Transferring Student Records to Other Boards of Education

The student record, which consists not only of the cumulative file but also records held by consultants and central office, is collected in order to provide educational services for a student, and only information collected for that purpose should be retained on the file.

When a student transfers to another board of education (board) the receiving board takes on the responsibility of educating the student. Section 28(2)(a) of LAFOIP provides that information may be disclosed for the purposes for which the information was obtained or for a use that is consistent with that purpose. Therefore, all personal information that was gathered with the purpose of educating the student can be disclosed to the new board.

In addition section 28(2)(n) allows disclosure without consent when in the opinion of the head the public interest in disclosure dearly outweighs and invasion of privacy that could result from the disclosure. Considering the information is being used to ensure the student’s right to education the public interest is high, and because the information is being shared with another board the invasion of privacy is low.

Section 10(c) of LAFOIP Regulations also allow disclosure without consent where disclosure may reasonably be expected to assist in the provision of services for the benefit of the individual to whom the information relates. In this case the provision of relevant education information will assist the new board to provide appropriate education services to the student.

Parental Permission

Parental or student consent for the transfer is not required. The records are necessary for the education of the child and the transfer is a disclosure consistent with the purposes for which the record was compiled or created.

Even though permission is not required, parents and students should be notified when student records are transferred. A discussion of the reasons for the transfer of records and how they will be handled is good practice.

Notice to Parents and Students

To ensure that parents and students are aware of how personal information might be shared it is recommended that there be a notice on every form used to gather information. The form should indicate that the information will be forwarded to another school division if the student transfers.

Type of Documents that Should be Disclosed

At minimum the cumulative file of the student should be shared. The Student Cumulative Records Guidelines provides a transfer form that can be incorporated into board policy or procedures.

The ability to exchange information includes not just the academic record, but also information concerning discipline or behaviour issues. It also includes counselling records and the records kept by special education teachers and consultants such as speech and language pathologists. Steps should be taken to provide that any sensitive records, such as counselling records, are shared only with professionals who would normally handle such matters.

Reports from Outside Agencies

Reports from outside agencies can also be shared unless there was a specific condition imposed by such agency. If the report was necessary for the provision of education services to the student, section 28(2)(a) of LAFOIP applies to allow sharing the information without third party or parental permission when a student is transferred.