Once more there is controversy over a new database due to go online in September 2008, which will hold the school records of all UK school pupils aged 14years and over. Amid security concerns from a number of sources, the British government is under pressure not to implement it.
The Learning and Skills Council (LSC) insist that it is not a "tracking system" and would in fact be using existing information that had been collected a number of times already. David Russell, national director of resources at the LSC, said "It will only hold factual information such as name, surname, age, postcode, qualifications achieved and courses attended."
Under the Managing Information Across Partners (MIAP) system - to be launched on Thursday 21st February 2008 by Higher Education Minister Bill Rammell - the number will stay with them until they retire.
However, data security watchdog, the Information Commissioner stated that no database could be totally secure and a spokesman added, "We have provided advice and assistance to help ensure that this system is watertight and secure - but no system is immune to human error and breaches can and do occur..."
Last year, the British government put another planned database of children, ContactPoint, on hold, pending a security review and changes to the system including its access controls. ContactPoint is designed for use by child protection agencies. The review was ordered after the loss by HM Revenue and Customs of two discs containing the personal and bank details of 25 million people.
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