How To Ask For Your Own Records

You will usually have to write to the people who keep the records asking to see the information. You might have to show that it’s really you making the request. You should be able to see your records for free but if you need copies then there may be a charge. You should ask about any charges when making your request. You may need help asking for your information. An advocacy worker or a lawyer can help you with this. If there are facts that are not right in your records, then you will need to write to the people who keep the records to tell them what you think is wrong and what they need to do to correct it.

The Information Commissioners Office (ICO) has lots of useful information about your personal data rights.

ICO Information about your right to get copies of your data

School Records

You have a right to a copy of information about you held by your school. You have to write to your local authority (council) asking to see your educational record. 

ICO Information on Schools, Universities and Colleges

Social Work Records You have a right to a copy of information about you held by Social Work. You have to write to your local authority (council) asking to see your social work record. You might have to show that it’s really you making the request.

Doctor’s Records Your doctor will have a record of any illnesses, hospital tests or treatment that you have been to the doctors about. Your optician and dentist will also hold records about you. You can ask in your GP surgery and arrange a time to go in and read your records. You might have to write to your GP to ask for this, but you don’t have to give a reason for wanting to see your records. Any hospitals where you have had treatment or tests will hold records of this and you should write to the medical records manager at the hospital

The Police and Courts The police might hold information about you if you have been a witness or a victim of crime as well as if you have been in trouble with the police.  A request for your personal information is called a ‘subject access request’ there is a form to fill in and send to your local police force, who will be able to access all the information held centrally. 

ICO Information on Police Records

Can other people access information about me?

Family members

If you are too young to make sense of the information yourself and understand your rights then a parent or person with parental responsibility for you can ask for and be given information about you.

If you are over 16, or under 16 and able to make sense of the information yourself and understand your rights, then the people who hold the information should speak to you about it and let you see the information instead of the person with parental responsibility. 

Organisations

Data protection laws do not stop organisations from releasing personal information. Any organisation may be asked to release personal information by the police because it is needed to investigate a crime or a teacher, social worker or health professional might have to share information about a child so the child’s needs can be addressed. 

Your parents can see your educational record, unless the council or school think that sharing that information with your parent “would be likely to cause significant distress or harm” to you or anyone else.