Does anyone have a definitive answer to this one?
I have been asked to access a student's email account to provide evidence for a complaint. I don't know the nature of the complaint, but it's probably an investigation of bullying or general 'larking about'.
I refused to give access to the account without the student's consent, on the grounds that this would breach their Human Right to Privacy. TBH I don't really give a monkey's about their Human Rights, before you all start accusing me of being a left-wing pansy, but this was the advice I was given some years ago at a seminar given by a legal firm. Their advice was essentially that a student doesn't give up any of their rights to privacy or under the DPA just because they happen to be students.
On the flip-side, our Head is arguing (possibly quite reasonably) that the email is on our system, they're students, and he'll insist that they give consent, but he doesn't see why he should have to.
Anyone know the answer? Even more pertinently, can someone point me towards some published advice on this?