Letter to School to Request Child Educational Records Fill out the template

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Letter to School to Request Child Educational Records

Last revision Last revision 27/01/2024
Formats FormatsWord and PDF
Size Size1 to 2 pages
5 - 1 vote
Fill out the template

Last revisionLast revision: 27/01/2024

FormatsAvailable formats: Word and PDF

SizeSize: 1 to 2 pages

Option: Help from a lawyer

Rating: 5 - 1 vote

Fill out the template

This document can be used by a parent or carer of a child to make a request for the disclosure of a child's educational record. This document should be used by a parent with Parental Responsibility or by any person who has care of the child. This document is for use where the parties are living in England or in Wales. This document is for use where the child attends a school which is maintained by a local authority (commonly known as a 'state school'), including any special educational needs school. The document may also be used where the child attends a school which caters for special educational needs, even where this is not a school which is maintained by the local authority. The document is not suitable where the request is to be made to any other type of independent school, as different rules apply to those schools.

Purpose of the request

A parent may wish to request educational information about their child for a range of reasons. For example, this type of request may be made where:

  • the parents of a child have separated and the non-resident parent (the parent with whom the child does not live) wishes to obtain educational reports or records in relation to a child where the school has failed to communicate this information to them; or
  • a parent, both parents or a child's guardian wish to obtain the educational record in order to simply clarify certain information about their child; or
  • a person has taken over the care of a child and requires information about the child's education to assist them in caring for the child; or
  • a parent or carer is appealing a Special Educational Needs decision in England and the educational records will form part of the evidence within such an appeal; or
  • a parent or carer is appealing a decision about statement of Special Educational Needs or an Individual Development Plan in Wales and the educational records will form part of the evidence within such an appeal.

Schools must also ensure that the admissions register holds the names and addresses of all parents. A request can also be made within the letter for the register to be updated where the parent or carer's details have not been included within the register.

Types of information which may be requested

An educational record includes information which is processed by or on behalf of the governing body or teacher of the relevant school and has originated from:

  • the child; or
  • a parent of the child; or
  • an employee of any local authority maintaining the school; or
  • an employee or teacher of any school which caters for specialist educational needs.

The term 'educational record' therefore covers a wide range of information. Typically, this will include things such as academic achievements and reports. A parent or carer may wish to make their request more specific. For example, a parent or carer may request the child's curricular record. Curricular records are formal records of the child's academic achievements, other skills and abilities and their progress in school.

A parent or carer may also wish to make a request for a copy of the child's annual report. Every parent is entitled to receive an annual report in respect of their child which sets out the child's progress for that academic year. Where a parent has not received the annual report, this document can be used to request that the information is sent to them and to notify the school that this is information that they are entitled to receive.

Where a parent or carer wishes to obtain other additional personal information held by a school (i.e. information in addition to and other than educational records), they may wish to submit a broader subject access request in order to complain about this information.

How to use this document

The letter should be completed with the relevant information. Some schools may specify that the request should be marked for the attention of a specific individual (such as the chair of the governing body). It is useful to check this information so that the letter can be marked for the attention of the relevant person.

The parent or carer who is making the request may wish to attach evidence that they hold Parental Responsibility for the child, or that they are the child's carer. This can be particularly useful where the person making the request feels that there has been some ambiguity about their relationship to the child or where they feel that their right to receive the information may be questioned by the school.

Once completed, the letter can be signed and posted to the school. Alternatively, it can be attached to an email and sent electronically. A parent or carer is entitled to receive the requested information within 15 school days of the school's receipt of the request. There are some limited grounds upon which a school may refuse the request. Examples of such grounds could include a situation where the school is unable to disclose the information under data protection laws or where there is a family court order in place which restricts the parent's right to receive the information. The reasoning for any such refusal should be made clear within the response provided.

Relevant law

The relevant laws which relate to the disclosure and maintenance of educational records are:

  • The Education Act 1996
  • The Freedom of Information Act 2000
  • The Education (Pupil Information) (England) Regulations 2005 (SI 2005/1437)
  • The Education (Pupil Registration) (England) Regulations 2006 (SI 2006/1751)
  • The Pupil Information (Wales) Regulations 2011 (SI 2011/1942)
  • The Head Teacher's Report to Parents and Adult Pupils (Wales) Regulations 2011 (SI 2011/1943)

The relevant definition of parent is contained within the Education Act 1996. The definition of Parental Responsibility will depend upon the nature of the parties' relationship to each other and the child. The provisions are contained in:

  • The Children Act 1989
  • The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008
  • The Legitimacy Act 1976
  • The Law Reform Act 1987
  • The Adoption and Children Act 2002.

Data protection laws also apply to personal data held by schools and will also be relevant to requests for the disclosure of educational records. Those laws are:

  • The Data Protection Act 2018
  • The retained EU General Data Protection Regulation 2016/679 (UK GDPR).

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