Frederic Chopin Polish School’s CIC work with children and families will sometimes bring us into contact with confidential information. To ensure that all who use and work within the School can do so with confidence, confidentiality will be respected in the following ways:
CHILDREN AND FAMILIES
- The safety and well-being of the child/young person will be of paramount importance.
- Parents/ carers will have access to any files and records kept on their child, but will not have access to information about any other children.
- Staff are not allowed to discuss individual children, other than for the purposes of curriculum planning/ service management, with anyone other than the parents/carers of that child without their prior consent unless a child/ young person is deemed at risk.
- Information given by parents/ carers should not be passed onto other adults outside Frederic Chopin Polish School CIC without consent unless the child/ young person is deemed at risk.
- Any concerns/evidence relating to a child’s/young person’s safety should be kept in the locked safeguarding file, and contents should not be shared except between relevant staff on a strict ‘need to know’ basis.
- Any issues to do with the employment of staff, volunteers and students, whether paid or unpaid, should remain confidential to the people directly involved with making personnel decisions.
- Staff/volunteers/students will have access to their own files and records, but will not have access to information about any other staff/ volunteer/ student.
- Staff/volunteers/students should not discuss concerns about individual staff members with anyone other than the management team.
- Information given by staff/volunteers/students to the person in charge should not be passed to other adults outside Frederic Chopin Polish School CIC without permission, unless the welfare of other adults and children is deemed to be at risk.
- Staff/volunteers/students will be advised of the confidentiality policy and required to adhere to it.
STAFF, VOLUNTEERS, STUDENTS
All information on children, families and anyone working within Frederic Chopin Polish School CIC (if applicable) is kept securely locked away and treated in confidence. Information will only be shared if the parents, carers or co-workers give their permission, or where there appears to be a child protection/safeguarding issue. The details are easily accessible if any information is required for the Care and Social Services Inspectorate.
All parents receive an information sheet. All written records will be kept securely locked away and all electronic records/data will be password protected and firewalls and virus protection will be kept up-to-date. Frederic Chopin Polish School CIC maintain a record of parent(s)’ and/or emergency contact details, the contact details of the child’s GP and appropriate signed consent forms.
If a child is identified as a child in need (section 17 of the Children Act 1989) the safeguarding officer will, normally with the parent’s permission, give appropriate information to referring agencies.
We expect parents/carers to notify the service leaders of any changes in the child’s/ young person’s home circumstances, care arrangements or any other change which may affect the child’s/ young person’s behaviour such as a new baby, parents’/ carers’ separation, divorce or any bereavement. All information shared will be kept confidential and will not be disclosed without the parent(s)’/carers’ consent, except as required by law, for example, if there appears to be a child protection/safeguarding issue. Please refer to the ‘Working Safely with Children and Young People Policy’.
The Care and Social Services Inspectorate may ask to see records kept on children at any time. Parents/ carers also have the right to inspect all records about their child at any time.
All accidents are recorded on an accident sheet, which is stored in the child’s/ young person’s file.
All significant incidents are recorded on an incident sheet and will be shared and discussed with parents/ carers so that together we can work to resolve any issues.
Parents/ carers may view the information we hold about their family by appointment at a mutually convenient time. Parents/ carers may request, in writing, a copy of their child’s records, the below procedure should be followed:
- Any request made by a parent/carer to see a child’s/young person’s file must be made in writing to the Coordinator / Management Committee.
- The Schools Coordinator informs the Management Committee.
- Frederic Chopin Polish School CIC commits to providing access within 14 working days – although this may be extended.
- The Schools Coordinator and Management Committee prepare the file for viewing.
- Any relevant third party input into the file is written to, stating that a request for disclosure has been received and permission disclose information is sought, a copy of this letter is kept on file.
- ‘Third party’ includes all family members who may be referred to in the child’s/young person’s file.
- It also includes input from other agencies, including social care team, the local health authority etc. it is usual for agencies to refuse consent to disclose, preferring the individual to go directly to them.
- When all the consent/refusals to disclose have been received, copies are attached to the request letter.
- A photocopy of the complete file is taken.
- The School’s Coordinator and Management Committee go through the file and remove any information in which a third party has refused consent to disclose.
- What remains is the information recorded by the service, detailing the work initiated and followed by them in relation to confidential matter. This is called a ‘clean copy’.
- The ‘clean copy’ is photocopied for the parents/carers, who are then invited in to discuss the contents. This will be discussed with the parent/carer so that it can be explained.
- Legal advice may be sought before sharing a file, especially where the parent/carer has possible grounds for litigation against the School or third party.
Frederic Chopin Polish School CIC are required to keep some information about the child/ young person for up to a maximum of 21 years. This includes information about accidents, incidents and attendance records. Financial information is kept for up to 7 years. Daily diaries and development records that are not forwarded when the child leaves, will be kept for up to 4 years.
Documents are disposed of appropriately using a cross cut shredder. Data that is stored electronically is deleted as securely as possible. It may still be possible to retrieve deleted data, so extra care is taken with the disposal of such devices which have been used to store information electronically.