Pupils: Personal Records

Department for Education written question – answered on 16th April 2019.

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Photo of Rosie Cooper Rosie Cooper Labour, West Lancashire

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether (a) nationality and (b) country-of-birth data collected in the school census (i) has not been, (ii) is not and (iii) will not be processed for Home Office purposes; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Nick Gibb Nick Gibb Minister of State (Education)

The Department collected data on the nationality and country of birth of pupils via the school census between autumn 2016 and summer 2018. This data was collected for research purposes and has not been shared, nor will it be shared, with the Home Office for immigration enforcement purposes.

The Home Office can only request information from the Department for Education for immigration enforcement purposes in circumstances where they have clear evidence a child may be at risk or there is evidence of illegal activity, including illegal immigration. In such cases limited data including a pupil’s address and school details may be requested from the National Pupil Database. It is right that this data is shared if it helps to keep a child safe from harm or to disrupt a crime.

The basis for sharing information is set out in a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Department for Education and the Home Office. A copy of this agreement is available in the house library.

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