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School - pupil records
School records are often a source of invaluable help for local historical and genealogical research. However, keeping all such records indefinitely would clearly cause schools a major storage problem. In any event, access to individual pupil records is protected by the Data Protection Act and therefore not all school records are available to the general public.
To help schools decide what to keep, how long to keep it for and who can access what information under the Freedom of Information Act, guidance has been provided by both the Department for Education and North Yorkshire County Council. More information can be found below.
Processing of data on individuals
North Yorkshire County Council (NYCC), as the Local Authority (LA), uses information about children for whom it provides services, to enable it to carry out specific functions for which it is responsible, such as the assessment of any special educational needs the child may have. It also uses the information to derive statistics to inform decisions on (for example) the funding of schools, and to assess the performance of schools and set targets for them. The statistics are used in such a way that individual children cannot be identified from them. Data will be shared with other local authorities where necessary to assist them to fulfil their duties, e.g. to ensure that children are not missing education, or that public money is accounted for properly, including the prevention of fraud and error.
North Yorkshire County Council will use information about its school workforce for research and statistical purposes, and to evaluate and develop education policy and strategies. The statistics are used in such a way that individual staff cannot be identified from them. The County Council may also use it to support and monitor schools regarding sickness and recruitment of staff.
Primary Care Trusts (PCT) use information about pupils for research and statistical purposes, to monitor the performance of local health services and to evaluate and develop them. The statistics are used in such a way that individual pupils cannot be identified from them. Information on the height and weight of individual pupils may however be provided to the child and its parents and this will require the PCTs to maintain details of pupils' names for this purpose for a period designated by the Department of Health following the weighing and measuring process. PCTs may also provide individual schools and Local Authorities with aggregate information on pupils' height and weight.
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To help ensure the provision of Universal Children's Health Services, NYCC will on request supply basic details of children attending North Yorkshire maintained schools to NHS bodies providing school nursing services.
Youth Support Services - For pupils aged 13 years and over, the school is legally required to pass on certain information to the provider of youth support services, which in this area is North Yorkshire County Council. The school must provide the name and address of the pupil and their parents and any further information relevant to the support services' role. In addition, the date of birth of the pupil is supplied.
Until pupils are aged 16 or older, their parent(s) can ask that no information beyond their children's name, address and date of birth (and their own name and address) be passed to the youth support services provider. This right transfers to the pupil on their 16th birthday. Pupils and/or parents will need to inform the school if this is what they wish. The school will tell the County Council of this instruction to ensure the Youth Support Services does not receive information beyond that which the school is legally required to supply.
To ensure effective service provision, other departments within North Yorkshire County Council may also provide information about children for use by the Youth Support Services. Where this instruction is given, other departments of the County Council also will not provide Youth Support services with the additional information, even though they may hold it for other purposes.
For more information regarding how North Yorkshire County Council processes personal information please email email@example.com or visit the Data Protection section of this website.
Online information, advice and support on a range of issues affecting young people can be found on the Directgov Young People page at www.direct.gov.uk/en/YoungPeople/index.htm with access to trained helpline advisers, via SMS text message, telephone, webchat and email.
School records - frequently asked questions