Data Protection an Issue in Schools

A recent survey by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has revealed that whilst schools are aware of data protection obligations, very few are acting on them, with as many as one in five schools admitting to having insecure email systems.

The ICO recently surveyed four-hundred schools across nine local authorities and found that generally awareness of the data protection law was good, with ninety-five percent of schools saying they provide some details to parents and pupils about what is done with their personal information.

However, the survey also revealed that schools need to pay more attention to the data protection laws, which if breached could result in fines up to £500,000, after twenty-percent of those who participated in the survey admitting that their email systems were insecure.
Following the results of the survey, the ICO have issued a report, which advises schools on how to comply with the Data Protection Act, with advice including how to accurately notifying the ICO about why the need to process personal data; and guidelines on how to train staff and governors in the basics of information security.

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