Barnet Council loses thousands of children's personal files
PERSONAL details of 9,000 school pupils in Barnet have been stolen from the home of a council employee, bosses have announced. In breach of the council s policy the employee took home 20 unauthorised and unencrypted CDs and memory sticks full of the child
PERSONAL details of 9,000 school pupils in Barnet have been stolen from the home of a council employee, bosses have announced.
In breach of the council's policy the employee took home 20 unauthorised and unencrypted CDs and memory sticks full of the children's details including names, dates of birth, addresses, free school meals eligibility and school attainment records.
Two weeks ago burglars broke in and stole the employee's laptop, which was encrypted and cannot be used, together with the discs.
Officials have said it was a random, not a targeted, raid and that there is a low risk that there will be any impact on individuals whose data was lost.
The data relates to children who were at a Barnet school in Year 11 over the past three years, aged between 15 and 18.
Barnet officials said it has taken two weeks to alert parents, who received a letter this morning, because they were undertaking a full risk assessment to identify any child protection issues that this breach could create. They have identified one vulnerable child and carers have been informed.
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Chief executive Nick Walkley, who apologised to those affected, said: "This was a clear breach of our policies and the member of staff concerned has been suspended.
"We believe the risks attached to this data breach are minimal and the council has taken steps to minimise the risks still further.
"The council works to help and support children and young people every day and we take these duties extremely seriously."
A helpline for affected pupils and their parents has been set up on 020-8359 7599 and there is a Q&A on the council's website www.barent.gov.uk.