School breaking Data Protection Act

(67 Posts)
ThePainOfLego Sun 14-Feb-16 18:39:35

We recently received a letter from the Primary School called "Pupil Premium Data Request". It asks for details regarding the children and parents (including date of births and NI numbers). It has a disclaimer on the bottom about by providing these details you are giving permission for the school to check if your child qualifies for the pupil premium.

I will not be filling this in as (1) we don't qualify for pupil premium or free school meals (2) I do not want to give the school these personal details.

Am I BU in thinking there should be more wording about not keeping details, only using them for a specific purpose, not passing them on etc etc? There is something about the vagueness of this letter that makes me really uncomfortable, even though I like and trust the school.

IguanaTail Sun 14-Feb-16 18:42:56

YABU. They are doing all the legwork for parents that either can't do it themselves or can't be bothered. If you know you cannot be eligible then that's that.

Stratter5 Sun 14-Feb-16 18:42:59

Sorry, I may be missing something, but I really can't see what the issue is?

Birdsgottafly Sun 14-Feb-16 18:46:28

The school is in no way breaking the DPA.

The information is voluntary. Some Parents would find it a lot easier if the school could deal with this, rather than them having to claim FSM each year.

Berthatydfil Sun 14-Feb-16 18:47:26

I think whT you are concerned about would be part of a fair processing notice document but I don't think this does not have to be on each document sent home.

madamginger Sun 14-Feb-16 18:47:48

Our school struggles to get parents to apply for the pupil premium because of the free infant lunches. I assume yours is having the same issue

yorkshapudding Sun 14-Feb-16 18:48:25

I don't see how the school are breaching the Data Protection Act. Am I missing something?

PrettyBrightFireflies Sun 14-Feb-16 18:49:45

Not all parents realise that the school can get more money if their DC qualifies for pupil premium, or whether their DC does or not.
You have chosen not to fill it in, that's fine, but if others do fill it in, the data they provide will be subject to DPA legislation irrespective of what the school write on the bottom of the form.

loveisagirlnameddaisy Sun 14-Feb-16 18:49:57

As madam ginger said. Since the intro of KS1 FSM, applications for pupil premium have dropped and schools are missing out on essential funding.

PP pays for so many other things than just lunches but a lot of parents don't realise.

ThePainOfLego Sun 14-Feb-16 18:52:02

But if they aren't writing they won't use the information for other things, en surely they can?

They are requesting ALL parents complete the form.

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Sun 14-Feb-16 18:53:05

I think understand what you mean OP. You believe they should be explaining how the data will be used (they've done this bit), stating that the data will not be used for any other purpose, and stating how the data will be stored/ when the data will be destroyed.

I'd be surprised it didn't have all those bits too, though I have no idea if they are required or not.

AuditAngel Sun 14-Feb-16 18:55:01

I was asked to fill a similar form for DD1 and I just refused. I told them we didn't qualify so I wasn't giving them the information, for them to tell me we didn't qualify.

IguanaTail Sun 14-Feb-16 18:56:25

It's a school, filled with enhanced-DBS checked adults. What would they possibly do with that data? Schools have access to huge amounts of sensitive data.

Frusso Sun 14-Feb-16 18:56:30

How are they breaking data protection act? They've asked you for details, which you don't need to supply if you don't want to and they have told you for what purpose they require the details they have asked for.
And under their ico registration they are allowed to process this information.

Birdsgottafly Sun 14-Feb-16 18:57:20

""But if they aren't writing they won't use the information for other things, en surely they can?""

No, if they state that it is for the PP, then that is all that it can be used for, without further consent.

All Parents are getting the letter, so no-one is missed out. Parents who send a packed lunch, for example, may not think this is relevant to them.

wulfy1010 Sun 14-Feb-16 18:58:10

Pretty sure they only need to put a warning if they intend to share the data. The DPA says personal information has to be protected, a disclaimer saying they won't use it is redundant.

PrettyBrightFireflies Sun 14-Feb-16 18:59:24

But if they aren't writing they won't use the information for other things, en surely they can?

No, of course not! The DPA legislation ensures that data collected is proportionate and information is used reasonably.

they couldn't, for instance, use the DOBs of parents collected for pupil premium assessment to send a class card on each parents birthday - that would be unreasonable use of the data.

IceRoadDucker Sun 14-Feb-16 18:59:39

Such a non-issue. Please don't bring it up with the school, they will laugh at you.

ConesOfDunshire Sun 14-Feb-16 18:59:50

They aren't breaking the DPA, but you could feed back that you don't feel comfortable returning the form without assurances regarding their data protection policy.

I understand why the school are doing it, however. I'm a teacher, and it's really frustrating that we often cannot access pupil premium funding for pupils who need it because their parents won't complete the form - often because they dislike the stigma of 'being free school meals.'

Balletgirlmum Sun 14-Feb-16 19:00:13

Yes I thought it was the other best round too. They only have to put the data protection bumph & an opt out if they intend to use the data for marketing or pass it on.

PrettyBrightFireflies Sun 14-Feb-16 19:02:50

you could feed back that you don't feel comfortable returning the form without assurances regarding their data protection policy

Their data handling policy should be on their website - it forms one of the suite of policies that make up Safeguarding and are considered good practice (although not yet a legislative requirement).

PippaHotamus Sun 14-Feb-16 19:03:09

I imagine they are doing it so that the school can get as much money as possible to improve things for the children.

I think it's intrusive and that the PP should be something parents apply for, and that no one should feel obliged to share their NI number in order to have their financial eligibility and benefits status investigated by the school.

It's just another way to make poor people feel like shit, though I understand why they're doing it.

99percentchocolate Sun 14-Feb-16 19:06:23

It's a standard letter handed out by all schools and nurseries, they probably used a template and didn't even write it themselves.

Oldraver Sun 14-Feb-16 19:06:54

But if they aren't writing they won't use the information for other things, en surely they can

Dont be daft. The law says they cant so they wont

ConesOfDunshire Sun 14-Feb-16 19:10:35

It's just another way to make poor people feel like shit, though I understand why they're doing it.

It's really sad that this is the implication. PP is worth £1,320 per child in primary if they have ever been eligible for FSM in the last six years (so the family's circumstances may have totally changed and it might not even occur to them that they're eligible) and £1,900 for a current or former looked-after child. Schools aren't in a position to ignore that kind of money.

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