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Keeping schools safe

Have you lawfully disposed of student records during the summer break? If not, you'll want to give our blog on 'keeping school's safe' a read... 


As UK fraud reached record highs this year, there has never been a better time to re-organise filing systems and legally dispose of outdated student and staff records via high-security shredding, to help protect schools and educational institutions from a data breach.


According to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), there was a 22% increase in the loss or theft of paperwork in 2017; the ICO suggested that these figures were a result of problems with effective disposal of paper records.


To lawfully and efficiently dispose of data, it’s important to realise what types of data should be shredded and when. We’ve outlined them below:


Our most requested service from schools is to shred school records, which have to be kept for a certain amount of time after students/staff members leave the school or college. Records often contain personal details such as names, addresses, dates of birth and educational details.


When records are no longer needed it can be difficult to decide when they should be destroyed, while keeping records indefinitely can pose their own threats including a lack of space or the risk of a data breach. Even though you no longer need or use records, it’s still your responsibility to make sure they’re held securely or disposed of correctly. As the data holder, you have a responsibility to set a timeframe for the destruction of records and you should notify the person it relates in case they wish to have their own copy of the record before the original is destroyed.


Financial records do differ slightly from school records in that they may need to be available for a longer period of time. For this reason, it may be worth transferring data to an online storage cloud like our TopDrawer service or send it for safe storage off-site, which will free up physical space in your workplace.


The issue of safe and secure disposal also applies to technical equipment. However, you can’t just throw technical equipment in the bin as they need to be disposed of carefully. Even broken or unused hard drives, computer towers or laptops may still contain accessible sensitive information which needs to be correctly destroyed. Topwood can provide a shredding service which can shred hard drives equipment along with paper, making it impossible for data to be retrieved.


The safe and secure disposal of documents or hard drives is only part of the requirement. Data or information holders are also required to prove that the data has been securely destroyed. This not only shows compliance but offers peace of mind. If you’re struggling for space and are surrounded by old files, records and storage devices, don’t just put them in the bin. As a data holder you are responsible for storing and removing the data and you would be held accountable if the data got into the wrong hands. Whether it’s a shredding, storage, or an online archive solution we can help you remove physical clutter safely and lawfully so you can start fresh for the new school year.

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