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General Chat Thread, Data protection in General; I've just been asked to link to an online survey (SurveyMonkey) asking pupils in our LEA (Years 7-10) about their ...
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    beeswax's Avatar
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    Data protection

    I've just been asked to link to an online survey (SurveyMonkey) asking pupils in our LEA (Years 7-10) about their sporting habits. I've seen the survey and the first few questions are -
    First Name
    Surname
    School
    Year
    Form
    Gender
    Now I've got a problem with these questions as I feel they are unethical and too intrusive. I've informed the PE teacher at our school that I'm not willing to add this link to our website or VLE, citibg the data protection act. He's phoned the teacher who set up this survey to report this and within the next half hour or so he'll be here to try and browbeat me into accepting this. He doesn't want to redo the questions as a couple of schools have already taken the survey. I'm equally adamant that I won't let our pupils undertake this survey without the restrictions I asked for. I sincerely believe that I'm protecting our pupils by doing this.
    What I need quite sharply is something relevant from the data protection act which I can bring up on screen to back up my arguement. I'll be going through it myself in a moment. Thanks in advance.

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    Quote Originally Posted by beeswax View Post
    I've just been asked to link to an online survey (SurveyMonkey) asking pupils in our LEA (Years 7-10) about their sporting habits. I've seen the survey and the first few questions are -
    First Name
    Surname
    School
    Year
    Form
    Gender
    Now I've got a problem with these questions as I feel they are unethical and too intrusive. I've informed the PE teacher at our school that I'm not willing to add this link to our website or VLE, citibg the data protection act. He's phoned the teacher who set up this survey to report this and within the next half hour or so he'll be here to try and browbeat me into accepting this. He doesn't want to redo the questions as a couple of schools have already taken the survey. I'm equally adamant that I won't let our pupils undertake this survey without the restrictions I asked for. I sincerely believe that I'm protecting our pupils by doing this.
    What I need quite sharply is something relevant from the data protection act which I can bring up on screen to back up my arguement. I'll be going through it myself in a moment. Thanks in advance.
    a) Who's your data protection officer?
    b) Failing that, ask your LEA Data protection officer for advice.
    c) If a random person walked into my office and attempted to browbeat me into doing something I believed was wrong, I'd frogmarch him off the premises.

    Becta Impact levels doc: http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&sourc...N5JC5eQPnRvmeA

    General info from Becta: http://schools.becta.org.uk/index.ph...p_03&rid=14734
    Last edited by pete; 24th April 2009 at 11:30 AM.

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    beeswax (24th April 2009)

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    GrumbleDook's Avatar
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    1 - the survey should have a link to how the survey owner is going to use the data, how they will share it, anonymise it, and finally destroy it.
    2 - some of the fields are not required and should be gotten rid of. These are first name, surname and form. There is no statistical reason for these to be included in a large scale survey run outside of the school for these.
    3 - the same survey could be run internally within the school and the above fields could be removed before the details are passed to the other school as *you* might be interested in them within your own school and you are entitled to make use of them.

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    beeswax (24th April 2009)

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    mb2k01's Avatar
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    Interesting....
    I had a meeting / advice session with someone from some LA related/affiliated sports group about creating a survey on that site. I specifically said about concerns over not requesting that kind of data, and went further by saying if it was asked for then we wouldn't run the survey!

    I wonder if it is the same people? (I'll go off and find out the orginistation name and post back...)

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    beeswax (24th April 2009)

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    I managed to get him to remove the questions which could identify individual pupils. The survey will be no more granular than form, gender and ethnicity level, It seems the council are keen on this and the "Every Child Matters" agenda.
    The person who created the survey coordinates sport between half a dozen secondary schools in the borough. He's paid SurveyMonkey $200 to set this up and I suspect that he'll have to fork out another $200 to make the changes and this may be what drove him to pay me a personal visit. His own school have already taken the full survey, and as you say GD, that can be stripped out before been opened to interested parties.
    I have no issues with SurveyMonkey themselves, other than that they are based in the States which I believe has a different attitude to data protection.
    Last edited by beeswax; 24th April 2009 at 12:20 PM.

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    mb2k01's Avatar
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    I looked up details on the meeting I had and it was specifically a Cornwall Partnership project then. It might be that this linked in with something nationally too?
    Oh well, at least he's removed them!

    I'm not sure about this $200 malarky though... He might just be tugging on the old heart strings! I've only used it once myself but I thought SurveyMonkey was free?!

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    IIRC the $200 is for the full account, allowing you to have more questions and surveymonkey give you access to their analysis tools as well. Once you have the account set up you ca change the surveys around as much as you want but I think there are issues with changing an existing survey which has already been partly completed.

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