Data Protection/record Retention Policy


Introduction:

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 other 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.

 

    • Education Act 1998
    • Education Welfare Act 2000
    • Data Protection Act 2003
    • Freedom of Information Act 1997

 

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 pupils over 18 years of age.
  • 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.

 

  • 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.  It also includes the names of students’ parents/guardians.  This information is included in the School Enrolment Form.  These forms are kept in the Administration Office. This data is also stored on Databiz (the school information management system).

 

 

 

  • Student Records:

Student records maintained under the Data Protection Policy will include:

 

  • School Report Booklets. An annual progress report is issued to each child’s parent/guardian at the end of the school year.  A copy of this report is available on request to a parent who resides at a different address.  These reports are securely stored in the Main School File / Databiz.
  • Psychological Assessments.  Reports issued following psychological assessment are securely stored in Main School File. Reports issued following other assessments such as Occupational Therapy Reports, Speech & Language Reports, Medical Reports etc are also stored in the Main School File.  
  • Standardised Test Results. Standardised Tests in English and Mathematics are administered in May to all classes from First Class to Sixth Class.  Class Record Sheets are securely stored by the Class Teacher and Resource Teacher in charge.  The Principal will also retain a copy of class record sheets.  Standardised Test results are included in the Pupil Profile Sheets to be completed at the end of the school year and stored in the Main School File. Test results are also stored on Databiz. Test Booklets are stored by the Resource Teacher in charge for one school year after which they are shredded.
  • Screening Tests. The MIST (Middle Infant Screening Test) Assessment is administered to all Senior Infant children in March of each year.  Class record sheets are securely stored by the class teacher and Resource Teacher in charge.  The Principal will also retain a copy of the class record sheet.  MIST Test Results are included in the Pupil Profile Sheets to be completed at the end of the school year and stored in the Main School File.
  • Teacher – designed tests.  Results of teacher designed tests are securely stored by the teacher.
  • Diagnostic Test Reports.  Diagnostic tests are administered by the Learning Support Teachers, Resource Teachers and Reading Recovery Teacher.  Results from these assessments are securely stored by the relevant teachers and details are also included in the Main School File.
  • Special Educational Needs.  Classroom Support Plans, School Support Plans and Individual Education Plans will be completed by relevant teachers for children with Special Educational Needs.  Copies will be securely stored by teachers and a copy included in the Main School File. 
  • Learning Support/Resource Data such as records of consent/refusal to allow diagnostic testing or access to Learning Support Teacher/Resource Teacher services in the school. These records are securely stored by the relevant teacher and copies included in the Main School File. 
  • Pupil Profile Sheets.  These sheets are updated regularly.  Class record sheets are stored in class folders in Main School File.  Profile Sheets included in individual files when pupil leaves school.
  • Portfolios of student work e.g. Art, Written work.  These are included in the Main School File at the end of the school year.
  • Attendance Records.  With the introduction of the Primary Online Database (POD) in 2015, we maintain pupil enrolment and attendance records (Clárleabhar, Leabhar Rolla and Leabhar Tinrimh Laethúil) in electronic format. The school attendance details are recorded on Databiz (the school information management system). This system complies with the provisions of Circular 33/2015: Updating and simplifying the manner in which schools can maintain pupil enrolment and attendance records (Clárleabhar, Leabhar Rolla and Leabhar Tinrimh Laethúil) following the introduction of the Primary Online Database (POD). 
  • Record of child’s breaches of Code of Behaviour.  Incidents of misbehavior in the school yard are noted in the Red Book which is included in the Yard Bags.  Each Class Teacher keeps a record of classroom incidents.  The Principal maintains a record of incidents brought to his attention. 
  • Records of serious injuries/accidents.  The accident Report Book is securely stored in the secretary’s office.  The teacher in charge records details of accidents and injuries sustained and action taken.  
  • Indemnity Form for Administration of Medicine.  These forms are retained in the office and copies included in the Main School File.
  • Certificates of Exemption from the Study of Irish.  Copies of certificates are securely stored by the Principal and a copy also included in the Main School File.

 

 

 

Storage:

Records are securely stored in Room J16.  Older records may be stored in the attic as the need arises. Records are stored until pupils reach the age of 21 years.  In the case of children with Special Educational Needs, records are stored until they reach the age of 24 years. 

All completed school Roll Books, Registers and Leabha Tinrimh are stored in same location together with Accident Report Books and Incident/Bullying Report Books.  

Access to these stored files is restricted to authorised personnel only.  For computerised records, systems are password protected.

 

Access to Pupil Records:

A parent may apply for access to their records until the child reaches the age of 18 years.  A past pupil may apply for access to their own records from the age of 18 years to 21 years.

 

A written application may be required, accompanied by a form of identification and Birth Certificate.  Records will be provided within 21 days.

 

Transfer of Student Records:

A parental authorisation form must be completed by parents in the event of data being transferred to outside agencies, including other Primary Schools and Secondary Schools.  When a pupil transfers to another Primary School the new school will notify the original school and the original school will transfer records of attendance and educational progress to them.  A standard School Report Form is used for this purpose.

 

  • Staff Data

Staff records include name, contact details, payroll number, PPSN, qualifications, contracts, references, curriculum vitae, job applications, attendance records, Garda Clearance, Medical Fitness to Teach.  Access is restricted to the Principal and Secretary.  Records are destroyed by way of shredding when no longer required.

  

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.  The Principal will ensure that records are maintained and securely stored.

  

Review/Ratification/Communication:

This policy was ratified by the Board of Management on 14th March 2011. It will be subject to review as the need arises.

 This policy was reviewed by the Board at a meeting on 16th March 2016.

 

References:

  • Solas (CPSMA) May-June 2001
  • Education Act 1998
  • Education Welfare Act 2000
  • Data Protection Act 2003
  • Freedom of Information Act 1997