Government to face second judicial review over personal pupil data collection

Government to face second judicial review over personal pupil data collection

Campaign group Defend Digital Me has begun the legal process to challenge the Department for Education over the way it collects pupil-nationality data.

Lawyers for the group have written to the DfE to notify it of the legal challenge against the new alternative provision census.

The census aims to collect more information as to why pupils from mainstream schools end up in alternative provision.

The Defend Digital Me website states that while the group “advocate for better data policy and practice, we are also campaigning to end the bad. Despite our best efforts to bring collaborative change over three years, the Department for Education seems determined to continue to jeopardise children’s confidentiality.”

The campaigners go on to say, on its crowdfunding page, that “ in September the government brought in a Statutory Instrument to collect even more sensitive data to the vast amount of personal data collected on children in state education”, to which they asked for changes.

The group have again asked in December, to first make the existing database safe, “fair and transparent”.

They wrote to the new education secretary Damien Hinds in January to ask for change again
before the collection began on January 18th.

But, according to the group, no changes have been made.

The government claims it needs “more accurate information” on the reasons why pupils move into alternative provision, but campaigners warn that the changes, which were rushed through parliament during the summer recess last year, warned pupils could be “labelled for life”.

Information collected in the AP census on mental health problems, pregnancy, and whether or not a pupil has spent time at a young offenders’ institute will all be recorded and held in the national pupil database.

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