Children's records and data protection Policy

                              Record keeping procedures

                       Children’s records and data protection

During an outbreak of serious illness of disease (such as Covid-19) there may be the need to keep additional records as part of outbreak management. A record is kept of individual cases of children/families who are self-isolating due to symptoms as per usual record-keeping procedures. In all cases the principles of data protection are maintained.

Principles of data protection: lawful processing of data

Personal data shall be:

a)    processed lawfully, fairly and in a transparent manner in relation to the data subject

b)    collected for specified, explicit and legitimate purposes and not further processed in a manner that is not compatible for these purposes

c)    adequate, relevant and necessary in relation to the purposes for which they are processed

d)    accurate, and where necessary, kept up to date; every reasonable step must be taken to ensure that personal data that are inaccurate, having regard to the purpose for which they are processed, are erased or rectified without delay

e)    kept in a form which permits identification of data subjects for no longer than is necessary for the purposes for which the personal data are processed

f)     processed in a manner that ensures appropriate security of the personal data, including protection against unauthorised or unlawful processing and against accidental loss, destruction or damage, using appropriate technical or organisational measures (“integrity and confidentiality”) Article 5 of the General Data Protection Regulations (2018)

we process data, record and share information in line with the principles above.

General safeguarding recording principles

·         we make sure that all relevant interactions linked to safeguarding children’s and individual’s welfare are accurately recorded, signed and dated.

·         We make recordings as soon as possible after the event.

·         We record to a good standard and clear enough to enable someone other than the person who wrote it, to fully understand what is being described.

·         We recognise that recording can potentially be viewed by a parent/carer or Ofsted inspector, by the successors of the educators who record, and may be used in a Family Court as relevant evidence to decide whether a child should remain with their biological parents, or be removed to live somewhere else. We record fairly and accurately, in a non-judgemental in tone, descriptive, relevant, and clearly show what action has been taken to safeguard a child, and reflect decision-making relating to safeguarding.

·         Recording is complete, and we show what the outcome has been, what happened to referrals, why decisions were made to share or not share information, and it contains summaries and minutes of relevant multi-agency meetings and multi-agency communication.

·         If injuries or other safeguarding concerns are being described the description is clear and accurate and should give specific details of the injury observed and where it is located.

The principles of GDPR and effective safeguarding recording practice are upheld

·         Recording is factual and non-judgemental.

·         The procedure for retaining and archiving personal data and the retention schedule and subsequent destruction of data is adhered to.

·       Parents/carers and children where appropriate are made aware of what will be recorded and in what circumstances information is shared, prior to their child starting at the setting. Parents/carers are issued with Privacy notice and should give signed, informed consent to recording and information sharing prior to their child attending the setting. If a parent/carer would not expect their information to be shared in any given situation, normally, they should be asked for consent prior to sharing.

·       There are circumstances where information is shared without consent to safeguard children. These are detailed below, but in summary, information can be shared without consent if we are unable to gain consent, cannot reasonably be expected to gain consent, or gaining consent places a child at risk.

·       Records can be accessed by and information may be shared with local authority professionals. If there are significant safeguarding or welfare concerns, information may also be shared with a family proceedings Court or the police. we are aware of information sharing processes and all families should give informed consent to the way the setting will use, store and share information.

·       Recording should be completed as soon as possible and within 5 working days as a maximum for safeguarding recording timescales.

·         If a child attends more than one setting, a two-way flow of information is established between the parents/carers, and other providers. Where appropriate, comments from others (as above) are incorporated into the child’s records.

Children’s files

·         We keep paper records, in appropriate files. File dividers are inserted into each file alphabetically.

·         Files we keep are as follows:

-       personal details: registration form and consent forms.

-       contractual matters: copies of contract, days and times, record of fees, any fee reminders or records of disputes about fees.

-   SEND support requirements

-   additional focussed intervention provided by the setting e.g. support for behaviour, language or development that needs an Action Plan at setting level

-   records of any meetings held

-       welfare and safeguarding concerns: correspondence and reports: all letters and emails to and from other agencies and confidential reports from other agencies

·           Children’s personal files are kept in a filing cabinet, which is always locked when not in use.

          Correspondence in relation to a child is read, any actions noted, and filed immediately

          Access to children’s personal files is restricted to those authorised to see them and make entries in them, this being the setting manager, deputy or designated person for child protection, the child’s key person, or other staff as authorised by the setting manager.

          Children’s personal files are not handed over to anyone else to look at.

        Children’s files may be handed to Ofsted as part of an inspection or investigation; they may also be handed to local authority staff conducting an audit as long as authorisation is seen.