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to think this is breaching confidentiality and what should I do?

(296 Posts)
SecretMinceRinser Wed 22-Feb-12 23:20:18

I visited the office of ds's school today to do a crb check so I can help out at the school. I was sat down at the desk of someone else who worked there but wasn't in that day. Laying in full view on the desk was a piece of paper that said 'Safeguarding Alert'. I glanced down at it and saw the title and though I'd better not look at it but as completing the crb application was dragging on I became more and more uneasy that it was left there for visitors to the office to see so I decided to read what was on the paper in more detail.
It had the full personal details of a mum of a child at the school, her child and the childs father - full names, dob even a physical description of each of them. It also detailed the fathers criminal convictions. It went on to say where the family had moved from and how they hadn't been co-operating with ss and that there was a history of domestic violence along with a ton of other personal stuff about the family/finances etc.
I don't know the family in question and won't repeat what I've read but that's not the point is it? There were drawers in the desk that the paper could easily have been put into out of sight.
I want to mention it to someone to ensure that personal stuff like that is stored more carefully in future but not sure who to speak to/what to say.
It did occur to me after the event that I could have mentioned it to the man in the office who was dong my application but he is a bit of an arse to be honest and not the sort of person that would take kindly to being told how to do his job. Anyway I didn't say anything at the time so too late to do that now. WWYD?

BelaLug0si Wed 22-Feb-12 23:22:09

Report it to the head.

WorraLiberty Wed 22-Feb-12 23:22:22

Message deleted by Mumsnet.

EauDeLaPoisson Wed 22-Feb-12 23:23:02

Not sure as it wasn't really in the public domain was it? Also if you are volunteering to work at the school you are likely to beco
me privvy to such information so would need to be trusted to keep it confidential

solidgoldbrass Wed 22-Feb-12 23:23:47

Well you had a good read, didn't you? Did you not think that this paper on someone's desk might have been left in a place where colleagues could be trusted not to read stuff that clearly wasn't meant for them?

LineRunner Wed 22-Feb-12 23:24:33

Did you read it upside down?

AwkwardMary Wed 22-Feb-12 23:24:36

I thnk you should mention to the head yes but don't' be surprised if she is very cross that you read it.

It was very lax of them to leave that where they did...and it needs pointing out though.

AwkwardMary Wed 22-Feb-12 23:25:40

I also think you read FAR too much...a quick glance and the words Social Sevices should have told you that it was very private.

Tranquilidade Wed 22-Feb-12 23:25:42

Do you think you will have "failed some sort of test" if you admit you read it - it is clearly a confidential document after all.

It should not be left out but maybe the solution is to get your job/volunteer post sorted first then try to better things from within.

WorraLiberty Wed 22-Feb-12 23:26:06

It did occur to me after the event that I could have mentioned it to the man in the office who was dong my application

Did it occur to you at any point that you could have pointed to it instead of having a good nosey through it?

Pickgo Wed 22-Feb-12 23:26:31

OP's ability to keep it confidential (and she has said she will) is not really the issue.

The issue is the school's totally inadequate procedure for ensuring confidentiality <eye roll>

I'd report it to school govenor/head.

JustRedbin Wed 22-Feb-12 23:27:17

WWID? JSFTUP. Forget you ever saw it , especially if you actually want the job.

EauDeLaPoisson Wed 22-Feb-12 23:27:35

It was in the office as I understood not a public thoroughfare

cherrytopping Wed 22-Feb-12 23:28:09

stop reading shit you shouldn't?

GoingForGoalWeight Wed 22-Feb-12 23:28:21

YANBU - There is obviously a chance a non-staff member could use the office , as you were there and private documents should be kept in a secure place. I would alert the Headteacher as to what was on the desk.

ToothbrushThief Wed 22-Feb-12 23:28:39

I think it's rather silly to assume that people will not read a document like that - it's human nature (right or wrong)

The issue is not with the individual (or individuals!!!!) that read but with the staff who leave it out.

They should have a clean desk policy especially with sensitive documents.

For all of you criticising the OP for reading- she is at least honest and her concern lies in the fact that anyone could have read it.

Would you be happy with the school leaving your personal info out? Would you blame the person reading or the school who should secure that info?

EauDeLaPoisson Wed 22-Feb-12 23:28:51

For the record I hope nobody from the school recognises you or themselves from this thread or you don't look very professional yourself do you

WorraLiberty Wed 22-Feb-12 23:29:05

But it was left on the desk of a member of staff...it wasn't on a notice board in the playground.

The only mistake they made here was trusting the OP not to read through the stuff left on a staff members desk.

And in fairness they probably thought they could trust her if they're happy for her to help out.

Cabrinha Wed 22-Feb-12 23:29:28

You should be ashamed of yourself - what a disgraceful thing to do, Reading it all. Somehow, the amount of detail you've enjoyed giving here makes me think you'll be very likely to disclose at least some of this to others. Why on earth would you read it all? I'll allow that we're all curious and many might have taken a quick look - but to read all that. I hope you're ashamed of yourself tonight.

EauDeLaPoisson Wed 22-Feb-12 23:30:13

It's not great practice but it seems the OP had more than a quick glance at the document

RustyBear Wed 22-Feb-12 23:30:50

Obviously it shouldn't have been left out where nosey people could read it, but one glance at it had already made it obvious that it was confidential, so there was no reason at all for you to have read it, except that you wanted to see what it was about.

MixedBerries Wed 22-Feb-12 23:31:14

What Pickgo said. There are laws about data storage and handling and such information as the OP describes should be kept locked up (even if it's in an office environment not usually accessed by the public).

ToothbrushThief Wed 22-Feb-12 23:32:13

Info like that should be distributed only on a need to know basis...not with every TA, cleaner, cook, volunteer that walks through the door.

LineRunner Wed 22-Feb-12 23:32:26

Did you handle it, OP? Touch it?

WorraLiberty Wed 22-Feb-12 23:33:13

It wasn't distributed

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