Being a keen genealogist I have a strong interest in filling the blanks about my family history. My dad had loads of photos and diaries about church / holidays but wrote almost nothing about the schools he taught at. Keen to fill in the blanks I found plenty of material on the National Archives website that might help. I took notes of all the collections SL reference numbers an sallied forth to my Local Authority archives. With almost childish enthusiasm I asked to access the 1950-60 admissions. No chance - not available till 2050 by which time I will be pushing up daisies. Why, I asked - 'because they contain birth dates', they explained. Nor could I access log books or any minutes of governor meetings. Apparently they are not even open for 'genuine' academic research for University research or book writing. If I had asked 20 years ago there would have been no problem. I went away downhearted but mulling it over asked myself the question - who can see such things before they have aged 100 years. Why can Ofsted ask for and read minutes from a school. Why has the DFE got names and birth dates of all children ?. What do they need it for ?. If I cannot use the data to find pupils that were taught by my dad why should they be able to?