Data giveaways

There is rarely a route for families’ involvement in decisions that affect their child from high level democratic discussion of the corporate reform of education through to the introduction of technology in education, down to the lack of consultation on 1-2-1 iPad schemes. Without new infrastructure to manage rights, the sector has no route to move forwards to develop a consistent social contract to enable and enforce expectations between schools and families.

Safe spaces for data use is at the heart of good data practice. We believe they work best when they allow researchers to come to the data and walk away with knowledge but not raw data. edTech companies by contrast, often give away raw data and in doing so, are making decisions as data controllers that they have no legal basis to make. We encourage

  • the use of APIs (application programming interface) for data access controls
  • the end of data “sharing” spreading copies of data around different places
  • data usage reports to demonstrate to people you did what you said you would, making the use of data about us more understandable and the use of automated decisions able to be questioned
  • role-based security and audits to oversee who used data, when, where and for what purposes
  • safe data is prioritised in pupil participation in research, in managing edTech procurement, and restoring the power balance between individuals and institutions.