Schools, Local Education Authorities and the Department for Education and Skills (the government department which deals with education) all hold information on pupils in order to run the education system and in doing so have to follow the Data Protection Act 1998. This means, among other things that the data held about pupils must only be used for specific purposes allowed by law. The school holds information on pupils in order to support their teaching and learning, to monitor and report on their progress, to provide appropriate pastoral care and to assess how well the school as a whole is doing. This information includes contact details, Foundation Stage and National Curriculum assessment results, attendance information, characteristics such as ethnic group, special educational needs and any relevant information.
The Local Education Authority uses information about pupils to carry out specific functions for which it is responsible, such as the assessment of any special educational needs a pupil may have. It also uses information to derive statistics to inform decisions on, for example, the funding of schools, to assess the performance of schools and to support schools in setting pupil targets.
The Department for Education and Skills uses information for statistical purposes, to evaluate and develop education policy and to monitor the performance of the education service as a whole. The statistics are used in such a way that individual pupils cannot be identified from them. The DfES will feedback to LEAs and schools where they are lacking this information because it was not passed on by a former school. On occasions information may be shared with other Government departments or agencies strictly for statistical or research purposes only.
Pupils, as data subjects, have certain rights under the Data Protection Act, including a general right of access to personal data held on them. Parents/Guardians exercise this right on their child’s behalf if they are in the Primary phase ie. at Infant, Junior or Primary school. If you wish to access your child’s personal data, please contact the school office for further information.
The Image Consent Policy states the governors approach to this subject and may be viewed on request. Parents will be asked to sign an agreement which will be sent to you soon after your child starts school.