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Data Protection

Volume 205: debated on Tuesday 10 March 1992

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To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science whether school governors and heads who use a computer to perform statutory duties are required to make a separate registration under the Data Protection Act 1984; what steps he is taking to indemnify them; and if he will make a statement.

Guidance to schools on the implications of the Data Protection Act, issued last November, was prepared in consultation with the Data Protection Registrar. The guidance contained advice that school governing bodies and head teachers should register if, in connection with their statutory duties, they keep information containing personal data (as defined in the Act) that can be automatically processed. The guidance identified those duties which fall to either the governing body or head teacher.The cost of registration under the Act was one of a range of pressures on LEAs which the Government took into account in fixing education standard spending at a level 7 per cent. higher than in 1991–92. Registration lasts for three years, and may cover as many purposes as appropriate, for a single fee.