Your right to a copy of your child’s school record
The Department of Education (DfE) makes it clear that state school parents have a right to a copy of their child’s school record if they put a request in writing to see it and on payment of photocopying costs. It is illegal for parents to be told that there are conditions to meet before they get a copy of the record. The school cannot insist that parents attend a meeting to receive it. If the school refuses to allow you to have a copy of the file, you can print out information about your rights from the Information Commisioner’s Office website and send it to the school. The record must be supplied within 15 days, not including weekends and holidays. If the record is inaccurate it must be amended by removing or correcting the inaccurate part. If the school disagrees, the original letter from the parents must be put onto the file and treated as part of the record. In certain circumstances a pupil or his parents can appeal to a court under the Data Protection Act 1998 to have educational records destroyed or amended. If a child transfers to another school, including an independent school or college, their record must be automatically transferred. However, there are some records which parents are not allowed to see. These include:
- a teacher’s record kept solely for the teacher’s personal use
- when the holder believes that disclosure would be likely to cause serious harm to the physical, mental or emotional health of the pupil in question, or any other person
- when the records would disclose information about another pupil
- where the holder believes the record is relevant to whether the pupil is, or has been, a victim of child abuse or many be at risk of it
If your child attends an academy, free school or an independent school then there is no equivalent legal right to access your child’s school record. This will be up to the school to make the decision to allow you access.