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…

Read More

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,…

Read More

The countdown to GDPR compliance: children and consent

The countdown to GDPR compliance: children and consent In preparation for The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) there  must be an active UK decision about how younger children will prove they have parental permission to access ‘Information Society Services’. It’s to enable parental consent to their child’s data collection by the service. Whether that will end at 13, 16 or somewhere in between remains undecided. The UK Digital Strategy commits…

Read More

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…

Read More

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…

Read More

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…

Read More

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…

Read More

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…

Read More

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…

Read More

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…

Read More