I'm appealing against my daughter's statement. I've been around for a bit but have name changed out of general paranoia.
The council's solicitors have written to dd's school asking for copies of all her records, quoting section 35 of the Data Protection Act which apparently allows them to do this if it's in connection with legal proceedings. Are they allowed to do this? They haven't asked me to produce the records, nor have they asked my permission (though, to be fair, they did send me a copy of the letter), and while I can see that we need to file relevant documents from the school records, I don't see why they should be entitled to see everything on DD's file - there is, for instance, completely unrelated stuff in there about our family.
Also, they've asked the school to go through a questionnaire with DD, apparently in order to get her views about her education. Again, I realise that they have to get her views, but the questionnaire seems to be designed mainly to get positive responses. For instance, they only ask what she likes about school, not what she doesn't like. She would have to have a teacher's help in going through the questionnaire at school, and she's not likely to say what she really thinks in those circumstances. Can I tell the school not to do it, and go through the questionnaire myself adding or changing the questions to make it more balanced?
You can get your child's views yourself, file them with SENDIST and request she isn't put through that again as it would be unnecessary and potentially stressful for her. She will have done it in an environment she is comfortable with with you and therefore give more accurate views.
As for the other stuff, I'm not sure but I am fairly certain the solicitors are overstepping their remit here. Write to the school immediately and tell them that you consider sharing any document with any other body, including solicitors, a breach of the data protection act and will treat it as such. This will buy you time to research further.
I have a bad feeling my la is digging into my sons medical records but that might just be paranoia.
I have been told that agreeing to statutory assessment i have agreed to share medical info etc with the la - but I think it only apply a to the nhs filling in forms etc for the la.
Not sure - I have written to my sons pead saying I will take sharing of any info that I am not aware of a data protection breach as it's not really "need to know" to see everything. I have no problems with them seeing most of it, but some I'd rather they didn't as some of it impacts on all my kids ( genetics)
I agree with Starlight. I think the Data Protection Act only allows the school to supply what's necessary for the purposes of the appeal, and they would need to know precisely what documents are needed and why. It they complied with the request for everything they could find themselves in serious trouble.