The Department of Education and Children introduced a pupil database ‘under the radar’. This was at a cost of hundreds of thousands of pounds and despite the fact that the public had very clearly rejected a centralised pupil database. The Office of Data Protection  was not aware that the database was in operation and therefore has no input. The above has already been stated in detail on the blog:

and has now been openly confirmed by Brenda Cannell in a radio interview.  She points out that the recommendations of the appointed committee which looked into the situation were, it seems, dismissed out of hand by Tynwald, which saw no reason to change the situation.

Of course the Department of Education and Children tries to say that this was a time-saving measure. No longer is it necessary to have an officer manually deal with basic details of pupils, absenteeism stats etc. No reference is made to the fact that this was at huge expense to the taxpayer and that the department was actually looking to delve more deeply into schooling issues than had previously been the case:

Various additional issues not previously covered included the plan to compare the academic achievements of children from different backgrounds such as:  looked after children, children with disabilities, low level SEN [Special Educational Needs], youngest children in cohort, achievement of pupils wiith entitlement to free school meals etc.

This is highly sensitive information yet the Office of Data Protection has no input. Tynwald thinks it is just fine to do this – and at the same time ignore all the work put in by the committeee. It seems there is no legislation in place for this procedure and Brenda Cannell tells us that parents could and can refuse to have information about  children entered on the database. If a sufficient number of parents do this the database will become obsolete until the situation is addressed.

Many feel that government runs roughshod over us. This is an opportunity to show we do have clout by refusing to permit this Orwellian-like snooping. Why should we comply? Non-compliance is a simple and effective tool.






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