Quarterly round up: children’s pupil data privacy in England Q1 2017

In the first quarter of 2017 there have been a number of policy announcements and pieces of legislation passed that affect children’s data privacy in England. We have continued our work towards safe, fair, and transparent collection and use of national pupil data. School census: Moving pupil data towards safe, fair, and transparent use The UK Digital Strategy announced a committment to changes in National Pupil Data management. That will…

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In 2017 what’s next for us in pupil data privacy in England?

We are delighted to kick off 2017 by participating in the Against Borders for Children event on January 14, talking about the census in context, where it fails children’s privacy, what better data collection would look like, and a workshop on what you can do about it. Sign up for the free event at EventBrite including panel talks, time for questions and answers, workshops to get organised and tools for…

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2016 in review. What’s happened in pupil data privacy in England?

2016 was the year that every child’s Internet use has come under mandatory surveillance and recording, opening a slippery can of worms, risking a spiral of silence, with teachers turned into “frontline stormtroopers” shutting down debate. Safeguarding and well-being conflated with the Prevent agenda. All thanks to statutory guidance “New measures to keep children safe online at school and at home” that took effect from September 2016. Some schools stretch…

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Children’s nationality data from new school census was planned for the Home Office

On the day of the autumn school census collection, October 6th 2016, children’s newly collected nationality data had been intended for giving to the Home Office, a Schools Week FOI and the MOU reveal, contrary to what has been said, before being changed on the 7th. The question remains open: Is the new census data, including nationality, used within the DfE to deliver the named details to the HO with…

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The Digital Economy Bill and the pupil premium

The well-intentioned call from the NAHT for a new clause 82 to amend the Bill to allow local authorities to share welfare recipients’ sensitive, confidential data (from eligible parents) to auto-enroll children entitled to pupil premium (those eligible to receive free school meals) ignores nuanced discussion and decision-making already had on plans which had already been dropped from the open policy making process between 2014-16 in the Bill preparation. The…

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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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Pupil data used in secret breaches public trust: Home Office purposes confirmed

The Home Office and police has had, until through our Freedom-of-Information requests, publicly undocumented access to national school census data through the Department for Education National Pupil Database. [update: 29 October we now know from the Parliamentary question that for the purposes of immigration control between July 2015 and September 2016, the Home Office has made requests of DfE data on 25 occasions, relating to a total of 2,462 individuals.]…

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New releases of school census data from the National Pupil Database

In response to yesterday’s article in the Guardian #BoycottSchoolCensus: why parents are refusing to reveal their child’s nationality we feel it important that the latest numbers and types of data disclosed from the National Pupil Database (NPD) are made clear. Most releases are of sensitive and identifying data, and pupil-level. The aggregated data are least requested. Tier 1 are the most identifying and highly sensitive and individual level. Tier 4…

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