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Do you think that some schools have gone too far with the GDPR rules?

Discussion in 'Education news' started by TES_Rosaline, Jun 20, 2018.

  1. TES_Rosaline

    TES_Rosaline Administrator Staff Member

    'At the end of last month, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) came into effect, changing how organisations can use personal information.

    However, teachers have now taken to Twitter to exchange "bonkers" stories about how the rule is being implemented.

    According to one report, parents have been told they cannot put names on school bags because of GDPR.

    And letters have been sent home asking parents' permission for their child to be included in class photos going out to other families.'


    What are your views? Do you think that some of the rules to protect personal data have been misinterpreted? What do you think of the lengths that some schools will go to protect personal data? Has this situation about the new regulations been handled correctly? Do you have other examples of where the GDPR rules have been misapplied or used in the wrong way? What do you think needs to be done to ensure that GDPR is used correctly to secure the relevant data?
  2. MrMedia

    MrMedia Star commenter

    I think if you allow staff to access emails, online tracking data, school data and other information from off premises you are likely to make this data be available to people who share living space with teachers.

    Ergo, teachers should not be allowed to access or update email, tracking sheets, or any other data off-site.

    It’s another vote winner.
    Janettap, JohnJCazorla and Stiltskin like this.
  3. Stiltskin

    Stiltskin Lead commenter

    I think that some schools don't really understand GDPR regulations in the same way they stop many things because they don't understand Health and Safety regulations. (Agree with @MrMedia though!) .
  4. sparkleghirl

    sparkleghirl Star commenter

    It's par for the course. We have very many poor quality SMTs who just aren't capable of implementing policies and ideas in a sensible, measured way.

    Look at how some of them impose initiatives like Growth Mindset, how they insist on rigid lesson structures and planning formats, how formulaic some teaching has become. They lack the intellectual ability to apply things appropriately, to make decisions on a case by case basis of what is suitable for a certain school or a certain class and so make blanket 'policies' which often misunderstand and undermine the purpose of what they're trying to do.

    Why should they be any better at understanding digital privacy regulations?
  5. Lalad

    Lalad Lead commenter

    I recently visited a school where I had to give in my phone at reception and collect it from them when I signed out. What they didn't realise (because they didn't ask) was that I had an iPad in my bag which I could easily have used to take photos had I wished, totally defeating the purpose of confiscating my phone!
  6. ridleyrumpus

    ridleyrumpus Lead commenter

    We have been told that
    • We cannot have seating plans on paper unless they are locked up. Sort of defeats the purpose.
    • We cannot have paper-based markbooks, unless they are locked up.
    • We cannot have target grades with names displayed unless locked up. Sort of makes books with targets on tricky but on the bright side makes taking home books to mark "illegal". Hurrah.
    I think that the snake oil salesmen have been out in force spreading **** and then selling their services.

    In reality, if you had a decent DP system then GDPR should not be much of a hurdle.

    *Fear Uncertainty and Doubt.
  7. grumbleweed

    grumbleweed Lead commenter

    Surely asking parental permissions to take and share photos is nothing new? We were doing that at least 15 years ago.
    border_walker likes this.
  8. jokaptijn

    jokaptijn New commenter

    I think GDPR is being blamed for many things that as @grumbleweed says were already 'law' under DPA - consent for photo's etc. Main change for consent is that it must be by 'opt-in' not 'if you don't object, we'll take it you consent'.

    But GDPR's new 'accountability' principle for data controllers (schools) is making people re-assess how securely they look after esp. sensitive data. And who they share the information with.

    Some 'bonkers' things are often a misinterpretations
    - names on outside of school bags has nothing to do with school data processing/GDPR, (but may be sensible approach to 'stranger danger' for older children who walk to school unaccompanied)
    - taking first names out of a card - over the top.
    - not being able to mention pupil names in an email (earlier thread) - this is someone not understanding DP. Of course pupils may need to be referred to when following up incidences. But general email best practices would apply ie: names not in subject line, not using inappropriate language, not shared with people who do not need to know, + is email really the best way to communicate and monitor? (maybe in certain situations/not in others) etc
    - seating plans/mark books/target grades: GDPR/DAP does not impose rules except that personal information (and especially sensitive information) should be stored with appropriate security. Seems reasonable?

    Taking stuff home / using school network at home: all ok under GDPR/DPA as long as people know their responsibilities to not share it etc and follow the school policy for what they can access/remove from the school.

    I vote for common sense policies and attitudes :)
    agathamorse likes this.
  9. ViolaClef

    ViolaClef Lead commenter

    I agree.

    Not many people seem to have them now, though.
    FrankWolley and BetterNow like this.

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