Tuesday 29 November 2011
Response on non-residents access to info in schools.
Dear Mrs Jackson
Thank you for your email of 22 November requesting clarification about non-resident parents' rights to access information about their child’s progress from their school.
Schools are required by law to ensure that records are kept about each child's progress and achievements. This information is reported to parents, at least annually, through the head teacher's report. The report should include: achievements in all curricular subjects and activities, comments on general progress, examination results, vocational qualifications gained and curricular tests undertaken, assessment information for those children with SEN, attendance, and arrangements for discussing the report with the child’s teacher.
I can confirm that schools must, wherever possible, ensure that they record the contact details of all parents. Education law requires all schools to take reasonable steps to ensure that they report annually to all parents, not just the parent with whom the child lives, on their child’s progress. It also requires them to provide, where requested, access to information recorded on their child’s school records within fifteen days of that request.
Outside of legal obligations, schools usually ensure that all parents known to them have more frequent information about the school and opportunities to contribute to key decisions relating to their child’s education. This includes attending parents’ evenings and discussing any concerns with their teacher. Where separated parents do not agree, however, for example in discussions about how their child’s education takes place, schools must be able to exercise discretion and make judgements based on the circumstances known to them.
Parents should contact the school their child attends and ensure that they record their details as a parent. The school may want proof of identity and relationship with the child. They should then have the opportunity to record how the parent would like to be kept updated on their child's progress.
I hope this information is helpful.
As part of our commitment to improving the service we provide to our customers, we are interested in hearing your views and would welcome your comments via our website at www.education.gov.uk/pcusurvey
Your correspondence has been allocated the reference number 2011/0078521. To contact the Department for Education, please visit www.education.gov.uk/contactus
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