Data Protection & Record Keeping

Scoil Náisiúnta na Scríne

Data Protection and Record-keeping Policy

Introduction:
This policy was formulated by Staff and Board of Management of Screen National School. The purpose of the policy is to identify the records required to be retained by the school and to ensure confidentiality and manageable procedures in relation to access to such records by parents and stake holders.

Rationale:
• A policy on data protection and record keeping is necessary to ensure that the school has proper procedures in place in relation to accountability and transparency
• It is good practice to record pupil progress so as to identify learning needs
• A policy must be put in place to ensure a school complies with legislation such as:

o Education Act, Section 9(g) requiring a school to provide access to records to students over 18/parents
o Education Welfare Act – requiring a school to report school attendance and transfer of pupils.

Relationship to School Ethos:
Screen National School promotes openness and co-operation between staff, parents and pupils as a means towards providing the caring environment through which a child can develop and grow to his full potential.

Aims/Objectives:

• To ensure the school complies with legislative requirements
• To clarify the types of records maintained and the procedures relating to making them available to the relevant bodies
• To put in place a proper recording and reporting framework on the educational progress of pupils
• To establish clear guidelines on making these records available to parents and past pupils who are over 18
• To stipulate the length of time records and reports will be retained.

Guidelines:
The Principal assumes the function of data controller and supervises the application of the Data Protection Act within the school. The data under the control of the Principal comes under the following headings.

1. Personal Data:
This data relates to personal details of the students such as name, address, date of birth, gender, ethnic origin, nationality, religious belief, medical details, dietary information, PPSN, contact details and parents names. These are kept in the Principal’s office in a locked filing cabinet. Personal data is also stored in digital format in the school’s administration package.

2. Student Records:
Student records are held by each class teacher and a master copy is held in the Principal’s office. Records are also stored in digital format in the school’s administration package.

Student records may contain:

• Personal details of the student
• Medical sensitive data
• School report cards
• Psychological/Clinical/Occupational Therapy/Speech and Language Assessments
• Standardised Test Results
• Attendance Records
• Screening Test such as MIST and NRIT
• Data Protection
• Teacher – designed tests. Each class teacher designs his/her own test template
• Diagnostic Tests Reports
• Individual Education Plans
• Learning Support/Resource Data such as records of permission/refusal to access LS/RT services in the school,
• Portfolios of student work e.g. Art
• Details of behavioural incidents or accidents.

3. Staff Data
This data relates to personal and professional details of the Staff such as name, address, date of birth, contact details, payroll number, attendance records, qualifications, school records, sick leave, CPD, curriculum vitae, school returns, classes taught, seniority and supervision payments. This information is stored in the secretary’s office in a locked filing cabinet.

4. Administrative Data:
• Attendance Reports, Roll Book, Registers
• Accident Report Book
• Administration of Medicines Indemnity Form
• Policies
• HSE files
• Board of Management files
• Accounts

5. Droichead
The school is part of the pilot programme for Droichead, a scheme for the probation of new teachers through consultation and collaboration with a trained team on staff. Records and notes taken during this process will be stored via electronic means, and only members of the Professional Support Team and the Newly Qualified Teacher will have access to them. Records will be kept for a maximum of 5 years. The NQT will be able to transfer their own records as necessary (between schools etc.).

Access to Records:
The following will have access where relevant and appropriate to the data listed above:

• Parents/guardians (see Appendix 1 from CPMSA outlining details of access)
• Past pupils over 18
• Health Service Executive
• Designated school personnel
• Department of Education & Skills
• First and second-level schools (where relevant).

A parental authorisation form must be completed by parents in the event of data being transferred to outside agencies such as health professionals etc. Outside agencies requesting access to records must do so in writing giving seven days notice. Parents/Guardians can make such a request either by phone, email or in writing.
The right to erasure or rectification is available to change any mistakes or inaccuracies by proper authorisation through the same procedures.

The Annual School Report format and its communication to parents are outlined clearly in our schools Report Form Guidelines Policy. A standardised school report form is used which is issued by post in June of each year.

Storage:
All records are stored in the school for a minimum of 7 years until the past pupil reaches the age of 21. These records are stored in the strong room.

All completed school roll books are stored in the same location in addition to samples of children’s work and pupil profiles.

A pupil profile and selection of records are held by each teacher in his/her individual classroom and passed on to the next teacher as the child moves to the next class.

Access to these stored files is restricted to authorised personnel only.

Computerised records, systems are password protected. Records are backed up to USB regularly, and these memory sticks are stored in the strong room.

Success Criteria:

• Compliance with Data Protection Act and Statute of Limitations Act
• Easy access to records
• Framework in place for ease of compilation and reporting
• Manageable storage of records.

Roles and Responsibilities:
The school staff, under the direction of the Principal, will implement and monitor this policy. Individual teachers will design, administer and record all in-class testing. The Principal will ensure records are maintained and stored, particularly the records of students transferring to another school.

Implementation Data:
This new policy is effective from January 2015.

All records held from before that date will continue to be maintained in the school.

Review/Ratification/Communication:
This policy was ratified on _____________. It will be reviewed every two years.

The policy will be available through the office on request.

Signed:
Chairman: ___________________________ Principal: ____________________________

Date: ___________________________
References:
• Solas (CPSMA) May-June 2001
• Education Act 1998
• Education Welfare Act 2000
• Date Protection Act 2003
• Freedom of Information Act