This case is about:

  • access to education records; and
  • timescales and fees for subject access requests.

Mrs B had concerns about her daughter Rosie’s school performance and so made a request, on Rosie’s behalf, for her education records. Rosie was aged eight and in Year three at primary school. The school asked for a fee of £50, which Mrs B paid. The school provided the records 60 days later.

Mrs B had previously made an information request to her bank and understood that organisations could not charge more than £10 to respond to a request and had to respond within 40 days. Mrs B contacted our helpline.

We explained to Mrs B that although those are the rules for most organisations, education records are a special case. Fees for education records work on a sliding scale from £1 to £50 depending on how many pages they contain and schools must respond within 15 school days or 40 calendar days.

Rosie’s record consisted of 250 pages and Mrs B should therefore only have been charged £25 and should have received a response within 15 days. Mrs B used our advice to go back to the school and they were able to deal with her complaint.

The school apologised to Mrs B and refunded her £25. The school also decided to contact the ICO for advice, and we were able to share our Subject Access Code of Practice. As a result the school put a new policy in place explaining exactly what they should charge, and how long they should take to provide education records.