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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
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My daughter was suspicious that teacher were reading her

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My daughter was suspicious that teacher were reading her homework file on the school computer system so she left a document on the system to find out. The teachers were in fact reading all of her documents. She was subsequently dismissed from the school for this action. My daughter thought she had a right to privacy under the data protection act. Does she?

Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and I will be assisting you with your question today.

How long did she work there for, when was she dismissed and was there a policy dealing with the privacy at work?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
My daughter returned to her old school to study A levels. .After eight days the school withdrew their offer of a place at their 6th form following allegations of entrapment. My daughter suspected that staff at the school were watching her every move to have her removed (She is transgender) so she left a document in her homework file stating I've caught you.Now you know I am on to you. This was the main reason for her dismissal. They also accused her of plagiarism which I have independently disproved. My daughter thought she had a right to privacy for the work she had completed on the school computer. The headmaster and local police have said she has no such write to data protection.

ok so she was just studying here, she was not employed by them? I assumed when you said dismissed that she was employed by them...

Anyway, data protection only covers personal data, that is data from which a living individual can be identified. Homework could amount to personal data if it can be used to identify her, so if she has her name on the documents or anything else from which she can be personally identified.

However, just because something is personal data does not mean that no one can’t access it. they can as long as there is a clear policy allowing them to do so. Therefore, that is where school policies would come in. For example, they could say that anything which is stored on school property (i.e. on their servers or hard drives) is not protected and can be accessed if necessary and if required in the specific circumstances.

So a right to privacy does exist but that is not unconditional. If there were specific policies allowing them to do this then they could have done it but she needs to check if this was the case, otherwise there could have been a breach of data protection.

I hope this has answered your query. I would be grateful if you could please take a second to leave a positive rating by selecting 3, 4 or 5 stars - this is an important part of our process and recognises the time I have spent assisting you. If you still need me to clarify anything else, please get back to me on here and I will assist further as best as I can. Thank you

Ben Jones and 2 other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Many thanks Ben your answer is very clear. Please award 5 stars
Malcolm Phillips

Many thanks and all the best