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Parents rally around Haslingden school after data blunder
A SCHOOL has apologised after sensitive information about 12 pupils was sent to the wrong address.
St Mary’s Primary School, in Haslingden, sent out the details believed to have included medical history, as well as next-of-kin contact numbers and addresses Headteacher Donna McNicoll has called the error an ‘administrative mistake’ and apologised for the incident.
She said: "There was an administrative mistake which led to some parents being given the wrong information sheets to sign and return.
"We take data protection very seriously and are sorry for what has happened.
"These sheets are used to update our emergency contact details for each child.
"We are reviewing our practices to prevent this from happening again."
Helena Hoyle, parent governer at the school, said: “An error did occur for which the school are extremely sorry and have since taken action to ensure it never happens again.
"The issue was brought to the school's attention because of an anonymous email from a parent. The majority of the parents have been outraged at the way this story has been represented in the media.
“Furthermore, staff at the school have been overwhelmed by the kind words and gifts they have received.
“St Mary’s is an outstanding school and this incident has only served to strengthen our school community.”
However a privacy pressure group has said the parent who complained was right to be upset.
Emma Carr, deputy director of Big Brother Watch, said: "There are simply no excuses for sensitive information relating to children being shared with the wrong people. These sorts of incidents constitute a serious breach of medical privacy.
"It is unclear as to why the school thought it was appropriate to put this information on paper and to send it in the post in the first place. There are clearly better ways to communicate sensitive information with parents, simply picking up the phone or sharing information via a secure website would prevent these sorts of incidents from occurring.”
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