Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 23 July 2014

When data Act does not apply

In an article in the Belfast Telegraph, 'So, what are the questions that puzzle parents?' (June 4), the Council for the Curriculum, Examinations and Assessment is disingenuous.

They pose and answer the following question: 'Can I find out if my child left questions out? No. The council operates a policy in line with the Data Protection Act in this regard and, consequently, access to pupils' test papers or information relating to a pupil's response to test questions is not possible.'

The relevant section of the Data Protection Act is Schedule 7, Miscellaneous Exemptions, section 9(1): 'Personal data consisting of information recorded by candidates during an academic, professional or other examination are exempt from section 7'. Section 7 is the 'Right of access to personal data'.

In short, although the CCEA is not obliged to say whether a child left questions out, the choice is theirs.

To suggest that the DPA precludes it is dishonest.

Dr Mark LomasFormer head of Data Protection Research and Policy Group, British Institute of International and Comparative Law

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting? customercare@belfasttelegraph.co.uk