Due to the coronavirus pandemic pupils will not be sitting exams this year. Instead, teachers will be conducting and submitting pupil assessments, which will be used to award grades. The ICO has received a number of queries about whether the exam scripts exemption will still apply in these unusual circumstances.

The answer is yes, the exam scripts exemption will still apply to the information used to award students’ grades.

This allows for longer response times for requests for access to pupil assessment information if they are received before the official results are announced. The timeframe for responding to these requests are either:

  • within five months of receiving the request; or
  • within 40 days of announcing the exam results, whichever date is earliest.

Requests made after the results are announced need to be dealt with as an normal subject access request. However, the ICO understands there may be delays during the pandemic. We have published a document setting out our regulatory approach during the coronavirus pandemic.