§ Mr. Chris Smith
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what arrangements are made by local education authorities in England for allowing parents access to their children's school records; what guidance he has issued to them on this matter; whether he proposes to take any steps to encourage them to allow greater access to information held on automated and non-automated records; and whether he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Dunn
At present local authorities are free to decide their own policy on parental access to school records, and this will continue to be the case where records are non-automated. Authorities have adopted different policies, and my right hon. Friend has issued no guidance on the matter. If the Data Protection Bill becomes law., local education authorities will be obliged to grant access to personal data held on computers to the child who is the data-subject, or to his parents.
My right hon. Friend is aware that this area is the subject of an increasing level of public debate, and he will take note of any arguments which may be advanced, but he has no plans at present to make a statement.