Responses to controversial new law: changes to the school censuses 2016-17

The law to expand the school census and early years census, collecting more data on 8+ million children every year in England, snuck through in the six week parliamentary summer holiday without scrutiny before it came into effect on September 1st, for unclear purposes, without enforceable limitations of users different from what is done already, and lack of transparent accountability for its decision-making, cost, benefit, or impact. Further questions and…

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Back-to-School sees new pupil data expansion

School staff in England will start to collect more pupil data this week as children go Back-to-School. Country of birth will be collected for the first time, and be extracted at national level together with nationality for the first time, as well as all the other usual named personal confidential data in the spring census, from on-roll school census day January 19, 2017. This data expansion affects 8 million school…

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A wish list for the Data Strategy and Information Standards Lead

The Department for Education has announced it is recruiting for a Data Strategy and Information Standards Lead ahead of a change programme. “The Data Modernisation Division is at the heart of realising this strategy. It is responsible for a range of exciting development projects which together are seeking to improve the way data and information is moved, stored, processed and released by the Department – to ensure that DfE’s data…

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Home Office and Police have accessed data from the National Pupil Database

A Freedom-of-Information request shows data have been given to the Home Office from the National Pupil Database on 18 occasions since 2012, without any obvious transparent oversight. Since April 2012, the Police have submitted 31 requests for information to the National Pupil Database. All were granted, but only 21 resulted in information being supplied. Parents and pupils are asking who will access the newly expanded pupil data, including country-of-birth, that…

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The child is not the mere creature of the state: No2NP ruling and the right to a private and family life

A significant ruling in the UK today, struck out at the invasive data sharing planned for children in Scotland. It will likely have implications for other data sharing from children in England, current and future. We have previously asked for a review of the legal basis for the data giveaway to third parties from the National Pupil Database in England – including confidential and sensitive personal data. Sensitive data appears to…

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Pupil data collection turns Kafkaesque in 2016-17 school and early years census

Changes that come into effect in the 2016-17 school census and early years census demand more personal data, including country of birth, nationality and ethnicity, from every schoolchild age 2-19 be extracted to the National Pupil Database. [Read and download our summary.] In response we were told by teaching staff of their additional concerns that the collection would raise, about how to meet their duties under Section 149 of the…

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Schools must collect extra census data for children from autumn

Where was your child born? What nationality is your child? What language(s) do they speak? These are not new questions that will be asked at border control from September, but what parents are being told to submit to schools in response to the Department for Education demand for three NEW additional pieces of personal data from the autumn 2016 school census. These data will then be extracted into the National…

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Rights and obligations under the Data Protection Act for processing sensitive data

When ten journalists at the Telegraph newspaper received over 10 million children’s sensitive personal data in 2013 how were the legal requirements of the Data Protection Act 1998 met and whose responsibility would it be, if they were not? The conditions for processing take account of the nature of the personal data in question and the conditions that need to be met are more exacting when the information being processed…

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Pupil privacy in schools survey in response to national pupil policies

We are conducting an anonymous survey on schools use of web monitoring and knowledge of the National Pupil Database. If you wish to take part, 5 questions are here. Please contact us if you have any questions on the subjects. Thank you. ******** What is the National Pupil Database (NPD)? The total of individual pupils named in the NPD at 28/12/2015 was nearly 20 million, at 19,807,973. No data have been…

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Three strides towards transparency in the National Pupil Database

Three strides towards greater transparency were taken by the DfE this week, following The Director General for Regulation at the UK Statistics Authority [UKSA] letter to the Department for Education [Dfe], calling for the Department to improve transparency and data handling of the National Pupil Database. [Letter to us dated, April 22, 2016]. Now the question is, how will schools, parents and pupils be told? The UK Statistics Authority had…

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