Councils Accessing Personal and Private Data

Liz R (Account suspended) made this Freedom of Information request to Department for Education

The request was successful.

From: Liz R (Account suspended)

16 June 2011

Dear Department for Education,

Legal and Social Work Departments have access to personal data
including medical records and any information they wish
for, it's allegedly at their disposal.

Now that the DFE has control over Social Work
and Childrens Law -does this mean any teacher/anyone
at the local education department can access personal data? How is
personal data -of members of the public -protected and kept private
from members of council departments and which
data IS kept private (unless ordered otherwise by a judge)
and whom exactly (list please) has the right to access
any/all our data as and when they want to, please? Please
send any recorded information on this.

Yours faithfully,

Liz R

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Liz R (Account suspended) left an annotation (16 June 2011)

Quote-marks I do know that the second a child in receipt of 'services' from social work departments - they nor their parents have any priavacy whatsoever, this is clearly abuse and violation or various acts of law.

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Department for Education

28 June 2011

Dear Ms R

Thank you for your recent email. A reply will be sent to you as soon as
possible. For information, the departmental standard for correspondence
received is that responses should be sent within 20 working days as you
are requesting information under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

Your correspondence has been allocated the reference number
2011/0046277.

Thank you.

Central Allocation Team

Public Communications Team

Tel: 0370 0002288
www.education.gov.uk

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Department for Education

4 July 2011

Dear Ms R,
I refer to your request for information, which was received on 16 June 2011. You requested information about children's
personal data and how it is accessed and handled. I have dealt with your request under the Freedom of Information Act 2000
("the Act").
The Department for Education (DfE) has the lead responsibility for children's policy in England. Professionals working in
children's services in local authorities (LAs) in England may have access to personal information about children DfE holds
where necessary and appropriate for the performance of their functions. LAs will have their own organisational policies
around the handling of personal information. All processing of personal data will need to comply with the Data Protection
Act and other relevant legislation. There are also statutory provisions requiring Schools and LAs to share specified
personal information with DfE. This is a link to the DfE privacy notice on our website, which sets out who DfE share pupil
data with:

[1]http://www.education.gov.uk/researchands...

If a child is at risk of harm there may be a clear and legitimate purpose to share information. Sharing of information when
there is concern about a child's welfare will enable professionals to consider jointly how to proceed in the best interests
of the child and to safeguard children more generally. In deciding whether there is a need to share information
professionals should consider their legal obligations, including whether they have a duty of confidentiality to the child.
Where there is such a duty, the professional may lawfully share information if the child consents or if there is a public
interest of sufficient force. This must be judged by the professional on the facts of each case. Where there is a clear
likelihood of a child suffering significant harm the public interest test will almost certainly be satisfied.

DfE has information sharing guidance for practitioners and managers on its website at:

[2]http://www.education.gov.uk/childrenandy...

All such legislation is publicly available at [3]www.legislation.gov.uk

The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) also provides guidance to public bodies and to individuals on the handling of
personal data and when such data can be shared lawfully between professionals. Their website can be found at:
[4]www.ico.gov.uk.

Legislation and guidance covering the use and sharing of personal data is publicly available and therefore is exempt from
disclosure under the FOIA under s.21 of the Act.

If you require additional information, please specify exactly what information you are asking us to provide.

If you have any queries about this letter, please contact me. Please remember to quote the reference number above in any
future communications.

If you are unhappy with the way your request has been handled, you should make a complaint to the Department by writing to
me within two calendar months of the date of this letter. Your complaint will be considered by an independent review panel,
who were not involved in the original consideration of your request.

If you are not content with the outcome of your complaint to the Department, you may then contact the Information
Commissioner's Office.

Yours sincerely,

Louise Baker
Chief Information Officer Group
[email address]
[5]www.education.gov.uk

Your correspondence has been allocated the reference number 2011/0046277.

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Communications via the GSi may be automatically logged, monitored and/or
recorded for legal purposes.

References

Visible links
1. http://www.education.gov.uk/researchands...
http://www.education.gov.uk/researchands...
2. http://www.education.gov.uk/childrenandy...
http://www.education.gov.uk/childrenandy...
3. http://www.legislation.gov.uk/
4. http://www.ico.gov.uk/
http://www.ico.gov.uk/
5. http://www.education.gov.uk/

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From: Liz R (Account suspended)

4 July 2011

Dear Department for Education,

Thank you, please clarify for me:

1.Would 'professional' include private contractors?

2. Are *all parties informed* (as required by law?) when they are
being discussed (with a view to be in a position to put their side
of the story?) as I have experience they are not, this in effect
can kill people regarding the use of 'chinese whispers' via
internal memos (example)

Yours faithfully,

Liz R

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Department for Education

13 July 2011

Dear Ms R,
Thank you for your email dated 4 July 2011 about practitioners and information sharing.
Your correspondence is not being treated as a Freedom of Information Act request as it is not
covered by the terms of the Act in that you are not requesting sight of 'recorded'
information.

The HM Information Sharing: 'Guidance for practitioners and managers' is for practitioners who
have to make decisions about sharing personal information on a case-by-case basis; where they
are working in the public, private or voluntary sectors; providing services to children, young
people, adults and/or families; and working as an employee, a contractor or a volunteer. It is
also for managers and advisors who support these practitioners in their decision making and
for others with responsibility for information governance.

Clearly the Department cannot comment on every case in which information is shared.
However, in most cases all parties should be informed that their personal information is
being shared, unless there are clear reasons why this is not in the public interest, or in the
interests of any of the individuals concerned. The guidance `Information sharing: Guidance for
practitioners and managers' can be found here:
[1]https://www.education.gov.uk/publication....
You will see it sets out good practice for information sharing for practitioners. Para
3.11.further sets out that `Wherever possible, you should be open about what personal
information you might need to share and why. In some situations, it may not be appropriate to
inform a person that information is being shared or seek consent to this sharing, for example,
if it is likely to hamper the prevention or investigation of a serious crime or put a child at
risk of significant harm or an adult at risk of serious harm.'

Yours sincerely,

Louise Baker
Chief Information Officer Group
[email address]
[2]www.education.gov.uk

Your correspondence has been allocated the reference number 2011/0049681.

show quoted sections

Communications via the GSi may be automatically logged, monitored and/or
recorded for legal purposes.

References

Visible links
1. blocked::https://www.education.gov.uk/publication...
file:///tmp/blocked::https:/www.education.gov.uk/publications/standard/publicationDetail/Page1/DCSF-00807-2008
2. http://www.education.gov.uk/

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