Strict guidelines exist within the school covering children and young people. Observations and assessments of pupils are recorded in line with the school policy and guidelines. This may require the school to request permission from parents to gather certain information.
Teaching Assistants will receive information about children from parents or carers. School staff will also pass on important information about children such as medical history also social and domestic issues that may affect the learning ability of the child. In all cases, this information must be kept in total confidence and not shared with anyone without the need to know. Information about a child must not be passed on to other adults or agencies unless there is a written agreement in place to allow this to happen.
A common trap to be avoided is out of school conversations with other parents who may want to talk about children other than their own. A Teaching Assistant must always behave professionally in these circumstances and not engage in conversations that may compromise a child or family’s rights to confidentiality.
In summary, Teaching Assistants must never pass on confidential or personal information unless explicit approval has been given to do so and even then only if the authorised person receiving the information actually needs it.
The taking of photographs is covered by the schools confidentiality policy. Parents must give their permission for photographs of the children to be used by the school for websites or newsletters etc. Names should never appear with pictures to maintain a child’s confidentiality and safety.
Parents can take photographs of children at school events. In these circumstances other children will inevitably appear on the photographs. The school therefore requests parents, not to upload these pictures onto the Internet.
The Data Protection Act 1998 sets out the requirements for the gathering, processing and storing of personal information.
Schools holding protected data must be registered with Information Commissioners Office
There are seven overarching principles…