Following the announcement last Summer that nationality and country-of-birth data must no longer be collected in the school census, we are calling for parents and pupils to take action to retract any previously collected data to resist the hostile environment.
The Department for Education scrapped the collection of this data in June 2018 following efforts by campaigners, parents and teachers. While the decision marked a major victory for campaigners, subsequent revelations show that national pupil data has been used for immigration enforcement purposes since 2015 – with a marked rise in data received by the Home Office following the census data collection that began in 2016.
Data previously collected is still being held on the National Pupil Database and handovers to the Home Office continue on a monthly basis – and while it does not appear that country-of-birth and nationality data is being transferred, parents and schoolchildren can take action now to retract this data submitted in the census between 2016-18.
We strongly encourage parents and pupils to object to the continued processing of data as we back calls for the Department for Education to take the following steps:
- The deletion of all pupil nationality and country of birth data collected and stored by DfE, as soon as possible
- The safeguarding of all pupil personal data collected through schools from Home Office requests for immigration enforcement purposes
- To revoke The Education (Pupil Information) (England) (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 2016
Parents & pupils, here’s how you can take action:
- Withdraw nationality and country-of-birth data collected between 2016-18:
- Contact your school administrator in writing to demand that this data is not retained for your children at your school and that it is withdrawn from the Department for Education at national level and from other data transfers to Local Authorities or shared datasets
- Follow up any correspondence with a request for written assurance that the data has been deleted
A template letter to to email or post to your school is available here and an additional form for your school administrator to complete can be found here. This second form is to ensure that requests to retract data will be sent to the Department for Education.
2. Help raise awareness of the right to request nationality and country of birth data removal from the 2016-18 school census collection: tag @Schools_ABC for a retweet – to help amplify our objections! #BoycottSchoolCensus #HostileEnvironment
3. Write to your MP supporting the above demands on the Department for Education to scrap the National Pupil Database.
Schools ABC and human rights organisation Liberty have lodged a complaint with the ICO about the retention of country of birth and nationality data and are expecting a response in the near-future.