Schools, local education authorities and the Department for Children, Schools and Families (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 DataProtection Act l998. This means, among other things, that the data held about pupils must only be used for specific purposesallowed by law.
We are therefore writing to tell you about the types of data held, why that data is held, and to whom it may be passed on.
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 who well the school as whole is doing.
This information includes contact details, National Curriculum assessment results, attendance information, characteristics such asethnic group, special educational needs and any relevant medical information.
From time to time we are required to pass on some of this data to the Local Education Authority (LEA), to another school to whichthe pupil is transferring, to the Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF), and to Qualifications and CurriculumAuthority (QCA) which is responsible for the National Curriculum and associated assessment arrangements.
The Local Education Authority (LEA) uses information about pupils to carry out specific functions for which it is responsible.
Information about individual pupils is used for:
• The assessment of any special educational needs the pupil may have.
• The provision of LEA services supporting individual pupils.
• The processing of preferences for school admissions and the allocation of school places.
• Assisting inn the transfer of information when pupils move between schools.
The LEA also uses statistical information aggregated from individual pupil records to monitor pupil performance and progress, and to allocate funding to schools. Statistics are used in such a way that individual pupils cannot be identified.
The Qualifications and Curriculum Authority uses information about pupils to administer the National Curriculum tests andassessments for Key Stages 1 to 3. The results of these are passed onto DfES in order for it to compile statistics on trends andpatterns in levels of achievement.
The QCA uses the information to evaluate the effectiveness of the National Curriculum and the associated arrangements, and toensure that these are continually improved.
The Department for Education and Skills uses information about pupils for statistical purposes, to evaluate and develop educationpolicy and to monitor the performance of the education service as a whole.
The statistics (including those based on information provided by the QCA) are used in such a way that individual pupils cannot beidentified form them. The DCSF will feedback to LEA’s and schools information about their pupils where they are lacking thisinformation because it was not passed on by a former school.
On occasion information may be shared with other Government departments or agencies strictly for statistical or researchpurposes only.
Pupils, as data subjects, have certain rights under the Data Protection Act, including a general right of access to personal dataheld on them, with parents exercising this right on their behalf if they are too young to do so themselves.
If your child wishes to access the personal data, or you wish to do so on their behalf, then please contact the school or theappropriate organisation in writing. Contacts for other organisations are:
The LEA’s Data Protection Officer at PO Box 4, County Hall, St. Anne’s Crescent, Lewes, BN7 1SG
The QCA’s Data Protection Officer, at QCA, 83 Piccadilly, London, W1J 8QA
The DCSF’s Data Protection Officer at DCSF, Caxton House, Tothill Street, London. SW1H 9NA