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Student data loss investigated

An urgent investigation has been launched by officials following the loss of confidential student information from a school at a prison.

Paper waste from the Isle of Portland Aldridge Community Academy, Dorset, was sent to the Young Offenders' Institution (YOI) in Portland to be shredded.

The paper was then meant to be pulped and mulched before being converted into fuel briquettes.

But it has emerged that a piece of paper with student information reportedly relating to a recent school trip failed to be destroyed properly.

Parents of students affected by the apparent breach have been contacted as the Prison Service said an inquiry has been launched "as a matter of urgency".

The academy for children aged four to 16, which opened in September 2012, bringing together five local schools, said in a letter to parents that it was informed of the data loss by the YOI's governor.

The school letter said: "We send our paper waste to the YOI, which offers a confidential waste disposal service.

"The paper is shredded, pulped and mulched, and then converted into fuel briquettes.

"The governor of the institution has informed us that they believe that, on one occasion, a single piece of paper that contained some student information was not destroyed in the manner they and we would have expected.

"We view this as a very serious matter. We have spoken to those parents of students whom we believe are directly affected.

"We have taken advice from the Information Commissioner's Office and have instigated an internal investigation."

It added that the academy will no longer be sending confidential waste to be disposed of at the prison, which has an operational capacity to hold 580 prisoners.

A Prison Service spokesman said: "We take the security of information very seriously and this incident is being investigated as a matter of urgency."


From Belfast Telegraph