Disclosure of Student Assessment Data

Disclosure Within the Jurisdiction of the Board

Student assessment data may be shared between schools that are within the jurisdiction of the board with employees who require it for educational purposes.

Employees who require use of the records should be cautioned about the need for appropriate security and proper use of the data. The board will be responsible for ensuring that the data is used solely for the purposes that it was collected and ensuring that the records are disposed of when no longer required for those purposes.

Disclosure to the Ministry of Education

The collection of student assessment data can be made with the intention of sharing certain aspect of the information with the Ministry of Education. Consents should be obtained from parents and/or students when the assessments are discussed with them.

When the data is to be used by the Ministry of Education in order to carry out its duties under The Education Act, 1995 then section 28(2)(h) of LAFOIP will apply. It allows the sharing of personal information pursuant to an arrangement or agreement between the board and the Ministry of Education “for the purpose of administering or enforcing any law or carrying out a lawful investigation.”

Section 28(2) (k) which allows the disclosure of any person or body for research or statistical purposes will also apply if the data is to be used by the Ministry of Education for research purposes.

It is recommended that protocols or agreements be developed between boards and the Ministry of Education that identify:

  • the type of information that will be shared;
  • the purposes for which the information will be shared;
  • the responsibilities of each party for the care of the information;
  • who will be responsible for the disclosure of information;
  • what information will be disclosed;
  • the conditions under which information will be disclosed to third parties.

Disclosure to the Public

Under LAFOIP, the public has the right to request disclosure of any report regarding assessments that do not reveal information about identifiable individuals. This right applies to any report or record generated by the Ministry of Education or a board and held in any form by any employee of either organization.

Student assessment data disclosed to the public must be at a high enough level that individual data of students or teachers cannot be extrapolated.

In some cases, especially with small class sizes in small schools, individual data might be easy to recognize. This is particularly the case if the person looking at the data has some other items of knowledge about the group.

Information that may reasonably be attributed to individual students may be accessed only by the students, their parents or guardians, and those school division personnel who would use the data in the course of their employment duties. No member of the public without written authorization from the individual student and/or parents or guardians has any right to information about a particular student.

Boards need to be very cautious about disclosing information on anything less than a school-by-school basis, and even that should be carefully considered. Formal requests for the data as contemplated under the LAFOIP provisions can be required so that each request can be assessed on its own merits.

Similar considerations will apply to the release of data that might allow the identification of individual teachers or other employees.