Data protection- Christmas cards?

(55 Posts)
guccigirl666 Mon 03-Dec-12 17:00:29

Today I asked ds's teacher for a list of the other kids in his class to give Christmas cards to but she said she can't due to data protection? What should I do about cards? Is this standard practice?

We3bunniesOfOrientAre Mon 03-Dec-12 17:05:16

You could get him to just sign his name and put it in a blank envelope and ask teachers to put one in each bookbag, or just ask him who he wants to send them to and just send a few, or try to ignore the whole christmas card business, as they start off all excited, but get fed up of signing their name by the 14th one so if you're cunning you scan their signature, print on stickers and put that on the cards instead . Hoping this year we can get away with close friends!

EcoLady Mon 03-Dec-12 17:24:29

Do they have their names on their pegs? You could write your own list.

Or get him to make one HUGE card to everyone and give a donation to the Woodland Trust?

mrz Mon 03-Dec-12 17:25:35

I think all schools in my area have been told we must not give out class lists for cards, party invitations etc seems a bit silly really

TeamBacon Mon 03-Dec-12 17:31:35

Could you just not ask your DS for names?

radicalsubstitution Mon 03-Dec-12 17:31:48

I agree mrz that it seems a bit silly, particularly in our school as DS gets a letter every half term with the class show-and-tell rota with all the children's first names on it!

They still refuse to give out a name list for Christmas cards. Work that one out if you can!

Leeds2 Mon 03-Dec-12 18:28:07

At my daughter's school (secondary), we get - every September - a list of all of the students' names, their addresses, the names of their parents and the parents' contact details (phone numbers and emails). I think I was asked if I wanted to opt out of this when she joined at the start of Year 7, but they don't ask every year.

EdithWeston Mon 03-Dec-12 18:31:49

It might mean there are children in the school whose details cannot be made generally known, and omissions from a list might in itself call attention to that family.

Inconvenient, yes; but for more important than that inconvenience.

EdithWeston Mon 03-Dec-12 18:33:49

Sorry, just seen it was names only that you were after. That does seem excessive (as the children will get to know these): it's addresses/email/phone numbers where greater care can be vital.

juniper904 Mon 03-Dec-12 19:23:18

If children ask me, I normally just print off a class list of first names. I've never been told not to, and I don't see the issue.

PatriciaHolm Mon 03-Dec-12 19:25:11

Our school won't give lists, so the PTA put one together with names/ addresses etc; parents obviously have to opt in by giving that info, but rarely object.

we3kingsoforientRaahh Mon 03-Dec-12 19:33:24

It's a silly rule- especially as at the dcs school at the nativity play next week, there will be a little programme (they do this at all productions) with their full names inhmm. Since all i want is a list of first names, surely the programme contravenes data protection more than a hand written list of first names?

I have been round the cloakroom with a pen and paper before now. Which is fun when the signs are handwritten by the children. Or just pictures. 'Happy Christmas Dinosaur' would have been great!

guccigirl666 Mon 03-Dec-12 20:18:24

Ds has delyaed speech and understanding, there's no way he'd be able to name everyone. He'd probably be able to give me 3 or 4 names but I don't want to leave children out. At his nursery we were given names for party invites etc. I'm really sad, ds is in reception and I was really looking forward to doing all the cards with him for all his new friends! Ds will be sad too, and I bought 30 bloody cards especially.

noramum Mon 03-Dec-12 20:28:40

Can't he write cards with just signing his name and you give them to the parents in the playground at drop off?

We are getting a list together with the school report for the whole Infant school, just names nothing more.

But DD was already good and knew everybody's name beginning of December

BackforGood Mon 03-Dec-12 20:37:45

But I've never understood why anyone would want to send cards to people whose names they don't even know confused
Ask him who he would like to send a card to / who his friends are, and let him send those 3 or 4 children a card. Are you sure he really wants to sit and write out 29 cards in Reception ? That's a huge writing task for most Reception children. 3/4/5 is a much more realistic target.

guccigirl666 Mon 03-Dec-12 20:53:23

I don't do drop offs as I work so will have to ask my mum, I was going to write the cards and ds was going to put kisses in them lol. I guess I will just write a couple, to the children he plays with and can name, it was also a kind of familiarisation with the other parents on my part because I haven't met them yet.

zeeboo Mon 03-Dec-12 20:59:51

Surely if your child is friends with someone then he'll know their name and if he doesn't then why send a card? I don't get some people's obsession with mass card sending.

vodkaanddietirnbru Mon 03-Dec-12 21:03:19

You could leave the envelope blank and just write the inside of the card with who it is from and ask if one can be given to each child in the class. Our school doesnt give out name lists either.

guccigirl666 Mon 03-Dec-12 21:08:44

This is the first time I've done the mass card sending thing, I assumed it was the 'norm' in schools... I can only go on what I remember from being a school and it was certainly the case that when we were very young everyone would send everyone a card. I think we will go with blank envelopes! These are 4 and 5 year old kids, they will be all excited to get a card!

TeamBacon Mon 03-Dec-12 22:22:07

Wait until your child gets given cards and write a list of names from them, as well as any other names your ds mentions

Speedos Mon 03-Dec-12 22:25:47

Just a list of names alone is not an infringement of the data protection act. I guess someone must have complained in the past.

Pyrrah Mon 03-Dec-12 23:04:11

How optional are cards?

DH and I have given up as we are never organised enough to actually buy, write and post the wretched things before xmas, but perhaps I need to buy a load for DD (would prefer not to unless she will be complete pariah).

KTK9 Mon 03-Dec-12 23:16:29

Can you just do a lot of cards and get your soneto sign them, but don't put the childrens names inside the card and the ones he can remember on the front of the envelope.

Then maybe the teacher may - because of the circumstances give you the first names of the others?

We are allowed first names and know some second, because dd seems to always use them when refering to friends, however one child started this year and isn't allowed to tell anyone her second name - sad really that she says she can't tell anyone it - another mum asked me if I had heard about this too, as her dd had also said that the teacher said that said child couldn't give her second name, so they were using her first name twice!

BackforGood Mon 03-Dec-12 23:16:33

Completely optional.
My dcs have all only ever sent cards that they were prepared to write, so ds's friends didn't get any after Reception I don't think grin but he's always had loads of friends. The dd's like sending them, so send more, but none of them have ever just sent them to people because they were in their class. If you get a card, it should be because someone is thinking of you, and wants to send you a card / someone considers you to be a friend. If it's just someone's mother copying out a list of names from a list - many of whom she's never heard of let alone met, then it's hardly going to make you feel very 'special' in being chosen to receive it, now is it?

dishwashervodkaanddietirnbru Tue 04-Dec-12 08:20:48

We got mini cheap cards from the supermarket - 25/30 for about £2. Dd likes doing the cards, Ds not so much!

socharlotte Tue 04-Dec-12 13:51:55

It kind of begs the question as to why he is sending cards to people whose name he doesn't even know.It's not obligatory to send them to every child in the class you know!
and as for the suggestion that you give them out to his classmates mums in the playground! Bonkers!!

AChickenCalledKorma Tue 04-Dec-12 18:46:45

It's standard practice in our school. You have to have a very, very good reason indeed to be given a class list - like organising something on behalf of the school. They are not given out on request.

As someone else has alluded to, there are children at our school who are under child protection orders, who could be put at risk by class lists going into general circulation. And it's not actually the school's job to facilitate Christmas card bonanzas/birthday party invitations etc.

SE13Mummy Wed 05-Dec-12 21:59:01

I've always taught KS2 so, when the card-writing-frenzy time of year comes around I tell the children to copy down the names of anyone they want to send a card to using the tray labels. On occasions I've helped children write down the correct spelling of their friends' names/rewritten alongside names so they are legible but wouldn't want to perpetuate the 'everyone must send a card to everyone else' feeling that seems to be rife. I also tell them constantly that I only send cards to people I won't see over the Christmas period.

My own DD1 has never really sent Christmas cards to friends because she's never shown any interest in doing so until others are handing them out and she receives a whole load. I've offered to help her make some, but she hasn't taken me up on it. She's now 8.

nancy75 Wed 05-Dec-12 22:03:17

I don't understand how a list of first names could put any child at risk, Dds school does the list first name only.

QuanticoVirginia Wed 05-Dec-12 22:46:33

How odd! My sons' schools produce a booklet each year with the full name of each child, which class they're in and a symbol to show if they have a sibling in the school!!!

I'm more confused about why they feel the need to produce it especially as it's junior and senior school where the boys are more than capable of telling me who they want to send cards to or invite to their party.

sashh Thu 06-Dec-12 04:15:04

Since all i want is a list of first names, surely the programme contravenes data protection more than a hand written list of first names?

The school has to have a data controller and must state what and why the data is processed.

A programme for a show is something reasonable a school can process data for, providing class lists to parents is something they may not have registered to do.

You really need to check out data protection and confidentiality. I'm quite suprised you don't already know this.

EIizaDay Sun 09-Dec-12 13:08:57

People spout out "data protection act" without any real knowledge of just what that act entails. It's a get out clause for them not knowing what to do.

mrz Sun 09-Dec-12 13:17:59

ElizaDay we know exactly what to do regarding giving out class lists having sat through 90min PPP

PeppermintCreams Sun 09-Dec-12 13:30:46

I asked, and got a list of the first names. Nothing that my son couldn't have told me. We managed to piece together a list of 26 names between us before we got the list. I could have always just got the names off the coat pegs at Parent's Evening if I needed to as well.

bunchamunchycrunchycarrots Sun 09-Dec-12 13:31:06

I got round this by asking DD to tell me who she sits beside, and worked my way around the tables/chairs on the lay out asking her who sat where. Eventually got every name, as she knew everyone in her class.

EIizaDay Sun 09-Dec-12 14:39:31

mrsz - yes but you really don't know enough about the Data Protection Act. That's obvious.

mrz Sun 09-Dec-12 14:54:19

The Class list issue was safeguarding not Data protection

mrz Sun 09-Dec-12 14:55:41

You obviously haven't read what I wrote or you would know smile

EIizaDay Sun 09-Dec-12 14:59:09

Oh for goodness sake. "Safeguarding" What a lot of bollocks some people speak. A list of childrens' names in a your child's classroom. FFS I'm sure all the OP wanted to do was to spell the childrens' names properly. It's not as if she was asking for addresses. What has happened to common sense ???

Welovecouscous Sun 09-Dec-12 15:00:24

Op I think cards are a lovely idea and I would be chuffed if my dc got one smile

mrz Sun 09-Dec-12 15:04:11

"Safeguarding children" otherwise known as Child Protection
Do you know for certain that there are no children in the class who have been removed from parents and revealing their general location (ie the school) could put them in danger?

EIizaDay Sun 09-Dec-12 15:15:55

mrz - so are you really expecting children in the class not to know the names of the other children in their class??

I'm out of this conversation. Trying to reason with teachers just doesn't work.

mrz Sun 09-Dec-12 15:18:37

Eliza I know that children in the class won't know the names of the other children ...why do you think parents need class lists?

We have a class list with names, addresses, emails and phone numbers on for two of my dcs schools.
The class rep arranges it and you can opt out if you want to.

It's been really useful in the past.

lopsided Sun 09-Dec-12 19:17:32

It's all very well responding, why send cards to children you don't know? Didn't you read the responses from the op? The child has speech and understanding delays and is unlikely to be able to tell the mum many names. I think its a shame. Though its a pain I think some children like to give and receive cards.

I would get the ones he can name, then return any that he receives and ask the teacher which kids he likes or plays with and do those too.

Xenia Sun 09-Dec-12 19:23:21

Just give cards to his few friends or to those who give him cards once he has them.

On the names issue parents may well not have consented for their details to be distributed which is why parents usually draw up a list having asked parents if they want to be on it - it is very very common for ap arent to draw up a class address list and of course a parent could if they choose decline if they are unsociable or hiding from a violent partner or famous.

exoticfruits Sun 09-Dec-12 19:25:48

Ask DC who he wants to send cards to and write them-simple! I can't think why he wants to do the whole class.

exoticfruits Sun 09-Dec-12 19:26:44

If he can't give you the name it is a good indication that it isn't a friend and he doesn't need a card for them!

CaptainNancy Sun 09-Dec-12 19:26:50

We're given a list with forenames only, on request only. Sure, my DD could have told me everyone in her form when she was reception, probably everyone in the other form too... DS, not a clue, probably couldn't tell you who he'd sat next to that day!

Startail Sun 09-Dec-12 19:54:38

You just need to speak to the parent who does teas for the PTA, they always know everyone.

Or you need DS to find your classes equivalent of DD2, who knew everyone's name at the nursery she went to one day a week when she was 3.

Personally I'd be very tempted to write the HT a very strongly worded note, since this sort of rubbish really discriminates against DCs like DD1 (who's dyslexic and has real trouble with faces and names), she'd want to be friendly, but end up getting made fun of because she'd get mixed up, call Bill, Ben, miss spell someone or forget someone.
Also we have split years and I always forgot one very tall, slightly older looking girl was actually in DD1s year.

Likewise working parents who don't live at the school gate don't know every one either.

expansivegirth Sun 09-Dec-12 20:18:24

I found the class photo really helpful. Just sat down and asked my children to tell me first names from that, double checking spelling of difficult names on pegs. I'd have preferred to have been given a list of first names from the class teacher, but it was not to be.

exoticfruits Sun 09-Dec-12 21:02:12

Personally I'd be very tempted to write the HT a very strongly worded note, since this sort of rubbish really discriminates against DCs like DD1 (who's dyslexic and has real trouble with faces and names)

My DS is dyslexic and he knew who his friends were! He only had a few when he started school. If you don't know, or can't remember, the name or face they are not a friend and you don't need to send a card! Maybe he only needs to send 3 or 4 cards.

RyleDup Sun 09-Dec-12 21:11:16

Dc's school has a little pile of class lists in the cloakroom, so the parents can take one as they please.

TeamBacon Sun 09-Dec-12 21:57:58


Strongly written letter? :-/

Just reply to any cards received. Easy.

exoticfruits Sun 09-Dec-12 22:20:22

If he wants to reply to the ones received- it really isn't a problem- ask him who he wants to send a card to - he will know the names of those he plays with.

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