data Protection Act, including a general right to be given access to personal data held on them by any data controller, with parents exercising this right on their behalf if they are too young (under 12 years) to do so themselves. If you wish to access the personal data held for your child, please contact the relevant organisation in writing. Details can be found at the back of this booklet. Separately from the Data Protection Act, DfE regulations provide a child’s parent, regardless of the age of the child, with the right to view, or to have a copy of, their child’s educational record at the school. If you wish to exercise this right you should write to the school.