A Teacher Shared My Child’s Personal Data, Can I Claim?

Teacher shared child's personal data GDPR breach claims guide

Teacher shared child’s personal information, data breach claims guide

If a teacher shares your child’s personal data unlawfully, has a personal data breach occurred? Organisations such as schools and colleges must protect the personal data they have collected. So, suppose a teacher, classroom assistant, or another person who works at your child’s school disclosed your child’s data, can you make a claim on their behalf? Throughout this guide, we will thoroughly explain what a personal data breach is and who can make a data breach claim.

Accident Claims UK can help you if you wish to claim compensation for a school data breach. Our panel of skilled lawyers can value your claim to ensure you receive the correct amount of compensation. Moreover, you have the option to make a No Win No fee claim so that you won’t pay an upfront solicitors fee.

To begin your data breach claim, please call us today on 0800 073 8801. We can offer you free legal advice. And if we can see that you are eligible for compensation, our panel of solicitors can start working on your claim.

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Protecting Children’s Data In A School

Schools are responsible for data protection. In other words, they have a legal obligation to protect personal data belonging to their pupils. Likewise, universities must protect against data breaches. Data protection legislation such as the UK General Data Protection Regulation UK GDPR and the Data Protection Act 2018 set rules for data controllers i.e. schools that collect data from data subjects i.e. pupils within that school.

A personal data breach is a security incident that compromises personal data protection. To be eligible to make a valid personal data breach claim the case must meet the following criteria:

  • Firstly, the data processor or data controller failed to adhere to data protection laws. Therefore, this allowed personal data to be lost, accessed without having a lawful basis, stolen, disclosed, destroyed or altered.
  • Secondly, your child experienced emotional distress or mental health injuries because of the data breach. For example, the child may have been bullied if information about their mental health was breached.
  • Or the data breach caused financial losses.

Does The UK GDPR Apply To Children’s Data

Children, like adults, are granted protection under the UK GDPR. The UK GDPR enhances the protection of any personal information of a child (those being under the age of 18). However, an organisation such as a school may need to involve the child’s parent or guardian in the process of collecting a child’s data.

Information Sharing And Safeguarding Children’s Data

The UK GDPR states that in order to process any personal or personally sensitive data that there must be a lawful reason for doing so. There are 6 lawful bases which means data can be processed.

Providing consent is only one lawful basis this means that personal data can be shared without you agreeing to it first. Also, in order for a child to give consent in many cases, they must be of a certain age. An organisation can share personal data if there is a lawful basis. We have discussed a couple below:

  • Firstly, if there is a vital interest in sharing the data, which means that someone’s life is at risk.
  • Secondly, if there is a public task basis to share the data.

Furthermore, schools may grant access to pupils’ information if it is for the purpose of safeguarding the child. For example, a teacher may have to share personal information with the police or care services if they believe a child is abused.

Access To Pupil’s Personal Information

Parents and guardians of children or children can make a subject access request (SAR) in certain situations. The Information Commissioner’s Office ICO, which is the public independent body for regulating data security laws state that a SAR can be made by a child if the organisation is ”confident they can understand their rights”, or a parent may be granted access with the child’s consent or if it is in the child’s best interest.

There are also educational regulations which give a parent or guardian the right to access their child’s educational record. These regulations vary from region to region. For example, in England, The Education (Pupil Information) (England) Regulations 2005 regulates schools and enables parents or guardians to apply for access to or receive a copy of their child’s educational record.

What Personal Data Could Teachers Have Access To?

Teachers may have access to the following information about a child. The information that is considered special category data needs special protection because of its sensitive nature. Below are some examples of sensitive data:

  • Racial or ethnic origin
  • Philosophical or Religious information
  • The child’s educational record
  • Biometric or genetic data
  • Information about the child’s health

A Teacher Shared My Child’s Personal Data, What Could I Claim?

If a teacher has unlawfully shared your child’s personal data, you could be eligible to claim on your child’s behalf. Your child may have experienced emotional distress as a result. Moreover, a particularly traumatic data breach may cause psychological injuries, such as anxiety or depression.

Data breaches can also lead to financial losses because criminals may use breached data to target the victim for fraud, such as identity theft. In addition, a data breach may cause additional expenses. Such as a parent taking time away from work to look after their child and lose out on income.

If a data breach compensation claim is successful, there are two heads of claim:

  • Material damages compensate the claimant for any money or assets lost because of the data breach.
  • Non-material damages compensate the claimant for emotional distress and mental health injuries the data breach caused.

You can use our compensation table to predict how much compensation can be awarded for non-material damages. Please note that the table only includes compensation for non-material damages.

Severity And Injury Damages Notes
Severe (a) Psychiatric Injuries £54,830 to £115,730 There will be severe problems with relation to this persons ability to cope with work, education and life. It will also impact their relationships. Damages take how successful future treatment could be.
Moderately Severe (b) Psychiatric Injuries £19,070 to £54,830 The person will be affected in similar ways to the above, but the prognosis is more optimistic.
Moderate (c) Psychiatric Injuries £5,860 to £19,070 Prognosis is good, though the person will have been affected in a similar way to those above.
Less Severe (d) Psychiatric Injuries £1,540 to £5,860 How much you could claim is based on how serious any effects were and their duration.
Severe (a) PTSD £59,860 to £100,670 To claim for PTSD the person must have been diagnosed with a reactive psychiatric disorder after an event which causes psychological trauma.
Moderately Severe (b) PTSD £23,150 to £59,860 This person has been given a better prognosis if they have professional help.
Moderate (C) PTSD £8,180 to £23,150 By the time a claim comes to trial (if it needs to) the person has largely made a recovery.
Less Severe (d) PTSD £3,950 to £8,180 Beyond 1 – 2 years the person should have recovered to the point they only have mild symptoms.

We used the updated version 2022 of the Judicial College compensation guidelines to create the contents of the table. However, whilst solicitors use these guidelines to help them value claims, solicitors also consider other information. So if your claim is successful, your compensation settlement may differ from what is included in the table.

How To Claim If A Teacher Shared Your Child’s Personal Data

If a teacher shared your child’s personal data unlawfully you might be looking for some legal advice. Please get in touch with us today, and we can offer you free legal advice about making a data breach claim. Our panel of solicitors may offer to handle your child’s school data breach claim. In addition, all claims taken on are handled on a No Win No Fee basis.

What Are No Win No Fee Solicitors?

  • By acting as a litigation friend for your child you would be asked to sign a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA). This will state what is paid out of the compensation if the case is won.
  • There are no fees to pay the solicitor upfront
  • If the case is won, a success fee will be deducted from the compensation payout at a legally capped rate.
  • And if the claim is not successful, there is no success fee to pay.

Please use the details below to ask any questions about your child’s personal data being shared:

  • Call our data breach claims helpline on 0800 073 8801.
  • Or you can contact us via our website.
  • And we have a support widget, which you can use to ask us a question.

Resources On Educational Data Breaches

You may wish to know more about claiming compensation for educational and public services data breaches. Please read these guides to find out more.

What Are My Rights After The Blackbaud Data Breach?

Children’s School Trip Accident Claims Guide

A Guide To Your Rights After An NHS Data Breach?

An ICO guide to your right to access information from a public body

A guide to your personal data rights, as a data subject

How to raise a complaint if you believe an organisation has breached your personal data.

Thank you for reading our guide on what to do if a teacher shared your child’s personal data.

Guide by HC

Edited by MM.