News / Campaign

National Children’s Day 2021 UK

On National Children’s Day here’s some highlights from our work all year round. We aim to protect the rights and freedoms of children to ensure they can fully develop and flourish into adulthood, based on UNCRC principles including privacy and participation.
In the last year we have pursued the outcomes of the ongoing ICO audit of the National Pupil Database. A database from the records of over 21 million people’s state education shared with commercial companies, thinks tanks, press and other third parties, without families’ knowing.
In 2020 we ensured the destruction of the nationality and country of birth data collected during the school censuses 2016-2018, and that was intended “once collected” for use by the Home Office for immigration enforcement purposes.
In the #StateOfData2020 report our research explains for the first time how many national pupil data collections there are from state tests and the 50 school censuses over a child’s lifetime, aside from the Early Years and Alternative Provision or others, showing how they build a child’s named record in the National Pupil Database. Over 20 speakers contributed to our 2-day report launch #TheStateOfData2020 on topics like data in public services to reflections on edTech and remote learning, on digital monitoring and children’s privacy. Catch up with the free talks here.
In 2020 we worked on getting clarity and assurance from the Information Commissioners Office, that the Age Appropriate Design Code, enforceable from Sept 2021, will be applied to edTech.
Internationally, we supported the Council of Europe Committee on Convention 108 to develop data protection guidelines for education settings, “to help legislators and policy makers, data controllers as well as industry to uphold these rights.”
This year we are asking Ofqual to ensure exam boards explain how each candidate’s grade is reached; ensuring automated decisions and Key Stage 2 score data used in the comparable outcomes model and everything else, is made transparent to build in better fairness and deliver a trustworthy model, focussing on eight areas and key tests.
We are also working on police data policy like the National Law Enforcement Data Service or Policing Crime Sentencing and Courts Bill as regards children. We are campaigning for a Child Rights Impact Assessment of the new national mega database among other things.
And when it comes to the DCMS Online Safety Tech and Online Harms agenda, Home Office and Prevent, we are listening and working on an alternative to the controversial national Review. The education sector made a third of all referrals (2,426) to the programme in 2017/2018, almost all for the under 20s.
We appreciate and are grateful for all the collaborations, support, and coalition work that helps us make change happen.
If you want to help us achieve our aims, you can. Every donation helps us hold the government to account and to challenge corporate accountability. We speak truth to power to protect children from failures to respect their human rights today on National Children’s Day 2021, and every day.