Latest news: School census can be deleted and pupil data work-in-progress

Latest on the School census and pupil data – 29.11.2016 The Department will remove any information collected on country of birth and nationality during the autumn census that parents wish to have retracted, Lord Nash confirmed in a written answer in the House of Lords on November 24 HL3296: “If parents have previously provided this information to schools and now wish to retract it, they should inform the school of…

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Government withdraws plan to collect Early Years nationality pupil data

We welcome the news that the Department for Education (DfE) has dropped plans to collect country-of-birth and nationality data from children aged 2-5 in the Early Years, and Alternative Provision, scheduled for January 19. For the majority of children aged 5-19 the changes launched in the 2016-17 School Census continue. With only a few weeks to go before the Spring collection date, we are asking the government how they will avoid…

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Urgent call to action: the Government must answer questions on collecting country of birth

URGENT: If you act now, Government will have to answer questions on collecting country of birth on your children and their friends. This Monday, the 31st October, the House of Lords will discuss the collection of country of birth from children in schools. Contact a member of the House of Lords, and tell them why this is important to you and your family. Our children’s records must only be used…

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Status report: the Lords’ debate a Motion of Regret 31/10/2016

Whatever the outcome of Monday’s debate [1], the single questions the government will have to answer on all the open issues will be, what are you going to do about it now? Even before questions on the census expansion, there are significant questions that need answers, and issues that need solutions around the handling of the National Pupil Database (NPD). As the Department is working towards modernising its national approach…

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The new school census law needs scrapped

Yesterday’s article in the Guardian #BoycottSchoolCensus: why parents are refusing to reveal their child’s nationality raises another important point, that of changing technology and future scope of use: ‘It doesn’t currently have the capacity, though it could perhaps in the future.” The new census law needs scrapped if it cannot be amended Unless all uses and limitations are on a statutory footing, we are calling for the new school census…

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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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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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