Know Your Rights : Want to see your exam records?

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has published a good practice note explaining the right to access examination records under the Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA 1998) . The Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA 2000 ) also gives individuals the right to access other (non-personal) information held by public authorities.

The ICO notes that most of the information colleges and universities have relating to students’ examinations will be personal data. Universities and colleges need to deal with requests from students for information about their exam performance within 40 days. They will also have to deal with requests for general information made under the FOIA 2000 within 20 working days .

Examination marks, scripts, comments and minutes of appeals can be obtained by making a subject access request, under the DPA 1998, to the appropriate school, college or university. More general information, such as college or university policies or procedures, can be requested using the FOIA 2000

Students receiving exam results this summer can find out more about their grades by using their rights under the Data Protection Act. Guidance produced by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) explains how students can access personal exam records.

Examination marks, comments and minutes of appeals can be obtained by making a subject access request, under the Data Protection Act, to the appropriate school, college or university. More general information, such as college or university policies or procedures, can be requested using the Freedom of Information Act.

David Smith, Deputy Commissioner at the ICO said:

“A cornerstone of the Data Protection Act is that individuals have a right to access personal information held about them. At this time of year many students are focusing on their exam results and may want to access further information about their performance. Our guidance aims to help students understand their rights and ensure that schools, colleges and universities meet their obligations.”

If you need more information, please contact the Information Commissioner’s press office on 0207 025 7580 or visit the website at: www.ico.gov.uk

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