We are often asked how long certain records should be retained by a school before they can be disposed of.
School log books
These must be retained permanently.
These should be retained permanently - note that this is not the same as the class register in which daily attendance is marked.
Pupil record cards or printouts
These are to be retained for a minimum of seven years after the pupil has left school or until the pupil has reached the age of 25 years, whichever is later.
These are to be retained whilst the pupils are still at school. For example, if pupils enter school in September 2008 and leave in July 2015, the September 2008 register for that class can only be destroyed in 2015.
Changing a child's surname on the school register
Your child's surname on the school register will be the name indicated on his or her birth certificate. If your child's legal surname has been changed, the school needs to be given documentary evidence to show that a name has been legally changed.
Parents access to information the school holds on their child
According to the Data Protection Act 1998, parents are entitled to have access to their child's educational record by sending a request in writing to the Headteacher. The information should be disclosed within 15 days. If a hard copy has been requested, a fee may be charged according to the number of pages.
Parents viewing their child's record if they do not live with them
Anyone who is defined as a parent in education law can see these records, unless there is a court order against them limiting that right. Such parents include all biological parents, whether or not they were married at the time of the child's birth. This also includes adults who are not the natural parents of the child, but has been given parental responsibility for or have care of him or her.
Pupils having access to their own records
The Data Protection Act gives all school students, regardless of age, the right of access to their school pupil records.
A pupil also has access to his or her records as long as the school is satisfied that the pupil understands the nature of the request. Previously only pupils who had reached the age of 16 had a right to see their educational records.
If you require more information on this area please contact us on 01708 431527.