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TEACHERS RESIST EXTENSION OF DATA PROTECTION RULES

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Teachers' representatives will resist giving pupils and their parents open access to their school records, the Inde...
Teachers' representatives will resist giving pupils and their parents open access to their school records, the Independent reports (p3).

The Department of Education has been canvassing educational organisations for reactions to the White Paper on Open Government, published in July, which suggests that access rights to computer records under the 1984 Data Protection Act should be extended to paper records. Most school records are kept on paper.

Doug McEvoy, general secretary of the National Union of Teachers, said that teachers must be allowed discretion, for example in cases where children have passed confidential information to their teachers that they would not want parents to see.

Tony Higgins, chief executive of the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service, said that some teachers in higher education would want references to remain confidential, reports the Independent.

The Campaign for Freedom of Information maintained that denying open access to school records meant that unjustified comments could stay on record, and that cases where disclosure would put pupils at risk were covered by the Data Protection Act rules.
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