Queen’s speech: safeguarding children, data, and digital rights

The Queen’s Speech promises new laws to ensure that, “the United Kingdom retains its world-class regime protecting personal data”. And a new digital charter to make the UK the safest place to be online for children. The briefing background suggests the government intends to tackle new challenges and threats – ‘to our security, privacy, emotional wellbeing, mental health and the safety of our children’. They commit to  ‘respond to these…

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Ten steps for schools why and how to refuse nationality in school census

There is less than one week left for parents and schools to retract pupils’ nationality and country of birth data before the national summer school census on May 18, as offered in the latest Department for Education census guidance. Act now to retract nationality data already submitted to DfE. It is optional and not required. Parents can retract data already submitted. Lord Nash, November 24, 2016: “If parents have previously…

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Ten steps for parents and schools: how and why to retract nationality data

There is less than one month left for parents and schools to retract pupils’ nationality and country of birth data before the national summer school census on May 18, as offered in the latest Department for Education census guidance. Act now. For background detail follow the links in red. Schools are legally responsible for fair processing – telling pupils, parents, staff and school governors what is done with any personal…

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New review of school census data releases from the National Pupil Database

Here is our review of the latest releases of pupil data disclosed from the National Pupil Database (NPD) as stated in the Third Party Register. Of the 887 requests and releases of identifiable data that have been through the DfE request process in March 2012 – December 2016, only 29 have been for aggregated data. 334 Tier 1: individual level, identifiable and highly sensitive 368 Tier 2: individual level, identifiable…

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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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Growing up with the Internet report: privacy and other child rights

We warmly welcome the House of Lords Select Committee on Communications report published on March 21, 2017, Growing up with the Internet, the 2nd Report of Session 2016–17. In particular we support the main findings in areas of data privacy and child rights and a key conclusion that, “The minimum standards should require that the strictest privacy settings should be ‘on’ by default, geolocation should be switched off until activated,…

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Five questions for schools before your school census 2017 submission

Schools may be at risk of legal challenge after the national school census 2016-17 collection of nationality data. To check if yours could be, start by asking the following questions. Has your school collected children’s country of birth, nationality, or first language data and not given parents, guardians and pupils an informed right to refuse? Did your school collect children’s country of birth or nationality data and say it was…

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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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A foreign office apology, Home Office secret use, forced ethnic labels: The school census 2016

The purpose behind collecting country-of-birth and nationality data in the school census has been blown out of the water. The ethnicity data collection has caused discrimination and flawed ascription. The language codes have been the subject of a Foreign Office apology and reported offer to delete data already assigned. How long can the school census expansion retain any integrity? Country-of-birth and Nationality Letters leaked to the BBC last week, revealed…

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