West Berkshire Council

Data Protection: Asking on Behalf of Others

Making a request on behalf of children, or as someone's carer

Accessing children's records

If you're the parent of a school age child there's some information about your child which you have a legal right to see. Access to your child's educational records are covered by other legislation, and you may ask for copies (for which you may be charged a photocopying charge) directly from your child's school.

However, the Data Protection Act makes no assumptions that a child under the age of eighteen is unable to make decisions for themselves about their personal information. This means that although a parent may ask for access to their child's personal information (acting as an agent for their child), if the child is able to understand the nature of the request then they should give their permission as well.
If your child doesn't live with you, or legal restrictions on access are in place, we will need to establish your right to act as an agent on their behalf.
Children may also make requests on their own behalf - these don't have to be in writing.
If this is the case a member of staff will talk through what they can see and answer any questions they may have.

Access for carers

If you're a carer for a vulnerable adult, perhaps someone who is a relative or friend, or for whom you work in a caring capacity, you may need to ask questions about their care and have access to information which would normally be restricted to that person. You may act as an agent for the person with their permission, or you may have an official power of attorney to act on their behalf.
If the person cannot give their permission, or you have no power of attorney, we can discuss with you what information you need and why; special provisions within the Act may allow us to share information if this will help protect the person's vital interests.

Access through a solicitor

You may also make a request through a solicitor, and if this is the case the solicitor will usually provide a formal statement or form for you to sign which they can then copy to us. You should be aware that you don't need to use a solicitor to access your personal information, but in some cases - where the solicitor is collecting information for a court case for example - this option will be available. 

Making an application

You may write a letter or use the online request form to apply.

Who To Contact

West Berkshire Council's Data Protection Team

01635 519591