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MIS Systems Thread, Bulk Delete of old records (staff and students) in Technical; Does anyone have routines in place to delete old staff and students from Sims? I know i can manually go ...
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    pubgrub277's Avatar
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    Bulk Delete of old records (staff and students)

    Does anyone have routines in place to delete old staff and students from Sims?
    I know i can manually go through and delete old students (im talking left more than five years ago) but i have to do this one by one (buttons clicks to automated where possible).

    Is there a routine to remove old staff records? Again I'm talking people who haven't worked for us for years. Some records hold NI numbers and bank details and im reasonably sure we don't have a right/need/Want to hold the data any more.

    We've had a big lecture about data security and information management for our LEA recently as well. Am i the only one in this position or am i missing a trick somewhere?

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    vikpaw's Avatar
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    We keep old students on, just give them a leaving date. People that have left more than 5 years ago, still come back for transcripts and exam results.
    Staff you should take off, but it is manual. We have most of ours for quite a while.
    You could set up reports to audit staff and students based on leaving date / contract end dates, but there's no routine as such that i recall that will do it for you. It's such a big thing to delete a student record, they wont make it easy.

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    pubgrub277's Avatar
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    its not so much identifying them @vikpaw. its deleting them.

    Legaly im not 100% sure where we stand. Some of the data, particularly held about staff, we dont have any right till still have as far as im aware.

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    enjay's Avatar
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    I've just asked this exact question of Capita, asking how to prune some information out after 5 years and leave other details behind. I'll post again when I get a response...

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    I'd asked a similiar question to a member of our LA support team recently and didn't get a clear answer.

    Specifically I was thinking about linked document and the inordinate amount of space they currently take up on our DMS (another issue entirely but one that prompted the question.)

    We are a relatively new school but I wondered how other schools coped with decades worth of student records and the physical space that they take up in the database and DMS? Presumably backups would also be affected?

    I'm far from a technical expert so apologies if I'm talking nonsense.

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    enjay's Avatar
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    Response from Capita:
    With regards to your enquiry. At present you are only able to archive attendance data, this can be done via:

    Tools | Housekeeping | Archive Attendance Marks | Archive

    Please note, this can take up to several hours however.
    So, it looks like attendance data can be archived, but nothing else, e.g. assessment, exams, linked documents, applicants who never joined, etc, etc.

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    pubgrub277's Avatar
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    My big worry is along the lines of

    The Data Protection Act

    The Data Protection Act 1998, which came into force on 1 March 2000, governs the use of personal data held about an individual by businesses and other organisations. As employers are required to store employee records, they must comply with the Act. It is, therefore, important for employees to be aware of what information an employer can hold about you and your rights to access it.

    The Act requires organisations to comply with the following principles to ensure that data is:

    Fairly and lawfully processed
    Processed for limited purposes
    Adequate, relevant and not excessive
    Accurate
    Not kept for longer than is necessary
    Processed in line with your rights
    Secure
    Not transferred to countries outside the EU without adequate protection.
    The systems provides no functionality to comply with legislation.

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    vikpaw's Avatar
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    I remember looking into something to do with student data and think there was a need for 5 years worth, but for us, as they sometimes leave and come back, and we don't share data, it's easier for us to keep the data.
    You could prune your data, based on the age of it, but there is no routine for that.
    In theory if you keep a year end backup , you can clean your data up each year.
    I'm not sure what the reg's are with regarding to keeping backups over a certain amount of time. I would imagine you can't keep data in any form, but i don't fancy having to go in an access an old backup and pruning selective info out of that!
    @GrumbleDook is normally wise on these matters, and if he doesn't know, he can find out, since he needs to know that sort of thing

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    enjay's Avatar
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    "Not kept for longer than is necessary" - if you can't delete it because the software doesn't allow that, then it is necessary to keep it for ever, no?

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    @pubgrub277:

    Sims seems to require the staff member to be in the system even if just disabled as it has historical data links to students which I suppose would render the database useless.

    I don't know how long schools have to keep these records as well as other data i.e. attendance and achievement but this seems to be key.

    I have asked the question of our LA before and this is the answer that I have been given but yes you are right in your interpretation of the DPA.

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    enjay's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bossman View Post
    I don't know how long schools have to keep these records as well as other data i.e. attendance and achievement but this seems to be key.
    I've been looking at the exact question this last week, and the answer is there is no answer! You will find various organisations offering advice and some LAs giving rules, but there is no law on the subject. Put crudely, as long as you have thought about your data retention schedule and can justify it, you can keep it for as long as you want.

    That said, there is some legal obligation regarding the minimum length of time certain information is kept, especially where SEN children are involved, so do check carefully before creating any policy which deletes old records.

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    Bulk delete

    I don't think that data storage is that much of a problem. Schools get requests for references that date back 20 years or more.

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    GrumbleDook's Avatar
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    Without looking at the HR handbook I can't quote exact information but IIRC it goes something like this.

    Staff details and the fact that staff were employed at the school between particular dates, their personnel record, etc should be kept. This will allow you to comply with Safer Recruiting where you may be asked to verify that they were in your employment, whether there was any noted disciplinary against them (where agreements allow) and so on. These records do not need to be held electronically but that is often one of the easiest methods of doing so.

    The school might choose to also retain linked data to allow them to continue to make historical analysis of performance of the school, performance of particular staff (e.g. where a teacher has a specialist degree makes a difference on attainment / achievement compared to a teacher who is teaching outside of their degree specialism, where CPD has had an effect, etc). Some of this can be used anonymously, but can also be effective when used against named individuals. This might depend on what the school says it will use data for in their entry with the ICO as well.

    Again, the Information and Record Management Society is one of the best places to look for information on this and your Bursar / Business Manager should be aware of this already.

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    glennda's Avatar
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    We have to keep the paper copies of students info for 25 years I have been told recently (from bus manager) so I assume this is the reason sims doesn't allow you to delete anything!

    EDIT: this may be wrong but its why we have a huge cupboard full of old student records.
    Last edited by glennda; 7th December 2011 at 08:39 PM.

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    Hi glennda, I may be wrong here so you will need to check with your LA, but we have a Retention Guidelines document provided by our LA that says paper records are required to be kept "DOB of the pupil + 25 years". This would suggest to me that the files are only needed to be kept for 9 years (10 to be safe) from leaving school at 16.

    When it comes to the SIMS data, I would think it would be a good idea to keep that as it is a reference for people to come back to years down the line to find out their assessment data etc. Sounds ridiculous but I recently had someone call and enquire about info on a student who attended back in the 1950s. Theres no way that we would still have that data, and its an extreme example, but it would be useful to have the data stored to be accessed in such instances in future.

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