School census changes one year on – when will children be told?

One year ago, on September 1, 2016 a new law came into force, before any possible parliamentary or public scrutiny, that had snuck through in the six-week school summer holidays. The British government then began to collect the nationality data of every school child in England in the school census. What no one was told at that time, was that there was already a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in place…

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The making of a very bad law: school census nationality data one year on

One year ago on July 27, 2016, the law was laid, that snuck through in the six-week school summer holidays. It took effect on September 1, 2016  before any possible parliamentary or public scrutiny. The British government then began to collect the nationality data of every school child in England. What followed, was a struggle to find out the truth behind what the public and teachers were told, and turned out…

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Department for Education works on privacy API for National Pupil Database

UK Authority reported today, based on a procurement notice, that The Department for Education (DfE) is aiming to develop a privacy controlling API for access to its National Pupil Database (NPD) in England. It says that the project is, “an early step in a broader programme to maximise the benefits of its data by providing fast and secure access to users who can create value,” and that its, “potential benefit…

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What’s Next? Under 364 days to fix pupil data privacy.

After the General Election on June 8th, and machinery of government changes, we look forward to continuing work-in-progress with the Department for Education and government regards children and young people’s data privacy and digital rights. We have been given commitments that: “the Department is currently reviewing data access processes across the entire Department and the transparency of these. “the aim is to be transparent about all requests not just the…

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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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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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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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Why shouldn’t we collect every child’s country of birth and nationality?

This is no time to be mincing our words in the currently hostile environment which is encroaching into our classrooms. The guidance on collecting nationality and country-of-birth data and its implementation have resulted in confusion in schools and upset parents and children. It harms trust in data collection and use. This is a toxic policy and needs scrapped. As the Against Borders for Children co-founder said here, “If you’re already…

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