We are often asked how long certain records should be retained by a school before they can be disposed of.
It is important to remember that many school records are of invaluable help for local historical and genealogical research and it is best to avoid destroying them unless they are not considered to be of value.
Use of personal information by schools
Personal information about school pupils that is held by schools is sometimes shared with other organisations. Our personal information documents explain what information our schools share, and who they share it with.
Use of personal information by the Department for Education
What the Department for Education does with pupils' and children's data.
Records that are kept by schools
The following guidance is by no means exhaustive but covers the items most frequently asked about.
School log books
School log books must be retained permanently. When a log book is completed, send it to the Record Office.
Admission registers should be retained permanently - note that this is not the same as the class register in which daily attendance is marked.
Pupil record cards or printouts
Pupil record cards or printouts should be retained for a minimum of seven years after the pupil has left school or until the pupil has reached the age of 25 years, whichever is the later date.
Class registers are to be retained whilst the pupils are still at school. For example, if a pupil enters school in September 2001 and leaves in July 2008, the September 2001 register for that class can only be destroyed in 2008.
Other types of records
Schools often have presentations, open days, pageants, plays, old photographs and other records that play an important part in the life of the school. These records can be deposited with the Record Office but we would suggest that they be given a free hand to decide which should or should not be retained.
In every case, Record Office staff will confirm what they have retained and send a copy of the retention details to the school for their information.
Displaying school records
Often, schools will want to put on a display of old records for special events. So long as advance notice is provided, the Record Office can arrange the loan of the records, subject to certain security safeguards.
Please contact the Record Office for further details. Please remember that the Record Office has two vital advantages concerning the storage of records: a proper temperature and humidity controlled environment and access to conservation experts.