Alternative Education:Written question - 108559

Asked by Darren Jones
(Bristol North West)
Asked on: 18 October 2017
Department for Education
Alternative Education
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what guidance and advice her Department plans to provide for data subjects and their parents on the alternative provision collection of pregnancy, health and mental health data from January 2018; and with and to whom those data will be shared and made accessible.
Answered by: Nick Gibb
Answered on: 26 October 2017

Where a child of compulsory school age would not receive suitable education because of illness, exclusion or any other reason, local authorities have a duty to provide suitable ‘alternative provision’ (AP). Although the AP provider understands the reason for the child’s placement, as does the responsible local authority, nationally very little is known about these AP placements and the children who need them. This is fundamental to understanding the effectiveness of the AP system to better target policy interventions and improve the quality of education provided to these children.

As data controllers in their own right, it is important that local authorities and AP providers collect, process and store all data (not just that collected for the purposes of the Department data collections) in accordance with the relevant data protection regulations. Being transparent and providing accessible information to individuals about how their personal data will be used is a key element of both the Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA) and the upcoming General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). The most common way to provide this information is via a privacy notice. The Department provides template privacy notices that schools and local authorities can use. However, the notices must be reviewed and amended according to local needs and circumstances. The AP census guidance reminds data providers of their responsibilities in this area and provides links to the template notices.

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