FAQ- The children don’t live with me, what information can I obtain?
30 October 2019 by Lisa O'Boyle
Even if the children don’t live with you, as long as you have parental responsibility for the children (see blog FAQ- how do I acquire Parental Responsibility?), you generally have a right to access information about your children’s educational, medical and children’s services’ records. You may be asked to prove that you do have parental responsibility for the child in question. Proof may include the child’s birth certificate with you named on it and evidence of your identification.
If you are the children’s parent or carer and don’t have parental responsibility for the children you still have a right to obtain educational and children’s services records.
For educational records, you can make your request in writing to the school Board of Governors and should receive a response within 15 school days. The information should be provided free. This right exists in relation to maintained schools only and, if the children attend an Academy, Independent or Free School, you should check the school’s policy to ascertain your rights to access information.
Your access to information relating to your child may be denied if the school, general practitioner or local authority believe that giving you access to such information may place the child or another individual at risk of serious physical or mental harm or if the information identifies other people who have not agreed to the information being disclosed. In respect of children services’ records your access to the information could also be denied if giving you the information would interfere with the prevention or detection of a crime.
Generally, once a child reaches the age of 16 they will be consulted before their personal information is released to parents/carers.
If you are denied such information without good reason, you could try to obtain the information from the other parent. Alternatively, you could contact the information commissioner’s office; issue a formal complaint against the school, GP, or Local Authority; contact the ombudsman; or make an application to Court.
If you want to obtain advice, we have an experienced team of family lawyers who are able to advise and assist you on the best possible approach to take – contact Fisher Jones Greenwood by calling 01206 700113 or email [email protected].