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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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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Timeline: the school census national pupil data expansion 2016-17

2015 August 2015: Nicky Morgan announces a review of the impact of immigration on education or ‘education tourism’. Concerns in some quarters that this is a reworking of 2013 plans to ‘crackdown’ on migrant families. Nov-December 2015: The Star Chamber Scrutiny Board signs off the change for country-of-birth and nationality. The purpose and reason given is: “Whilst the department collects limited information on children who have moved into the English…

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School census national pupil data expansion: status Nov 5

November 3: Schools Week reports former Secretary of State for Education Nicky Morgan “had to ‘fend off ideas’ from Downing Street” including blocking plans to share the new census information and that passing on the specific data to the Home Office was “not something we would want to see.” This calls into question the Department’s tranparency about its purposes of the collection. October 31st: the House of Lords agreed a…

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Lords strongly critical of school census expansion in Motion of Regret

“Parents are upset, not just about how this information might be used but because these questions are asked at all. They are fundamentally intrusive…” Last night the House of Lords agreed [1] after debate, with the regret motion[2] on the expansion of the collection of pupil data: “That this House regrets that information about pupils’ nationality and country of birth collected under the Education (Pupil Information) (England) (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations…

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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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