1. Obtain forms of authority

Signed declarations allow you to request records on somebody's behalf. These are often called Forms of Authority, and obtaining one is a necessary first step to making a request for personal information.

Subject Access Requests

Data-controllers will not release personal information to you unless you can prove you have the permission of the data-subject An individual about whom information is held by an organisation. Schools keep records about a student's education. This makes the student the data-subject. . In school exclusions, the data-subject An individual about whom information is held by an organisation. Schools keep records about a student's education. This makes the student the data-subject. will be the young person. However, in some circumstances the person with parental responsibility makes the request on a child's behalf.

You will need to get written permission from the right person to request records on the young person’s behalf. This written permission is often called their “authority”, and the document is often called a “form of authority”.

Because there's no bright line cut off age to tell you whether you will need the young person’s authority or the parent’s authority it will usually be appropriate to get both. This will mean you can provide both authorities to the data-controller An organisation that holds information about a person. In relation to school files, the school holding the file is the data-controller , who will not be able to delay the process by requesting further authorities.

Freedom of Information

You do not need any permission to make a freedom of information The process for obtaining information about a school or other body that is not personal to any individual. (“FOI”) request, as these requests are for information that the public has a right to anyway.


Once you have obtained the relevant Forms of Authority, continue to the next step.

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