Aug 062010
 August 6, 2010  Posted by  Non-U.S., Youth & Schools

At first blush, this report from the UKPA in the Kilmarnock Standard sounded like data protection possibly run amok:

A Government minister has called on Labour’s Karen Whitefield to resign from Holyrood’s Education Committee after accusing her of breaching data protection rules by writing to schoolchildren.

The MSP sent letters of congratulations to primary seven pupils due to start high school this month.

The letters were personally addressed to each child and handed out in school, according to North Lanarkshire Council, which is investigating the matter.

But with a bit of digging, it makes more sense. Janice Burns of the Daily Record explains (typo’s corrected, emphasis added by me):

Karen Whitefield sent personal letters to around 1000 11-year-olds in her constituency after headteachers gave her a list of names from their school databases.

Now, the Labour MSP for Airdrie and Shotts – the Scottish government ‘s education committee convener – and the headteachers involved are being investigated by North Lanarkshire Council over an alleged breach of data protection.

Good intentions on Ms. Whitefield’s and the teachers’ parts, perhaps, but I do understand why some would raise concerns about this.

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