Q&As

Are schools obliged to provide information about a child (aged 16) to all persons with parental responsibility if the child does not wish for any information to be passed on?

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Published on LexisPSL on 16/08/2016

The following Local Government Q&A provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Are schools obliged to provide information about a child (aged 16) to all persons with parental responsibility if the child does not wish for any information to be passed on?
  • The duties owed by schools
  • Non-resident parents

Are schools obliged to provide information about a child (aged 16) to all persons with parental responsibility if the child does not wish for any information to be passed on?

It is important that schools balance the requests of parents with their legislative duties. An important principle to remember is that having parental responsibility does not allow a parent to obstruct a school from carrying out their duties under legislation.

The rights of individuals to access their personal data and the data held about others (including children) and the duties of those who hold the information to provide it are set out in sections 7–9A of the Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA 1998).

The duties owed by schools

Under the principles of the DPA 1998, children and young adults can assume control over their personal information and restrict access to it, should they be of sufficient age or maturity to exercise their will in this matter.

However, this personal control is not extended to cover information which is held within a pupil’s educational record. Parents are entitled to request access to, or a copy of their child’s educational record, even if the child does not wish them to access it. This applies until the child reaches the age of 18.

This is, however, subject to the restriction that the information that the school could not

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