Confidentiality Policy

Introduction

This confidentiality policy sets out the way in which Gloucestershire Special Educational Needs and Disability Information, Advice and Support Service (SENDIASS) operates with respect to the confidentiality of its service users, taking into account current legislation, whilst complying with local government policies and procedures.

SENDIASS Gloucestershire upholds the trust and confidence that parents place in the service by maintaining confidentiality about case work. Personal information may be provided to other professionals in order to achieve desired outcomes for service users. However, this will only occur if parental consent has been obtained.

Aim

To make sure that parents and carers of children with special educational needs are able to access support and information in complete confidence – safe in the knowledge that their records are protected and are not shared with other services without their consent.

Processes and Procedures

All individuals working with children, young people and their families have a duty and responsibility to report any allegations or concerns of a safeguarding nature, which comes to their attention.

Parents usually refer themselves to SENDIASS Gloucestershire when they have concerns about their child’s education. In exceptional circumstances, SENDIASS Gloucestershire staff may agree to contact parents who have been referred to the service by other professionals, who have obtained prior consent to contact details being passed to the service. This will only happen when parents have discussed and agreed that the referral can be made.

SENDIASS Gloucestershire staff will always ask permission to discuss the situation with other professionals if it is appropriate to do so.

SENDIASS Gloucestershire staff will always obtain permission to access records from other professionals if required in order to build a background of the case to provide the appropriate support.

SENDIASS Gloucestershire maintains confidentiality by keeping records separately from the local authority. These records belong to the parents/carers and are securely stored.

SENDIASS Gloucestershire staff will transport case work in a secure manner which ensures confidentiality.

It is generally accepted that if a child is under 12 years of age, their parent or guardian has a right of access to their personal information under the Data Protection Act (1998). If a child has the capacity to make their own request (normally from the age of 12) they will have an independent right of access to their personal information under the Act.

The Confidentiality Policy has been approved by the SENDIASS Gloucestershire Steering Group.