High school apologises over data breach of pupil information

PUBLISHED: 09:04 09 May 2018 | UPDATED: 10:28 09 May 2018

Stowupland High School has launched an investigation into a 'data breach'.  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Stowupland High School has launched an investigation into a 'data breach'. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

A Suffolk school has launched an investigation into a “data breach” in which sensitive information about pupils was allegedly sent out to parents in error.

Bosses have apologised for the 'error'.  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNBosses have apologised for the 'error'. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Bosses at Stowupland High School have apologised after an email meant for staff was reportedly sent to contacts on the parent mail list on Friday afternoon.

A mother whose son attends the academy said the email included “highly sensitive” details about pupils.

She added: “There was a whole host of things – there was the safeguarding list, poor behaviour problems, internal exclusions, details of health problems to do with individuals and there were log-ins and passwords to different teacher platforms.”

She said the email falsely quoted her son as having a mental health condition, and listed him as having behaviour problems that had not been flagged to her in the past.

“I spoke to my son because my son had been bullied at the school and I’m very concerned that this is going to reignite the bullying,” she added.

The mother said she and other parents had raised concerns with the education watchdog Ofsted about the incident.

She said: “I want to see much higher security, an apology to parents and children and misinformation put right.”

A joint statement from the school’s headteacher, chairman of governors and the chief executive of the academy trust said: “We can confirm a data breach took place at Stowupland High School at approximately 5pm on Friday, May 4.

“We are extremely sorry this genuine error occurred and, in accordance with our best practices, the school has been proactive in reporting the incident to the Information Commissioner’s Office.

“We take all issues of safeguarding very seriously and, likewise, the welfare of students, parents and staff remains of paramount importance.

“Over the bank holiday weekend, we endeavoured to speak to all the people directly involved and the school is taking all steps to ensure that students are fully supported as they return to school after the bank holiday.

“As we are continuing to investigate this incident, we are unable to make any further comment.”

Stowupland High School, which has 1,050 pupils, became a founding member of the John Milton Academy Trust in September 2016.

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