1.4 Confidentiality and Client Access to Records

Safeguarding Children

1.4 Confidentiality and Client Access to Records

Policy statement


‘Share with informed consent where appropriate and, where possible, respect the wishes of those who do not consent to share confidential information. You may still share information without consent if, in your judgement, there is good reason to do so, such as where safety may be at risk. You will need to base your judgement on the facts of the case.’

Information sharing: Advice for practitioners providing safeguarding services to children, young people, parents and carers (HMG 2015)


At Cullompton Pre-School staff and managers can be said to have a ‘confidential relationship’ with families. It is our intention to respect the privacy of children and their parents and carers, while ensuring that they access high quality early years care and education in our pre-school. We aim to ensure that all parents and carers can share their information in the confidence that it will only be used to enhance the welfare of their children. There are record keeping systems in place that meet legal requirements; means of storing and sharing that information take place within the framework of the General Data Protection Regulations (2018) and the Human Rights Act (1998).


Confidentiality procedures

  • All information given by parents is treated as confidential.
  • Some parents sometimes share information about themselves with other parents as well as staff; the setting cannot be held responsible if information is shared beyond those parents whom the person has ‘confided’ in.
  • Information shared between parents in a discussion or training group is usually bound by a shared agreement that the information is confidential to the group and not discussed outside of it.
  • We inform parents when we need to record confidential information beyond the general personal information we keep (see our Children’s Records Policy and Privacy Notice) – for example with regard to any injuries, concerns or changes in relation to the child or the family, any discussions with parents on sensitive matters, any records we are obliged to keep regarding action taken in respect of child protection and any contact and correspondence with external agencies in relation to their child. (See Policy statement within 1.5 Information Sharing).
  • We keep all records securely (see our record keeping procedures). Where information is kept electronically, we ensure that PCs are password protected.
  • All our Committee members sign a confidentiality statement.


Client access to records procedures

Parents may request access to any confidential records held on their child and family following the procedure below:

  • Any request to see the child’s personal file by a parent or person with parental responsibility must be made in writing to the setting leader or manager, who will ensure the records are made available at an agreed time.
  • The pre-school leader informs the chairperson of the management committee and sends a written acknowledgement, if deemed necessary.
  • The pre-school commits to providing access within one month, although this may be extended by a further two months where requests are complex or numberous. If this is the case we will inform you within one month of the receipt of the request and explain why the extension is necessary.
  • A fee may be charged for repeated requests.
  • The pre-school’s leader or manager and chairperson of the management committee prepare the file for viewing.
  • All third parties are written to, stating that a request for disclosure has been received and asking for their permission to disclose to the person requesting it. Copies of these letters are retained on file.
  • ‘Third parties’ include all family members who may be referred to in the records.
  • It also includes workers from any other agency, including social services, the health authority, etc. It is usual for agencies to refuse consent to disclose, preferring the individual to go directly to them.
  • When all the consents/refusals to disclose have been received these are attached to the copy of the request letter.
  • A photocopy of the complete file is taken.
  • The pre-school leader and chairperson of the management committee go through the file and remove any information which a third party has refused consent to disclose. This is best done with a thick black marker, to score through every reference to the third party and information they have added to the file.
  • What remains is the information recorded by the pre-school, detailing the work initiated and followed by them in relation to confidential matters. This is called the ‘clean copy’.
  • The ‘clean copy’ is photocopied for the parents who are then invited in to discuss the contents. The file should never be given straight over, but should be gone through by the pre-school leader, so that it can be explained.
  • Legal advice may be sought before sharing a file, especially where the parent has possible grounds for litigation against the pre-school or another (third party) agency.
  • The law requires that the information we hold must be held for a legitimate reason and must be accurate (see our Privacy Notice).


Telephone advice regarding general queries may be made to The Information Commissioner’s Office Helpline 0303 123 1113.


All the undertakings above are subject to the paramount commitment of the pre-school, which is to the safety and well-being of the child. Please see also our policy on child protection.


Legal framework


  • General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) (2018)
  • Human Rights Act (1998)

Further guidance


  • Information sharing: Advice for practitioners providing safeguarding services to children, young people, parents and carers (HM Government 2015)



This policy was adopted at a meeting of
Cullompton Pre-School name of setting
Held on 23rd June 2010 (date)
Date to be reviewed 23rd June 2011 (date)
Signed on behalf of the management committee Michelle Ratcliff
Name of signatory Michelle Ratcliff
Role of signatory (e.g. chair/owner) Chairperson



This policy was updated by the Pre-School Learning Alliance and, thus, has been subsequently reviewed and re-adopted by the management committee.


Re-adopted at a meeting held on 16th February 2011 (date)
Date to be reviewed February 2012
Signed on behalf of the management committee  

E M Jones

Name of signatory Emma Jones
Role of signatory (e.g. chair/owner) Chairperson



This policy has an annual review period and, as such, will be reviewed and signed off at a management committee meeting of Cullompton Pre-School each year, as shown below.





Previously reviewed on:- 10th February 2014




Michael Hall


Previously reviewed on:- 23rd February 2015




Caroline Williams


Previously reviewed on:-


22nd February 2016




Sarah Lush


Previously reviewed on:-


27th March 2017




Sarah Lush





Reviewed by Staff on:


25th March 2019 (MW, AP)
Reviewed by Committee on:


24th April 2019
Date of next review:


March 2020
Signed on behalf of the Management


A Fox
Name of Signatory (printed):


Role of Signatory (e.g. Chairperson)