Advanced search

UK Border Agency passport requirements for schools?

(24 Posts)
TolliverGroat Tue 19-Feb-13 11:26:18

I've just had an email from the DCs' school stating that the UK Border Agency "require" them to hold on file a copy of each child's passport biodata page. Is that actually true? If so this seems to have snuck in with very little publicity. And if it's not true, what requirements have they got confused over?

annh Tue 19-Feb-13 11:30:20

Sounds odd. What happens if your child doesn't have a passport? If the school does not require this information, why would the Border Agency need them to keep it? Surely the Border Agency have other means of getting access to this information if they need it. I would email the school and ask for clarification on exactly why they need this information, preferably with a link to the relevant piece of legislation or ruling.

Picturesinthefirelight Tue 19-Feb-13 11:35:35

Are you in the UK or abroad?

It's certainly not a requirement in the UK as its not compulsory to even have a passport. The dc were 6 and 4 when I got them passports.

TolliverGroat Tue 19-Feb-13 11:41:39

In the UK. I agree that it sounds fundamentally implausible, but I doubt the school have completely made it up so I wondered whether there are some new regulations that they've either misinterpreted or decided to misrepresent to parents.

Picturesinthefirelight Tue 19-Feb-13 11:45:12

There have been problems with done universities and foreign students who have flouted/not had the correct visas to the extent that some were stripped of their right to have foreign students. Wonder if its something to do with that.

exexpat Tue 19-Feb-13 11:45:39

Do they mean for non-British citizens? Do your children have non-UK passports?

I can't see how they could make it a requirement for UK-born children with British nationality, as many of them don't have passports. It would make more sense if they were trying to keep track of people subject to visa requirements. I would definitely query it.

Lonecatwithkitten Tue 19-Feb-13 11:51:59

It is a requirement that schools need to have proof of the child's identity be that a copy of the passport or birth certificate.
Our school asked about 18 months ago for the details for identity confirmation purposes.

TolliverGroat Tue 19-Feb-13 11:52:20

They did say that if your child had a non-EU passport then they also needed a copy of their visa, but the passport thing was an instruction to all parents. It seems to make very little sense.

TolliverGroat Tue 19-Feb-13 11:54:17

But I'm reasonably sure they asked for birth certificates when the DCs were enrolled. Maybe they've lost their copies of that? But then why not say BC or passport?

Picturesinthefirelight Tue 19-Feb-13 11:59:36

Is it an independent school. Indie schools can act as sponsors for children between 4-17 who wish to enter the uk to study on a tier 4

Otherwise it sounds loopy.

SWmadness Tue 19-Feb-13 13:26:21

I received the same request today from my private putney pre-prep. At this point I can't understand why this should be required and I have done a quick internet search for legislation and can't find any so I am not going to do this until I get further info from the school as it just seems like a very strange request - and weird that I cant find any other official data on the internet.

admission Tue 19-Feb-13 22:32:23

I would be very careful over this, you are giving out information that could be very useful in the wrong hands. So I would not oblige them by giving out this information at present.

I am not aware of any legislation but am intrigued and would definitely be interested in knowing what the school(s) say this demand is based on.

Hassled Tue 19-Feb-13 22:38:23

I'm also intrigued - I would ask a lot of questions before I happily handed over passport details. I certainly haven't seen anything from my County's LA or the DFE stipulating anything like this.

From the school's POV though it seems like an administrative nightmare - not the sort of thing they'd take on lightly - so they must think they're right. Would love to know why/what.

Takver Wed 20-Feb-13 10:51:54

We were asked relatively recently (in the last couple of years) for a copy of birth certificates IIRC. I sent a p/copy of dd's passport as well but only because she has a non-UK birth cert.

Takver Wed 20-Feb-13 10:53:42

Should say that we never filled in any kind of application for her primary school whereas now I know parents do have to apply properly, so I imagine they were just back dating / formalising their records.

jalapeno Wed 20-Feb-13 11:42:45

Is this a state school? I would query it under the Data Protection Act, sounds like they want to hold more information on pupils than is necessary.

My DC don't have passports so struggle to understand why the school would need this. Is it to try to prevent child abduction or something?

Picturesinthefirelight Wed 20-Feb-13 14:16:36

Oddly enough I've just been trawling the uk border agency website as I've been asked to update/check on the information we ask for at work prevent illegal working so I had a nose round the education stuff

The passport/biometric residence permit is something that independent schools have to keep a copy of for foreign students/children who the school has sponsored to enter the UK for the sole purpose if receiving an education. Apparently there were changes to the system brought in December 2012.

Nowhere and I've been through pages of stuff does it say schools have to have this info for any other children. Only independent schools are allowed to sponsor so it doesn't apply to state schools.

Picturesinthefirelight Wed 20-Feb-13 14:18:37

I run a theatre school and have to ask for copies of passport or birth certificate when applying for children's performance licences but that's purely to verify date of birth.

AScorpionPitForMimes Wed 20-Feb-13 15:10:48

None of the (state) schools my DDs have attended/are attended have ever asked for anything like this - birth certificate, yes, but not this. And my DDs have dual US/Dutch nationality so would definitely be a target if this were real.

I'd be very, very wary and possible contact the UKBA itself for guidance before handing over this data.

auntpetunia Wed 20-Feb-13 20:52:18

I work in a school office and this is news to me, whilst the SiMS programme has always had a section for passport details it is not compulsory for it to be filled in. I would check and ask them to give a very good reason why they want it. In fact I'd email the border agency and ask if this is correct.

sashh Thu 21-Feb-13 05:28:16

Otherwise it sounds loopy.

Some parents outside the UK want a UK education for their children. In some areas large numbers of children are attending school but their parents are not in the country, and not in the EU.

One person will come into the country and suddenly they have 5 children in the local schools.

It causes a number of issues, the least being that taxpayers in Britain are funding the education of people not entitled to it.

More importantly, these are vulnerable children. They are in the country illegally, they may be exploited, expected to work etc. etc.

How else can you identify these children?

titchy Thu 21-Feb-13 08:03:52

Sorry sash all kids entitled to lea funded education irrespective of nationality.

stopthinkingsomuch Thu 21-Feb-13 09:49:10

Asked for birth certificate for Ds at private school. I gave them his uk passport as he was born overseas. It depends what they are asking for as to what I give.

Picturesinthefirelight Thu 21-Feb-13 20:39:20

According to the uk border agency that isn't quite true twitch

Children are not allowed to enter the UK for the sole purpose of attending a state school. They can however attend a private school

Children can enter and claim asylum/residence etc for other reasons though.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now