Freedom of Information and Data Protection

Freedom of Information and Data Protection

All educational establishments are obliged to comply with data protection legislation. Since GDPR coming into force in May 2018, there is a growing awareness among the public of the responsibilities of education institutions in relation to the regulations. This has led to a more frequent use of subject data access requests from learners and their parents, which need to be carefully weighed up against safeguarding issues and the protection of others’ personal data.

As specialists in both data protection and education laws, we are frequently called upon to advise on subject access requests and assist schools with their responses to such requests. With tighter time limits set under new data protection laws, it is all the more important to respond to such requests both quickly and correctly and to have correct processes and procedures in place for the management of personal data generally.

Freedom of Information Act requests are also becoming increasingly common and many educational establishments are subject to these rules in respect of information held by them for the purposes of operating their establishment. We can provide assistance in responding to such requests including providing advice on what the disclosure requirements are and where exceptions can be relied upon.