Policy 10.8 Information sharing

Safeguarding and Welfare Requirement: Information and Records

Providers must maintain records and obtain and share information to ensure the safe and efficient management of the setting, and to help ensure the needs of all children are met.

Information and Records

 Policy 10.8 Information sharing 

Practitioners need to understand their organisation’s position and commitment to information sharing. They need to have confidence in the continued support of their organisation where they have used their professional judgement and shared information professionally.’

Information Sharing: Guidance for Practitioners and Managers (DCSF 2008).

 Policy statement

We recognise that parents have a right to know that information they share with us be regarded as confidential as well as be informed about the circumstances, and the reasons why, we are obliged to share information.

We record and share information about children and their families (data subjects) in line with the six principles of the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) (2018) which are further explained in our Privacy Notice that is given to parents at the point of registration The six principles state that personal data must be:

  1. Processed fairly, lawfully and in a transparent manner in relation to the data subject.
  2. Collected for specified, explicit and legitimate purposes and not further processed for other purposes incompatible with those purposes.
  3. Adequate, relevant and limited to what is necessary in relation to the purposes for which data is processed.
  4. Accurate and where necessary, kept up to date.
  5. Kept in a form that permits identification of data subjects for no longer than is necessary for the purposes for which the data is processed.
  6. Processed in a way that ensures appropriate security of the personal data including protection against accidental loss, destruction or damage, using appropriate technical or organisational measures

We are obliged to share confidential information without authorisation from the person who provided it or to whom it relates if it is in the public interest. That is when:

  • it is to prevent a crime from being committed or intervene where one may have been or to prevent harm to a child or adult; or
  • not sharing it could be worse than the outcome of not having shared it.

The decision should never be made as an individual, but with the back-up of management team.  The three critical criteria are:

  • Where there is evidence that the child is suffering, or is at risk of suffering, significant harm.
  • Where there is reasonable cause to believe that a child may be suffering or at risk of suffering significant harm.
  • To prevent significant harm arising to children and young people or adults, including the prevention, detection and prosecution of serious crime.

EYFS key themes and commitments

A Unique Child Positive Relationships Enabling Environments Learning and Development
1.2 Inclusive practice

1.3 Keeping safe

2.1 Respecting each other

2.2 Parents as partners

 

3.4 The wider context  

Our procedure is based on the GDPR principles as listed above and the seven golden rules for sharing information in the Information sharing Advice for practitioners providing safeguarding services to children, young people, parents and carers. We also follow the guidance on information sharing from the Local Safeguarding Children Board.

 Our procedure is based on the seven golden rules for information sharing as set out in the Information Sharing: Guidance for Practitioners and Managers (DCSF 2008)

  1. Remember that the General Data Protection Regulations (2018) and human rights law are not barriers to justified information sharing as per the Children Act (1989), but provide a framework to ensure that personal information about living individuals is shared appropriately.

 Our policy and procedures on Information Sharing provide guidance to appropriate sharing of information with external agencies.

  1. Be open and honest with the individual (and/or their family where appropriate) from the outset about why, what, how and with whom information will, or could be shared, and seek their consent, unless it is unsafe or if we have a legal obligation to do so. A Privacy Notice is given to parents at the point of registration to explain this further.

 In our setting we ensure parents:

  • receive a copy of our Privacy Notice and information about our Information Sharing Policy when starting their child in the setting and that they sign our Registration Form to say that they understand the circumstances in which information may be shared without their consent. This will only be when it is a matter of safeguarding a child or vulnerable adult;
  • have information about our Safeguarding Children and Child Protection Policy; and
  • have information about the other circumstances when information will be shared with external agencies, for example, with regard to any special needs the child may have or transition to school.
  1. Seek advice from other practitioners if you are in any doubt about sharing the information concerned, without disclosing the identity of the individual where possible.
  •  Our staff discuss concerns about a child routinely in supervision and any actions are recorded in the child’s file.
  • Our Safeguarding Children and Child Protection Policy sets out the duty of all members of our staff to refer concerns to our designated person, Heather Page (Joint Supervisor), who will contact children’s social care for advice where they have doubts or are unsure.
  • Our manager will seek advice if they need to share information without consent to disclose.
  1. Share with informed consent where appropriate and, where possible, respect the wishes of those who do not consent to share confidential information. You may still share information without consent if, in your judgement, there is good reason to do so, such as where safety may be at risk. You will need to base your judgement on the facts of the case. When you are sharing or requesting personal information from someone, be certain of the basis upon which you are doing so. Where you have consent, be mindful that an individual might not expect information to be shared.
  • We base decisions to share information without consent on judgements about the facts of the case and whether there is a legal obligation.
  • Our guidelines for consent are part of this procedure.
  • Our manager is conversant with this and she is able to advise staff accordingly.

5. Consider safety and well-being: Base your information sharing decisions on considerations of the safety and well-being of the person and others who may be affected by their actions.

In our setting we:

  • record concerns and discuss these with the setting’s designated person and/or designated officer from the management committee for child protection matters;
  • record decisions made and the reasons why information will be shared and to whom; and
  • follow the procedures for reporting concerns and record keeping as set out in our Safeguarding Children and Child Protection Policies.

6. Necessary, proportionate, relevant, accurate, timely and secure: Ensure that the information you share is necessary for the purpose for which you are sharing it, is shared only with those people who need to have it, is accurate and up-to-date, is shared in a timely fashion, and is shared securely.

 Our Safeguarding Children, Child Protection Policy and Children’s Records Policy set out how and where information should be recorded and what information should be shared with another agency when making a referral.

7. Keep a record of your decision and the reasons for it – whether it is to share information or not. If you decide to share, then record what you have shared, with whom and for what purpose.

  • Where information is shared, the reasons for doing so are recorded in the child’s file; where it is decided that information is not to be shared that is recorded too.

Consent

When parents choose our setting for their child, they will share information about themselves and their families. This information is regarded as confidential. Parents have a right to be informed that in most cases we will seek their consent to share information, as well as the kinds of circumstances when we may not seek their consent, or when we may override their refusal to give consent. We inform them as follows:

  • Our policies and procedures set out our responsibility regarding gaining consent to share information and when it may not be sought or overridden.
  • We may cover this verbally when the child starts or include this in our prospectus.
  • Parents sign our Registration Form at registration to confirm that they understand this.
  • We ask parents to give written consent to share information about any additional needs their child may have, or to pass on child development summaries to the next provider/school.
  • Copies are given to parents of the forms they sign.
  • We consider the following questions when we need to share:
    • Is there legitimate purpose to sharing the information?
    • Does the information enable the person to be identified?
    • Is the information confidential?
    • If the information is confidential, do you have consent to share?
    • Is there a statutory duty or court requiring us order to share information?
    • If consent is refused, or there are good reasons not to seek consent, is there sufficient public interest to share information?
    • If the decision is to share, are you sharing the right information in the right way?
    • Have you properly recorded your decision?
  • Consent must be freely given and informed – that is the person giving consent needs to understand why information will be shared, what will be shared, who will see information, the purpose of sharing it and the implications for them of sharing that information as detailed in the Privacy Notice.
  • Consent may be explicit, verbally but preferably in writing, or implicit, implied if the context is such that sharing information is an intrinsic part of our service or it has been explained and agreed at the outset.
  • Consent can be withdrawn at any time.
  • We explain our Information Sharing Policy to parents.

Separated parents

  • Consent to share need only be sought from one parent. Where parents are separated, this would normally be the parent with whom the child resides. Where there is a dispute, we will consider this carefully.
  • Where the child is looked after, we may also need to consult the Local Authority, as ‘corporate parent’ before information is shared.

All the undertakings above are subject to the paramount commitment of the pre-school, which is to the safety and well-being of the child. Please see our Safeguarding Children and Child Protection policy.

Legal framework

Primary Legislation

  • General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) (2018)
  • Human Rights Act (1998)
  • Children and Families Act (2014)
  • Freedom of Information Act (2000)
  • Children, Schools and Families Act (2010)

 Secondary Legislation

  • Equalities Act (2010)
  • Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act (2006)
  • The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child
  • Special Educational Needs and Disability Act (2001)
  • Criminal Justice and Court Services Act (2000)
  • Race Relations (Amendment) Act (2000)
  • Race Relations (Amendment) Act (1976) Regulations
  • Malicious Communication Act (1988)
  • The Children Act (2004)

 

Further guidance

  • Information Sharing: Guidance for Practitioners and Managers (DCSF 2008)
  • everychildmatters.gov.uk/_files/ ACB1BA35C20D4C42A1FE6F9133A7C614.pdf
  • What to do if you’re worried a child is being abused: Advice for practitioners (HM Government 2015)
  • Working together to safeguard children: A guide to inter-agency working to safeguard and promote the welfare of children (HM Government 2015)

This policy was adopted at a meeting of Acorns Community Pre-School held on……………….

Date to be reviewed:…………………………………………………………………………………………………

Signed on behalf of the management team: ………………………………………………………………….

Name of signatory: ……………………………………………………………………………………………………

Role of signatory (e.g. chair/owner): ………………………………………………………………………….