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Different ways of requesting Personal Data
Most of you will have heard about subject access requests, however you may not have heard of another method of requesting personal information when it is to be used for a person who is bringing about a civil trial. Civil trials use the courts to make decisions regarding claims by one individual or group against another. They are different from criminal trials, in which the courts prosecute an individual for violation of criminal law. If a person is involved in a civil trial they may request information from you under civil procedure rules (CPR). Limited personal data may also be requested under the Education Regulations 2005. Let’s look at each of these.
The default setting is that a request for personal information should be dealt with as a subject access request. If the request is made by the individual and they are known to you, you do not need to ask for proof of ID. If the request is made by a parent, you must remember that parent’s do not have an automatic right to their child’s information and if the child is over 12 years old you should be asking the parent to provide consent from their child or gaining consent from the child yourself before the request becomes active, unless there are concerns over the child’s capacity to consent. Sometimes a solicitor acting on behalf of the parent may request the information this should be treated as if the parent was making the request and you will need proof of consent to share. Once you are satisfied that the request is valid, you can contact IGS and we will help you through the process.
If you do receive a request under civil procedure rules (CPR) it is likely that you will receive consent from a litigation friend, this may be a parent, friend or someone who has been appointed by the courts. The request should only be for certain information which is relevant to the civil claim and it can be tricky to figure out what should be disclosed. We advise that you contact your legal team as soon as possible so that they can advise you of your next steps.
Also remember for maintained schools there is an additional right of access to curricular and educational records defined in the Education (Pupil Information) (England) Regulations 2005. The timescale for responding to such requests is fifteen days from receipt of the request (excluding the summer holiday).