Data Protection and Record-keeping Policy
This policy was formulated by Staff and Board of Management of St.Patrick’s National School (Scoil Phádraig). 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.
• 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 1998, Section 9(g)- requiring a school to provide access to records to students over 18 years of age and the parents of a student.
o Education Welfare Act 2000, Section 20-requiring the school to maintain a register of all students attending the School.
o Education Welfare Act 2000, Section 21 – requiring a school to report school attendance and transfer of pupils.
o Education Welfare Act 2000, Section 28-requiring the school to supply Personal data kept by it to certain prescribed bodies, the Department of Education and skills, the National Education Welfare Board, the National Council for Special Education, other schools, other centres of education) provided the school is satisfied that it will be used for a relevant purpose.
o Education for Persons with Special Educational Needs Act 2004, Section 14- requiring the school to provide the National Council for Special Education and its employees which would include Special Educational Needs Organisers (SENOs) such information as the Council may request.
o Health Act 1947, Section 26(4)- requiring a school to provide all reasonable facilities including facilities for obtaining names and addresses of pupils attending the school to a health authority who has served a notice on it of medical inspection e.g. a dental inspection etc.
o Children First: National Guidance for the Protection and Welfare of Children 2011- requiring schools, their BOM and their staff to take on the responsibility of reporting child abuse or neglect to TUSLA- Child and Family Agency or in the event of an emergency and the unavailability of TUSLA to An Garda Síochána.
Relationship to School Ethos:
St. Patrick’s National School (Scoil Phrádraig) 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/her full potential.
• 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.
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 five headings.
1. Personal Data:
This data relates to personal details of the student which is sought during School Enrolment and through the course of the student’s time in the school
Student records are held by each class teacher and also in the school office. They are kept manually and in electronic format. All data stored by electronic format including administrative software are password protected and school employees are required to maintain the confidentiality of any data to which they have access.
Such Student records may contain personal details of the student:
• name, address, contact details, PPS number, date and place of birth, names & addresses of parents/guardians, and their contact details (including any special arrangements with regard to guardianship, custody or access), religious belief, racial or ethnic origin, membership of the Traveller community, where relevant, whether they/their parents are medical card holders, whether English is the student’s first language, any relevant special conditions ( e.g. special educational needs, health issues etc.) which may apply
• School report cards
• Attendance Records
• Teacher – designed tests. Each class teacher designs his/her own test template
• Incident Report Book- detailing any injuries or accidents that occur and the course of action taken
• Portfolios of student work e.g. Art
• Permission slips
• Yard Behaviour Book
Special Education Needs Team (Resource Teacher & Learning Support Teacher)
The following are stored in the Resource Teacher and Learning Support Teachers office in a secure, locked cabinet that only personnel who are authorized to use the date can access.
• Learning Support/Resource Data such as records of permission/refusal to access LS/RT services in the school,
• Screening Test such as MIST and NRIT
• Individual Education Plans, Individual Pupil Learning Plans and records of meeting with stakeholders regarding these plans.
The following records are stored in the Principal’s Office in a secure, locked cabinet that only personnel who are authorized to use the data can access.
• Details of behavioural incidents or accidents.
• Assessment results carried out by professionals to assist teaching and learning (eg. Psychological/Clinical/Occupational Therapy/Speech and Language Assessments etc.)
• Diagnostic Tests Reports
• Standardised Test Results
• Standardised Tests- Drumcondra English, Sigma -T
• Medical sensitive data
• A copy of Individual Education Plans, Individual Pupil Learning Plans and records of meeting with stakeholders regarding these plans.
• Minutes of HSE Child Protection Conferences.
• Child Protection concerns and HSE referrals.
• Records of students who have been granted exemption for the study of Irish
2. Staff Data
This data relates to personal and professional details of the Staff such as name, address, date of birth, contact details, payroll number, PPSN, attendance records, qualifications, records of interview procedures, results of interview process, interview board recommendations to BOM, BOM recommendations to Bishop, contracts, pension details, references, sick leave, CPD, curriculum vitae, job applications, Teaching council registration, Garda Clearance, Statutory Declaration where necessary, Medical Fitness to Teach, classes taught, seniority and supervision payments.
These records are kept in the Principal’s office and are kept by manual record (personal file within a relevant filing cabinet). The exception are attendance details which are recorded on the OLCS system are password protected and are accessed by the Secretary, the Principal, Deputy Principal and the Treasurer if necessary.
3. Administrative Data:
• Attendance Reports, Roll Book, Registers; Class files, Pupil profiles, enrolment applications, baptismal certificate copy (where applicable), birth certificate copy.
• Accident Report Book detailing injury and treatment applied
• Administration of Medicines Indemnity Form
• Sign Out Book
• Records of books rented under book-rental scheme and books borrowed from school library.
• Pupil behavior records and records of allegations/incidents of bullying and alleged bullying (manually recorded notes)- kept in Principal’s Office
• Records kept in line with Children First Procedures (Child Protection)- kept in Principal’s office
• Board of Management files- kept in Principal’s office
• Accounts- kept in Principal’s office
4. Board of Management Records:
• Name, address and contact details of each member of the BOM
• Records in relation to appointments to the Board
• Minutes of BOM meetings and correspondence to the Board which may include references to particular individuals.
These records are kept in a manual record in a secure, locked filing cabinet that only personnel who are authorized to use the data can access it. Name, address and contact details of the Board members are also kept in electronic format which is password protected.
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 Staff
• National Educational Psychological Service
• National Education Welfare Board
• Occupational Therapists or Speech Therapist working with students
• 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 by email or in writing.
Requests for data by phone. In our school, any employee dealing with telephone enquiries should be careful about disclosing any personal information held by the school over the phone. In particular the employee should:
• Check the identity of the caller to ensure that information is only given to a person who is entitled to that information.
• Suggest the caller put their request in writing if the employee is not sure about the identity of the caller and in circumstances where the identity of the caller cannot be verified.
• Refer the request to the principal for assistance in difficult situations. No employee should feel forced into disclosing personal information.
A standardised school report form is used which is issued by post in June to all parents.
5. Students’ Attendance Records:
Student’s attendance will be recorded and stored on the Aladdin software administration system. This system is password protected and is accessed by the Secretary, Deputy Principal, Principal and class teachers.
All records are stored in the school until the past pupil reaches the age of 18 . These records are stored in the principal’s office in a locked filing cabinet. In the case of children with Special Educational Needs, records are stored until they reach the age of 21 years.
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.
All completed school roll books are stored in a similar location in addition to samples of children’s work and pupil profiles.
Access to these stored files is restricted to authorised personnel only.
Computerised records, systems are password protected.
All employees are required to maintain the confidentiality of any data to which they have access.
CCTV data usage:
CCTV cameras are in operation at the following points in the school:
1. Main entrance to the school.
2. Secretary’s Office
3. Side View of school on chapel side
4. Infant Yard
5. Emergency Door area of infant yard
6. Emergency Door area of new extension.
7. Front View of School
Use of CCTV images:
The use of this CCTV system is intended primarily to ensure the security of the school premises and its contents. The CCTV system may be used to capture images of intruders or of individuals damaging property or removing goods without authoristation.
It may also be used for Health and Safety Purposes.
A sign informing data subjects that the CCTV system is in operation and the contact details of SASTA Security will be displayed at the entrance to the school.
Images captured by the CCTV system will be retained on the monitor for a month. In exceptional circumstances images may be retained where an investigation by An Garda Síochána is ongoing or where such images are the subject of court proceedings.
If the Gardaí want CCTV images for a specific investigation, the data controller will satisfy himself/herself that there is a genuine investigation underway. A phone call to the requesting Garda’s station will be sufficient, provided that the data controller speaks to a member in the District Office, the station sergeant or a higher ranking officer, as all may be assumed to be acting with the authority of a District/Divisional officer in confirming that an investigation is authorization.
• 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.
This new policy is effective from 14th October 2016.
All records held from before that date will continue to be maintained in the school.
This policy was ratified on 13th October 2016.
The policy will be available on the school website and through the office.
It is subject to review as the need arises.
• Solas (CPSMA) May-June 2001
• Education Act 1998
• Education Welfare Act 2000
• Date Protection Act 2003
• Freedom of Information Act 1997
• Literacy and Numeracy Strategy 2011