Published BRIEFINGS, policy papers, correspondence


Data Protection Bill 2017 and GDPR


Alternative Provision School Census expansion JAN 2018

We are all calling on the Department for Education to respect children’s data privacy, or pause the start of a new national data collection of sensitive data in Alternative Provision from January 2018.

Download collective NGOs letter [original as sent by post and email] January 11, 2017 following appointment of new Secretary of State for Education.

Download collective NGOs letter [original as sent by post and email] December 11, 2017 and email introduction below.

  • Briefing [4-pages] [download, .pdf 899 kB] January 2018
  • Short briefing [2-pages] [download, .pdf 123 KB] 14 Dec 2017
  • The Statutory Instrument [link]The Education (Information About Children in Alternative Provision) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2017 (807/2017) and its Explanatory Memorandum 
  • Letter to the Department for Education and Office of the Information Commissioner  [download .pdf] (September 21, 2017) On Nov 30, 2017 in a brief email, the DfE confirmed there is no change in plans.
  • In 2016, there were 22,212 children recorded as being in local authority funded placements outside of state place funded schools, including children who are educated in private voluntary and independent (“PVI”) settings.
  • Background for schools by the Department for Education [link]

On the use of personal data from the National Pupil Database

Full briefing [download Briefing.pdf 3.2 mB] updated November 20, 2017

List of parliamentary questions on school census expansion and uses in 2016-17


Wales student database – OCT 2017 [Statutory Instrument 807/2017 (W.214)]

  • Students in Wales have had their rights to privacy impinged by this change in law. Their personal data can be shared with third parties, including the Student Loans Company, without consent.
  • The Education (Student Information) (Wales) Regulations 2017 No. 886 (W. 214) [link]
  • Short background and questions [1-page download .pdf 178kB]
  • Letter to the Constitutional and Legislative Affairs Committee, National Assembly for Wales [download, .pdf 304 KB]

Wales workforce data and third party sharing – OCT 2017 – [Statutory Instrument 940/2017 (W. 233)]

  • Teaching workforce in Wales have had their rights to privacy impinged by this change in law. Their personal data can be shared with third parties, including their National Insurance details, without consent.
  • Letter to the National Assembly for Wales [download, pdf 143kB]
  • National Assembly for Wales consultation and committee page [link]

School Census expansion 2016-17 – Nationality data [Statutory Instrument 808/2016]

Briefings on School census expansion incl. nationality data collection

  • Numbers of pupils data handed over to Home Office since January 2016 [download .pdf 45kB] obtained quarterly via FOI
  • Use of pupil data for immigration enforcement [download Briefing.pdf 713 KB] updated August 17, 2017
  • Full briefing [download Briefing.pdf 2.1 mB] updated March 6, 2017
  • Briefing for the Lords’ debate on October 31st. [since updated] [download .pdf  952kb see pages 8-15]
  • The Statutory Instrument 808/2016 [link] that enabled the census expansion
  • Position statement from NALDIC [link] “nationality should not be conflated with EAL proficiency. They are separate issues. NALDIC would like to urge the DfE to reconsider its position urgently.”

Legislation and decision process on School census expansion to incl. nationality data collection 

  • Sept 2016 Letter to the Lords Secondary Legislation Scrutiny Committee – SI 808/2016; school census expansion [letter .pdf 143kb]]
  • October 2016 Government response to the SI 808/2016 letter [response .pdf 707kB]
  • September 2016 Items 11-13 in the 8th Report [8th Committee Report of session 2016/17]
  • October 2017 Government response to questions from the SLSC about the purposes of the SI 808/2016 [response .pdf 424 kB] Point 15 confirms the Star Chamber were not told about Home office use of school census data when they signed off the nationality data collection. This is significant when Ministers relied on the assurance that the Star Chamber had approved the expansion and had raised no concerns.

The Star Chamber Scrutiny Board approval process – was it made blind?

Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the DfE and Home Office

  • version 1.0 Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the DfE and Home Office, effective between 18/12/15 and 06/10/2016 [download .pdf 538 kB]
  • version 2.1 Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the DfE and Home Office, effective between since 07/10/2016 [download .pdf  539kB]

Briefing on School Governor nationality data collection


Education data and Legislation

  • February 2017 Three bills and education data: The Technical and Further Education Bill, Higher Education and Research Bill and Digital Economy Bill [download .pdf 121 kB]

On child health data linkage


External public correspondence

February 2017: reply from Ed Humpherson at the UK Statistics Authority [download]
January 2017
Letter to the Scrutiny Committee regards use of HMRC data for mailshots to 15-17 yr olds [download]
December 2016 Letter to the UK Statistics Authority
April 2016
Letter from the Director General for Regulation, the UK Statistics Authority


Conference Paper and slides

Data for Policy conference, Cambridge, September 2016: When the chips come out: Is our public research infrastructure fit for the future? .pdf 191kb]


Our Consultation Responses can be found here.