Confidentiality Policy (incl. Data Protection)
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Bright Little Buttons Montessori Nursery School takes the confidentiality of all staff, children and families very seriously. We will only use and share confidential information when necessary to support the wellbeing of individual children.
The setting will not discuss confidential information about children and their families with other parents/carers. Parent helpers/volunteers will be briefed on the importance of maintaining confidentiality and they will not have access to any personal files or information.
As an Early Years Provider we hold information on children in order to:
- Support their development.
- Monitor their progress.
- Provide appropriate pastoral care.
- Assess how well we as a Provider as a whole are doing.
This information includes date of birth, contact details, attendance information, characteristics such as ethnic group, special educational needs and any relevant medical information.
Records are kept as follows:
- Personal Records. Each child’s individual file will include: registration and enrolment forms, consent forms, information and observations by staff on any confidential issue involving the child; for example, developmental concerns or safeguarding concerns. Also, reports or minutes that may arise from any meetings that concern the child from other agencies working with the child/family. Parents can access these records by following the access to personal information procedure (see below).
- Learning and Development Records. These include observations, assessments, photos, developmental records, and samples of the child’s work. Learning and development records will be stored appropriately to ensure confidentiality within the classroom. These records can be accessed, and contributed to, at any time by staff, the child’s parents/carers and the child.
- Staff Records. Each team member, paid or unpaid, will have a personnel file containing personal information, emergency contact details, next of kin, recruitment information, references, induction records, training records, qualifications and certificates, appraisal records, evidence of DBS clearance. This file can be accessed by the individual to whom the file relates upon request to the management.
- Student Records. Each student will have a file containing personal information, emergency contact numbers, next of kin, and details of course, tutor and induction, confirmation from college/evidence of DBS clearance. This file can be accessed by the individual to whom the file relates upon request to the management.
- Medication Records. Individual records relating to each child/staff member detailing ongoing medication and emergency treatment with consent from parents/carers or the individual.
- Accident and Incident Records. Individual records relating to each child/staff member detailing the nature of the accident/incident, pre-existing injuries, who dealt with it and the outcome. The record will include counter signatures.
All records relating to the children and individuals who have worked with the setting whether paid or unpaid will be archived for a period of time in line with regulations and guidance in the EYFS (minimum of 3 years).
Bright Little Buttons Montessori Nursery School will ensure all Staff/ Volunteers and Students are aware of, and understand the confidentiality policy, and will be asked to sign a record to agree that they have read the policy and agree to abide by it. They will be made aware that any breach of confidentiality may lead to disciplinary action.
The Local Authority (LA) uses information about children for whom it provides services to carry out specific functions for which it is responsible. For example, the Local Authority will make an assessment of any special educational needs the child may have. The information is also kept and shared with West Sussex County Council and their Commissioned Partners for the purpose of claiming funding, but may be used for the wider purpose of planning services for children and families. It will also be shared with local health teams and partners to plan developmental checks for two year olds and will be shared with your local Children and Family Centre.
Should you have any queries regarding the information shared please speak to a member of staff.
Breach of Confidentiality
All Staff members are expected to regard confidentiality as a duty and a responsibility. Staff who disclose information observed or heard without proper authorisation, will be subject to the setting’s disciplinary procedure and this could lead to the termination of their contract.
Action taken will correspond to the seriousness and level of the breach of the confidentiality policy; however, all cases will be treated in a serious manner.
Any breaches of confidentiality, and in particular those relating to the improper use or handling of personal data will be reported to the Information Commissioner’s Office and, where appropriate, Ofsted immediately, and their advice, recommendations and penalties will be fully complied with and adhered to.
Sharing information with confidence
- Parents will have access to the registration and development records of their own children but will not have access to information about any other child.
- Staff records will be stored in a lockable filing cabinet within the provision and will be accessed only by staff members through the Manager/Supervisor.
- Information given will be shared on a need to know basis with a child’s key person, other team members in the child’s classroom and other professionals. This will only be done with the consent of the parent/carer or in cases of safeguarding issues.
- Issues relating to the employment of staff, whether paid or unpaid, will remain confidential to the people directly involved with making workforce decisions.
Access to personal information procedure
Where other agencies have provided Bright Little Buttons with information about specific children or parents using our service, those concerned may request access to records held on themselves and/or their child by following this procedure.
- Any request to see the child’s personal record by a person with parental responsibility must be made to the Manager. (Where a verbal request is made the following process will still be applied).
- The Manager will reply with a written acknowledgement.
- The setting commits to providing access within 28 days.
- Any third parties will be contacted in writing stating that a request for disclosure has been received, and asking for their permission to disclose, to the person making the request. Copies of these letters are retained for the file.
- Third parties, including family members, who may be referred to in the records, as well as workers from other agencies such as the West Sussex Safeguarding Children’s Board, can refuse consent to disclose, preferring the individual to go directly to them.
- When all consent/refusals to disclose have been received these are attached to the copy of the request letter.
- A copy of the file is taken.
- Where a third party has refused disclosure of information, these references will be edited and as much information supplied as is possible.
- The information will be supplied either in hard copy format or on screen.
- The child’s parent/carer may verbally request to see their child’s Learning and Development Record at any time, to read or to make a contribution to. This request can be made to their child’s Key Person and can be accessed at any time.
Bright Little Buttons Montessori Nursery School is required to keep and maintain records to comply with Ofsted registration and the legal requirements in the EYFS. We are aware of the requirements of the Data Protection Act 1998 and the General Data Protection Regulations 2016/679 and comply with the principles which state that personal data must be:
- Obtained and processed fairly and lawfully.
- Held for lawful purpose.
- Used only for the purpose stated.
- Accurate and up to date.
- Held no longer than the required time.
- Accessible to the individual concerned or individuals with parental responsibility.
- Appropriately secure.
- Disclosed only using the access to information procedure.
We have checked the requirements of the Data Protection Act 1998 and the General Data Protection Regulations 2016/679 and are registered with the Information Commissioner’s Office.
Parents/Carers will be required to sign to consent to necessary information being held.
Further information on data protection registration/exemption can be found at www.ico.gov.uk