News / legislation National Pupil Database

Left school? So has lots of personal data about you.

Wondering what to do with the final hours before A-level Results Day or GCSEs next week? Here’s an idea. Find out who knows what about you from your school records and what’s stored in the national databases from your exams and education, and why.

1. You’ve finished school, congratulations!

You can ask for a copy of your school records and who your personal data has been passed on to. You can ask whether the school or setting has informed third-parties to no longer process your personal data now you have left, such as fingerprints for the cashless catering system, library company app, or door access. Or to see your profile stored from monitoring your Internet use.

Here’s a suggested text to copy and edit below or download here. Adapt it and send to your school or local setting by email or post. It’s free.

2. Know about your named national school records?

You can use a similar request process, to ask about your national record too.

If you have been state educated in England since 2002, you have the right to ask the Department for Education (DfE) for all the information they hold in your named records. You can make a “Subject Access request.” It’s a free process to help you protect your rights under data protection law.

As well as giving you a copy of the data they hold, which might be hundreds of pieces of information, the Department should also be able to tell you who they have given it to, possibly over 3,000 times since 2012 and tell you how to make corrections to mistakes.

Follow our simple and free step-by-step guide to support your right to access, to find out what your or your child’s records say at the Department for Education. Remember to ask which data it might have been linked with as well.

Read more about your Right of Access on the ICO website. Your data matters. Or contact us for help if you need additional support.

3. Finished further education, taken A-levels or GCSEs at school or even state funded courses in adult education, well done!

Did you know that you’ll now have a national named record as a result? Find out more here and what you can do if you don’t want it given away.

There is a national opt out of that data sharing by the Learner Records Service  from Department for Education. The background and opt out are summarised here. The further education (FE) and skills sector in England uses the Individualised Learner Record (ILR) to collect data about learners in the sector and the learning undertaken by each of them but it’s also given away to third parties as part of the National Pupil Database.

The LRS collects information about learners registering for relevant post-14 qualifications, for example:

  • GCSEs and A-Levels
  • Entry to Employment Certificates
  • Regulated Qualifications Frameworks
  • Welsh Baccalaureate and associated units

This means 14+, 16-19 (excluding Apprenticeships) Adult Education, Apprenticeships (from 1 May 2017), Community Learning, European Social Funding (ESF) and Other 16-19.

You can take action to opt out of third party sharing your participation and achievement data.

  • Contact the LRS Service Desk on 0345 602 2589. If necessary, refer to their handout.
  • Ask to opt out of sharing your participation and achievement data. You will be required to provide some personal details to confirm your identify, which may include your Unique Learner Number (ULN), if known. 
  • Confirm what effect this has, for example whether the statement in the DfE handout is correct: Note: if you do opt-out, Awarding Organisations may not be able be see who you are and so may not be able to award you a certificate but that is something you should already have. Make sure it is clear what that may mean for you, at the stage of life you are at. (We believe that the DfE may need to change this part of the process.)
  • If you wish, contact us to discuss your experience afterwards, We can track it as an anonymous / generalised case study and it may help us make things better for everyone.

4. Heading off to higher education, congratulations!

Did you apply through UCAS and provide them with equality monitoring data about sexual orientation, religion or disability?

Have a read where it goes and if you’ve concerns or questions about how UCAS can use or pass on your personal information you can email or write to: Data Protection Officer, UCAS, Rosehill, New Barn Lane, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, GL52 3LZ.

You can ask them for a copy of everything they hold about you and why and what they have done with it, and for corrections to be made to errors. Depending on how it is being used, you can even ask organisations to stop processing and if they refuse, complain to the ICO where you hadn’t understood that they would process your data like this, and object.

5. Why not tell your friends too?

Share this link with them and find out who knows what about you. Use the hashtag #MyRecordsMyRights and use your rights to access and opt out.


[Your full address]
[Phone number and email] [date]

Dear _______________________________,

Subject access request

I am making a subject access request, under the Data Protection Act 2018 f
or myself / a young child for whom I have parental responsibility. [select the correct one]

Name or name of child: ____________________________________________________

[Insert your full name or child’s name and address and address of the school attended and which year(s).]

Please supply the personal data about me or my child that I am entitled to under data protection law processed by the school or any third-party processor or controller [add and/or edit as appropriate].

  • stored in the school information management systems, onsite or on cloud servers
  • biometric data from using access systems, cashless catering, printing or library systems
  • safeguarding-in-schools software, that may have been used in monitoring my Internet use
  • apps, platforms, and other third-party software, that school staff may have created accounts for using personal data and any other companies that school passed my personal data on to
  • CCTV and any other cameras used in school (bodyworn, head cams, webcams, patrol crossing)

Please confirm

  • who the school has disclosed it to, and confirm the current organisation / data controller name
  • the reasons why you or a third-party organisation is holding it, including whether it is used in any automatic profiling or decision making such as at Local Authority level.
  • for each type of data how long you or the third-party will retain those data and for what purposes after I have left school.

If you need any more information from me to help you process this request, please let me know as soon as possible. Please respond according to data protection law, within one calendar month.

If you do not normally deal with these requests, please pass this letter to your Data Protection Officer. The Information Commissioner’s Office may assist you if necessary. See and it can be contacted on 0303 123 1113.

Thank you.