You are here Parents Record KJeeping & data Protection Policy
This draft policy document was composed following a whole-school planning day, which took place on October 17th ‘06. This was part of the review towards the compilation of a Strategic Three Year Plan under the school’s inclusion in the DEIS programme. The policy was considered necessary at the school’s staff meeting on Friday 10th November. It was composed by the principal for consideration by the teachers and secretary during the week 13th – 17th November 2006. It was submitted to the Board of Management for ratification at its meeting in December ‘06.
The purpose of this policy is:
To define the types of record our school requires
To define the purposes for which each type of record is required
To ensure confidentiality in the use of such records
To ensure that the school has effective and manageable procedures in place to allow parents (or former pupils who have reached 18 years of age) access to records relating to the progress of the student in his/her education
Teaching is informed by pupil learning needs and the recording of where a pupil is in relation to his/her learning is a cornerstone of good teaching.
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 requires principals
1. 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
2. To keep a record of the pupil’s attendance and the reasons for failure to attend
3. 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
We aim to provide a well-ordered, caring, happy and secure atmosphere where the intellectual, spiritual, physical, moral and cultural needs of the pupils are identified and addressed. The school adopts a holistic approach to the education and development of each child and to the enhancement of teaching and learning processes. We believe that an effective Record Keeping and Data Protection Policy will help the school to ensure that there is a high level of openness and co-operation between staff, parents and pupils.
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
Guidelines for pupil records
What is understood by ‘records kept relating to the progress of that student in his or her education’ will include the following:
Annual Report: A copy of an annual report on each child’s attainment levels/progress in each subject from Junior Infants to Sixth Class will be stored in school records by the school secretary when given by class teacher. The original will be posted to parents in June of each year.
Standardised Tests: Results of standardised tests will be stored in school records by the school secretary when given by class teacher. The front page of each of the standardised tests will be retained as the school cannot store the complete test booklets due to storage problems. The scores (in percentiles) will be recorded on the school’s database. Results of standardised tests are communicated to parents through Parent/Teacher meetings.
Teacher-designed Tests: Results of Teacher Designed tests will not be stored in school records. Each teacher has discretion as to the format, administration and frequency of in-class testing. The most common types of informal teacher designed testing in our school are tests on the strands & strand units for each curricular area, spelling tests and tables tests.
Screening Tests: These tests will be dealt with as outlined in the school’s policy on assessment. The following tests will be stored in school records by the school secretary when received from class teacher/parent:
Foundations for Learning
LAAR Test of Emergent Literacy
Evolving Reader Stage of Development Checklist
Checklists for Difficulties in Mathematics
Checklist from Jolly Phonics
Non Reading Intelligence Test (NRIT)
The school’s database will record if a child displays difficulties in the early stage screening tests as outlined above. The individual scores of diagnostic tests will not be stored on the database. The pupil’s NRIT score will be recorded on the school’s database.
Diagnostic Tests: These tests will be dealt with as outlined in the school’s policy on assessment. The following tests will be stored in school records by the school secretary when received from the relevant support teacher:
Dyslexia Early Screening Test
Dyslexia Screening Test
Quest Starter Pack
Bangor Dyslexia Test
Jackson Phonic Test
Individual education Plans (IEPs) / Individual Pupil Learning Profiles (IPLPs): The original will be stored in the child’s file in school records by the school secretary when signed by the principal. A copy will be held by the appropriate support teacher who will give a copy to the relevant class teacher. A copy will be posted to parents by the relevant Support Teacher. At the end of the year class teachers and support teachers will pass the IEP/IPLP to the next class teacher and support teacher as appropriate. This will take place in the last week in June.
Records of attendance / absence: Roll Books will be maintained by class teachers as per guidelines issued by the Department of Education and Science. Explanations for absences will be recorded by the class teacher on the child’s Attendance Record Sheet. These records will be stored in the child’s file in school records by the secretary when school ends at the end of June each year. The school’s database will also record the number of attendances by each pupil in each school year and whether the child has been reported to the National Education Welfare Board (NEWB). Reports made to Educational Welfare Service under the terms of the Education Welfare act will be stored in the minutes of the Board of Management meeting following the reporting period. Roll Books which have been filled will be stored in the School’s Archive by the principal when received from the class teacher.
Psychological Assessments: Reports following psychological assessments will be stored in the child’s file in school records. A copy of the assessment will be given to parents. Copies of assessments will not be made by the school but a copy of the recommendations of any assessment can be made so the relevant class teacher can refer to it when necessary. To ensure confidentiality the child’s name will not be shown on this section.
Referrals for Support Teaching and communications relating to this e.g. a record of parents decision to allow/not allow the child to attend support teaching will be stored by the secretary when received from the relevant support teacher in the child’s file in school records.
Enrolment Form: This form will record some sensitive personal information (Religion, questions relating to health and disabilities) which would fall under the terms of data protection legislation and therefore the school is registered with the Data Protection Commissioner. The enrolment form is stored in the child’s file in school records. A copy of the enrolment form is given to the class teacher when the child starts school for the first time. When the teacher is familiar with the information on the form the copy of the enrolment form will be shredded by the teacher in question.
Record of child’s breaches of code of behaviour: A record of all serious misbehaviour will be held on the child’s Detention Record Sheet as outlined in the school’s Code of Discipline. If a child has been held in Detention a copy of the Detention Record Sheet will be posted to parents with the annual report in June each year. If the child was not in Detention during the year the blank Detention Record Sheet will not be photocopied and posted home. The annual report will indicate whether the Detention Record Sheet is attached or not. Detention Record Sheets will be stored in school records by the school’s secretary.
Record of any serious injuries/accidents: Details of accidents will be recorded on the Accident Report Form stored in child’s file in school records. A copy of the report sheet will also be stored with the school’s Health and Safety Policy by the teacher on yard supervision if accident occurred during playtime and if accident didn’t happen during playtime then by the relevant teacher.
Permission to leave school at lunchtime: This permission form will be stored in the child’s file in school records by the secretary when received from teacher/parent and recorded on the school’s database by the principal.
Permission form to take part in the Relationships and Sexuality Education Programme (RSE): This permission form will be stored in the child’s file in school records by the secretary when received from teacher/parent and recorded on the school’s database by the principal.
Permission form to take part in the Stay Safe Programme: This permission form will be stored in the child’s file in school records by the secretary when received from teacher/parent and recorded on the school’s database by the principal.
Permission form to use the Internet: This permission form will be stored in the child’s file in school records by the secretary when received from teacher/parent and recorded on the school’s database by the principal.
Permission form to Serve at Religious Services: This permission form will be stored in the child’s file in school records by the secretary when received from teacher/parent and recorded on the school’s database.
Permission form to attend swimming: This permission form will be stored in the child’s file in school records by the secretary when received from teacher/parent and recorded on the school’s database by the principal.
Permission forms to go on school tours: These permission forms will be stored in the child’s file in school records by the secretary when received from teacher/parent. A copy of the permission sheet will be retained by the class teacher until after the school tour and then shredded. School’s policy on school tours applicable here.
Permission form to attend support teaching: This permission form will be stored in the child’s file in school records by the secretary when received from support teacher/parent and recorded on the school’s database by the principal.
Asthma Record Sheet: This information sheet will be stored in the child’s file in school records by the secretary when received from teacher/parent and noted on the school’s database by the principal.
Indemnity form for administration of medicine: This permission form will be stored in the child’s file in school records by the secretary when received from teacher/parent and added to the school’s database under School Forms Section by the principal.
Speech Therapy Report: This report will be stored in the child’s file in school records by the secretary when received from HSE/teacher/parent and year it was received by the school recorded on the school’s database by the principal.
Summary of information stored on the school’s database:
Pupil’s name, address, date of birth and parents
Telephone contact details and email address
Year pupil started school
Ethnic origin (people of different ethnic origins will have different religious, social and family customs which need to be addressed by the school)
Oldest in family
Standardised scores in Reading and Mathematics
Reading readiness checklist result
Yearly attendance for each class and whether pupil was reported to NEWB
History of Support Teaching and of IEPs written
Year any assessment was carried out
Year any Speech Therapy Report received by the school
School forms: Lunch Form, Stay Safe Form, RSE Form, Swimming Form, Support Teaching Form, Serving Form, Internet Form, Indemnity Form for Administration of Medicine
Miscellaneous Information – this section is used to keep information given by parents, support and class teachers and outside agencies up to date
The school’s database is protected by a password. Access to the database can only be achieved by logging onto the network as a specified teacher or as the secretary. Each teacher and the secretary has their own secret password which is used to logon to the network. Pupils cannot access the database. The password to the database is changed yearly to ensure security. Only the principal has Read & Write access to the database and can make changes to the information stored on the school’s database. Teachers and the school’s secretary have Read Only access and cannot change the information stored on the database. A copy of the database (protected by password) is stored in a safe and secure place away from the school’s network.
Following the planned upgrading of computers in the school this year appropriate software will be installed on all classroom computers to enable teachers to access the database.
Records stored in the School’s Archive are protected by a security lock. Files are currently maintained indefinitely but this will need to be reviewed over the coming years when storage becomes a problem.
Administration of records:
Access to records will be restricted to the following
Parents/Guardians (For parents who live separately the school will post duplicate copies of reports if given written notice)
National Education Welfare Board officers
Second Level Schools (only with the expressed written consent of the parents/guardians of the child)
Other primary schools to which a child is transferring (only with the expressed written consent of the parents/guardians of the child). The school keeps a note of what, when and to whom a record has been transferred.
School Psychologist (only with the expressed written consent of the parents/guardians of the child)
Past pupils who have reached 18 years of age (Application to the principal in writing is necessary). The school expects that files on record could be furnished within a period of ten school days. A payment of 50c per A4 page photocopy of records will be required to cover the administration costs involved.
Health Service Executive – name of pupil, date of birth, address, parents, class and teacher’s name, contact phone numbers only. This will be to facilitate the immunisation and health screening programmes in the school. For any other information about a child it will be necessary for the parents/guardians to give expressed written consent.
Current records are kept in a filing cabinet in the principal’s office. Access to the information in these records is strictly controlled and made available only to those rightfully entitled to it as detailed above. A record folder called “Document Traceability” is maintained in the principal’s office to record and track all school records taken by teachers from school records. Teachers are required to name the school record taken and to sign and date the appropriate form when they take any file from the office. They must also sign and date the appropriate form when they return the file to the pupil’s folder. This record is maintained for each individual file. The child’s folder which includes many files must never be taken from the office. Teachers who take files from school records must ensure that confidentiality of records is always maintained.
Memos and information sent to teachers from the principal with sensitive information will always be recorded with the teacher’s name to which the memo is addressed. This will ensure traceability of the documents.
Teachers will sign and date assessments and reports to indicate they have read the report.
Children who are no longer enrolled in the school: files are stored in the School Archive by the principal
Minutes of all Board of Management meetings are stored in the School’s Archive. These records are not available to anyone other than to the principal and members of the Board of Management. Minutes of staff meetings and Support Team meetings will also be stored in the School Archive by the teacher acting as secretary for the particular meeting.
All contracts with specific members of staff are also stored with the Board of Management files in the School’s Archive
References, CVs / job applications are stored in the School’s Archive also. When a member of staff leaves the school these records are destroyed by the principal.
Financial records are maintained in line with the school’s Policy on Money Handling & Finance
Systematic compilation and storage 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
All teachers have access to the school’s database and are familiar with its use
Traceability of all documents is assured
Roles and Responsibility
Class teacher – completion/marking/scoring as appropriate and storage in co-operation with the school’s secretary of:
Attendance & Reasons for Absence Record Sheets
Withdrawal of pupil from school Record Sheet
Support Teacher - storage of results of diagnostic tests in co-operation with the school’s secretary
Secretary – storage of files received from teachers and principal
Principal – overall responsibility and responsibility for storage and transfer of files when pupils transfer out of the school. Responsibility for updating school’s database to reflect new information as received from parents, pupils and teachers and outside agencies.
ICT Co-Coordinator – responsibility for liaison with teachers to ensure that in-service training needs are met regarding familiarity with database software
Board of Management – responsibility to notify parents of their entitlements and the procedures they should follow. Responsibility for the provision of adequate storage facilities and for appropriate security.
Implementation of policy will take place as and from January 7th 2007. Records assembled before this date will be dealt with in accordance with this policy as far as it is possible.
Timetable for Review
New procedures will be reviewed and, if necessary, amended at the end of each school year and upon receipt of revised guidelines from National Education Welfare Board/DES/other agencies.
Ratification & Communication
Ratified at the Board’s meeting 5th December 2006
Education Act 1998
Education (Welfare) Act 2000
The Data Protection Act 1988 and the Data Protection (Amendment) Act 2003