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Pupil records

School records are often a source of invaluable help for historical and genealogical research.

However, keeping all of them indefinitely would cause a major storage problem. In any event, access to individual pupil records is protected by the Data Protection Act, so not all school records are available to the public. To help schools decide what to keep, how long to keep it and who can access what information under the Freedom of Information Act, we have provided guidance, along with the Department for Education.

Processing of data about individuals

We use information about children to help us carry out specific functions; for example, an assessment of special educational needs. The information also helps us make decisions, such as on the funding of schools, and to assess the performance of schools and set targets. We will use information about the school workforce for research and policy purposes and may use it to support and monitor schools regarding sickness and staff recruitment.

Primary care trusts use information about pupils to monitor, evaluate and develop health services. Height and weight information of individual pupils may be provided to the child and its parents, so PCTs will maintain details of pupils' names for this purpose. PCTs may also provide schools and local authorities with aggregate information on pupils' height and weight.

The statistics are always used in such a way that individuals cannot be identified.

Youth support services

For pupils aged 13 and over, the school is legally required to pass on certain information to us, as the provider of youth support services. The school must provide the name, address and date of birth of the pupil, the name and address of their parents and any other information relevant to the support services' role. Until pupils are aged 16, their parent(s) can ask that no information beyond their children's name, address and date of birth (and their name and address) be passed to the youth support services. This right transfers to the pupil on their 16th birthday. 

For more information on how we process personal information, email or visit the data protection section of this website.

Pupil records - frequently asked questions

This page was last updated on 25 November 2013