St.Patrick's N.S. Curtlestown


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Data Protection and Record Keeping

Policies

Record Keeping and Data Protection


Introductory Statement
This policy was formulated at a staff meeting on 23rd February 2011. All the teaching staff were present, including representatives from the B.O.M.

Rationale
As teaching is informed by pupil learning needs, a record of where a pupil is in relation to his/ her learning is essential.
The Education Act Section 9(g) provides that parents (or students of 18 years or upwards) are entitled to have access in the prescribed manner to records kept by the school relating to the progress of the student in his/her education
Attendance at school has a bearing on a pupil's attainment levels
Education (Welfare) Act, 2000, requires principals
To communicate to a school, to which a student is transferring, any problems relating to school attendance which the pupil concerned had and any other appropriate matters relating to the pupil's educational progress
To keep a record of the pupil's attendance and the reasons for failure to attend
To inform the Educational Welfare Officer in writing, where a pupil is suspended for a period in excess of 6 days/or where a pupil is absent in excess of 20 school days in a school year/or where in the opinion of the principal the student is not attending regularly.
Relationship to characteristic spirit of the school
St. Patrick's seeks to enable each child to develop his/her potential in a caring environment where the talents of each child are valued. This work can best be done where there is a high level of openness and co-operation between staff, parents and pupils.
Aims
By introducing this policy, the school hopes
To record the educational progress that a pupil is making thereby enabling parents and teachers to support the child's learning.
To report to parents in a meaningful way on the educational progress of their children
To establish clear, practical procedures that will enable parents/guardians (or past pupils who have reached the age of 18) to access records relating to educational progress.
To ensure that this access is available within the capacity of the school to administer it.
To establish a clear understanding, shared by management, staff and parents, as to the type of records that are maintained and how such records should be made available.
To ensure that the school complies with legislative requirements while awaiting the issue of guidelines as to the 'prescribed manner' referred to in Section 9 (g) of the Education Act
To ensure that, is so far as possible, the school complies with legislative requirements/principles of good practice while awaiting the issue of guidelines.

Records kept relating to the progress of that student in his or her education will include;
Annual Report: An annual report on each child's attainment levels/progress in each subject
Standardised Tests: Results of standardised tests. Full booklets will be kept for 1 school year to inform Teacher's and Learning Support planning. Booklet cover containing Percentile rank, Sten scores and Standard score will be kept until the pupil is 21 years of age.
Teacher-designed Tests: Letter sounds/ names checklists and copy book samples of writing (photocopied) will be kept from the Infants classes. Records of results from Weekly Spelling and tables and samples of copy book work (photocopied) will be kept from First class to Sixth class.
Screening Tests: Results of the Middle Infants Screening test (Senior Infants)and Norman France Mathematical Profile (Fifth class)screening tests tests will be kept. Full booklet will be kept for 1 year and cover recording scores until pupil is 21 years of age.
Diagnostic Tests: All results of diagnostic tests and booklets will be kept. Tests used are NRIT, NARA, PHAB, ACE, QUEST. These tests are administered by the Learning Support Teacher.
Samples of Pupil's Work A portfolio of pupils work containing samples of written and mathematical work from each term will be kept for all pupils from First class to Sixth Class.
IEPs / IPLPs All I.E.P.'s and I.P.L.P.'S will be kept until the pupil concerned reaches 21 years of age.
Records of attendance / absence: Roll Books recording pupil attendance are maintained .Written explanations for absences are duly dated and stored. Reports made to Educational Welfare Service under terms of Education Welfare act are stored. *********
Psychological Assessments: Reports following psychological assessments are stored until the pupil reaches 21 years of age, unless specifically stated otherwise in the report.
Referrals for Learning Support or other supplementary teaching and communications relating to this are stored in that pupils file. A record of a parents' decision not to allow the child to attend at learning support or resource teaching is also kept. Method of recording the progress of pupils with learning difficulties and disabilities will be appropriate to their individual need will be used.
Enrolment Form All personal information which would fall under the terms of data protection legislation is stored in a locked cabinet in the office, which is kept locked outside school hours.
Code of Behaviour; the school's Code of Behaviour is given to all parents/ guardians of pupils enrolling and must be read and signed before the pupil starts in the school.
Serious breaches of the code of behaviour Records of serious breaches of the code of behaviour are maintained and kept in a hard back notebook, locked in the strong room.
Serious injuries/accidents Records are kept of any of any serious injuries/accidents occurring during school time. These are written into a hardback incident notebook and stored in the First Aid bag in the Staff room.
Indemnity form for administration of medicine; The school has an Indemnity form for administration of medicine. Records of this are kept in the filing cabinet in the Staff room. (See Substance Use policy)

Administration of records
The following is a list of people with permitted access to above mentioned records
Annual Report: Parents of the child, the Principal, future teachers of the pupil and the Learning Support/Resource Teacher and subsequent schools which the child will attend, when requested in writing by the pupil's parents / guardians
Standardised Tests: Principal, other teachers & Learning Support Teacher and educational psychologists when requested by parents / guardians. Parents/ guardians and past pupils who have reached 18 years of age will have access to the score sheet on request.
Teacher-designed Tests: Scores + sounds + spellings + tables - copies. Principal, other teachers & Learning Support Teacher, pupil's parents / guardians
Screening Tests: Mist, Norman France Maths;. Principal, other teachers, Learning Support Teacher and educational psychologists when requested when requested in writing by parents / guardians and and past pupils who have reached 18 years of age.
Diagnostic Tests: NRIT, NARA, PHAB, ACE, QUEST;. Principal, other teachers & Learning Support Teacher, educational psychologists when requested when requested in writing by parents/ guardians and past pupils who have reached 18 years of age .
Samples of Pupil's Work written each term + Maths 1st class up; Principal, other teachers & Learning Support Teacher, educational psychologists when requested when requested in writing by parents/ guardians ; and past pupils who have reached 18 years of age
IEPs / IPLPs Principal, other teachers & Learning Support Teacher, S.E.N.O and the pupil's parents / guardians and past pupils who have reached 18 years of age
Records of attendance / absence: Principal, teacher, parents / guardians and past pupils who have reached 18 years of age, the school secretary, Welfare Attendance Officer of N.E.W.B. and the H.S.E.
Psychological Assessments: teacher, principal, learning support teacher, parents / guardians and past pupils who have reached 18 years of age and subsequent schools which the child will attend, when requested in writing by the pupil's parents / guardians

Referrals for Learning Support or other supplementary teaching and communications: principal, learning support teacher, parents
Enrolment Form: Stored in filing cabinet. Accessed by the Principal, secretary and child's parents / guardians.
Signed copy of the Code of Behaviour: Stored in expanding file in office; Accessed by Principal, secretary and parents/ guardians of child.
Serious breaches of the code of behaviour: Principal, teacher, parents/ guardians, N.E.W.B.
Records of serious injuries/accidents: Principal, teacher, parents and insurance companies on request by parents/guardians and past pupils who have reached 18 years of age
Indemnity form for administration of medicine; Principal, teacher, parents.


Procedures for accessing records
Written requests
A written request will be required for parents/guardians and past pupils who have reached 18 years of age when wishing to access files kept on record.
A period of 48 hours will be requires for access by parents/guardians and past pupils and 5 working days for access by external agencies.
Format of school reports
A standardized form of school reports will be used. All classes will use Form A (See Appendix *)
Reports will be based on the Drumcondra, Micra T, Sigma T testing. Information will be given about how the results relate to standardized national averages. No score will be included. There will be a section for comments. Generally these comments will be standardized across the class groups, with room for individual comment if and when necessary.
Reports will be signed by the class teacher who completes them and the Principal.
Hard copies will be kept in the school.
Reports will be posted to pupil's parents/guardians at the start of the summer holidays each year.
Parents will have an opportunity to respond to the report at the scheduled parent/teacher meetings during the first term of the next school year or earlier by appointment if desired.
Reports will be communicated by post to parents who live separately when requested.
Responsibility for compilation and updating of records.
Class teachers will be responsible for the compilation and updating of the records each year and this will be overseen by the Principal. This will be scheduled for the final block of hours agreed in the Croke Park Agreement, i.e. late June.
Storage
End of year reports will be stored in the locked strong room. Access to the strong room is limited to permanent /temporary teaching staff and the school secretary. Psychological reports will be kept in a locked filing cabinet in the Resource room. Access to this cabinet is limited to the Resource / Learning Support teacher, the Principal and individual's files by his/her class teachers on request.
Records will be kept until the pupil reaches 21 years of age, according to the time limits set out in the Statute of Limitations 1957-2000).
Standardized testing booklets will be kept for 12 months, to inform diagnostic testing when necessary. Booklet covers from Standardized testing will be kept until the pupil reaches 21 years of age.
Where records are communicated to another school/agency, copies are kept. The school will keep a note of what, when and to whom a record has been transferred.
Where reports are generated by external agencies (e.g. NEPS), permission will be sought from parents before allowing access to the reports by third parties e.g. another school.
Employee records such as contracts, attendance records will be kept for the duration of the employment plus 2 years.
CVs / job applications and references will be kept for 2 years after the appointment has been made.
The Chairperson of the Board of Management and the Principal have access to these. These records are kept updated by the Principal and destroyed at the appropriate times.

Success Criteria
Some practical indicators of the success of the policy are
" Systematic compilation of uniform records by staff
" Systematic reporting to parents on educational progress in place
" Parents/pupils can access records without undue disruption of teaching time.
" Storage of records is manageable.

Roles and Responsibility
The Principal will notify parents of their entitlements and the procedures they should follow to gain access to records.
The Learning Support/ Resource teacher will arrange storage of testing, pupil reports and portfolios. The Principal will ensure that these and attendance reports are securely stored when pupils transfer out of the school.

Implementation Date
These procedures will apply from September 2011. Records assembled before that date will be maintained in accordance with the policy where possible

Timetable for Review
The operation of the new procedures be reviewed and, if necessary, amended when for example new guidelines are issued from National Education Welfare Board/other agencies.

Ratification & Communication
The Board of Management officially ratified the policy in June 2011.
It will be communicated to the school community via the September/ October newsletter and on the school website.













Reference;
The Freedom of Information Act
Primary schools are not yet subject to the Freedom of Information Act but can expect to be included in a future expansion of those areas of the public service that come under the scope of the Freedom of Information legislation. Some agencies with whom a school may interact in relation to pupils (e.g. Health Boards, DES) are subject to the act.

The Data Protection Act 1988 and the Data Protection (Amendment) Act 2003
The Data Protection Act 1988 was introduced in response to privacy issues raised by the maintenance of data on computers and to specify the responsibilities of those who keep personal data on computer (data controllers). The Act relates to data held on computers in a format in which it can be processed automatically. "Personal Data" in this context means "data relating to a living individual who can be identified either from the data or from the data in conjunction with other information in the possession of the data controller."

Unlike the Freedom of Information Act, the Data Protection Act applies to all organisations. Schools that retain data on staff or students on computer are subject to its provisions.


The Data Protection Act specifies certain key responsibilities that data controllers must exercise:
" Fair obtaining and processing of data - the identity of the person collecting the data, the use to which it will be put and to whom it will be released should be set out for the person providing the information, or should outline any secondary or future uses to which the data might be put.
" Data may only be held on computer about people if it is held for a specific, lawful and clearly stated purpose.
" The data must be accurate and kept up to date.
" The data must be used only in ways that are consistent with the purpose/purposes for which it is kept.
" Security measures must be put in place to prevent unauthorised access, alteration, disclosure or destruction of the data and against accidental loss or destruction.
" The data held must be adequate, relevant and not excessive in relation to the purpose/purposes for which it is held.
" The data must not be kept longer than is necessary. Data controllers should be clear on how long data is to be kept and why it is being retained. Unless the school has a system for managing electronic records, the ever-increasing number of electronic records should be dealt with in the same way as paper records, i.e. using the same retention and disposal periods, etc. It is advisable to print off copies of important e-mail correspondence or documents for the file.
" Right of Access - an individual about whom data is held and who applies in writing specifying the information requested is entitled to a copy of the data held about him or her. Along with the right of access to personal data, the Data Protection Act also gives employees the right to ascertain the existence of personal data and the right to rectify or erase data.
The Data Protection (Amendment) Act 2003
The Data Protection (Amendment) Act, enacted in July 2003, amends the Data Protection Act, 1988 in a number of significant ways:
" it extends data protection rules to include certain manual data (paper-based filing systems) relating to living individuals, which is recorded as part of a filing system;
" it sets out conditions for processing personal data, including more stringent controls in relation to sensitive personal data, e.g. religious beliefs, racial or ethnic origin, etc.;
" it strengthens individuals' rights, in particular the right to be informed about the processing of data relating to them;
" it gives the new powers to the Data Protection Commissioner to carry out investigations in order to ensure that data protection rules are being complied with.
" it includes a re-statement of basic data protection principles, with additional safeguards in relation to direct marketing (using data collected for a particular legitimate purpose to contact individuals to sell products or services);
" it specifies additional conditions relating to the processing of personal data, e.g. a new category of sensitive personal data is to be created which will benefit from stronger protection;
" it introduces a right for individuals to object to automated decision-making (decision-making which is processed by electronic means without human input).


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