Sharing Information Policy

Purpose of the policy

To ensure that where information need to be shared in the best interest of individuals, that it is done so in a safe and legal manner to protect the individual from risk that can impact on them negatively.

Responsibility

It is the responsibility of all staff to ensure that information is shared on a need to know basis and within the rule of consent.

BCT understand that sharing information is key to delivering better, more efficient services that are coordinated around the needs of the individual. It is essential to enable early intervention and preventative work, for safeguarding and promoting welfare and for wider public protection. Information sharing is a vital element in improving outcomes for all.

Staff are trained to recognise the importance of information sharing and the constrained from sharing information to safeguard the well fare of all. This is especially in early intervention and preventative work where information sharing decisions may be less clear than in safeguarding or child protection situations.

BCT understand the importance of maintaining confidentiality of personal information is kept safe and secure and that practitioners maintain the privacy rights of the individual whilst sharing information to deliver better services. Practitioners within their role understand when, why and how they should share information so that they can do so confidently and appropriately as part of their day-to-day practice. The handling of confidential information is safeguarded and documents do not leave the building or left un-attended, and are returned to a safe place of storage at the end of each working day.

Staff at BCT who have to make decisions about information sharing on a case-by-case basis, will consult the information sharing guidance and associated materials aim to support good practice in information sharing by offering clarity on when and how information can be shared legally and professionally, in order to achieve improved outcomes. Cross-Government guidance has been developed by the DCSF in partnership with the Department for Communities and Local Government (CLG) and in consultation with a range of practitioners, national organisations and representative bodies. It is based on and supersedes the HM Government guidance, first published in April 2006.

BCT follow the seven golden rules for information sharing:

1. Provides a framework to ensure that personal information about living persons is shared appropriately.
2. Open and honest with the person/learner (and/or their family where appropriate) from the outset about why, what, how and with whom information will, or could be shared, and seek their agreement, unless it is unsafe or inappropriate to do so.
3. Seek advice if you are in any doubt, without disclosing the identity of the person where possible.
4. Share with consent where appropriate. BCT staff share with 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, that lack of consent can be overridden in the public interest. You will need to base your judgement on the facts of the case. Consent is gain where documentation and information about individuals need to be share with partners such as Funding organisations, awarding organisations, colleges and other organisation who have invested interest in the educational progression ad well-being and safety of individuals.

Learners will be given the choice to opt out where applicable and provided with information on how and where information should be stored and for the storage duration.

5. Consider safety and well-being
Staff will base information sharing decisions on considerations of the safety and well-being of the person and others who may be affected by their actions. Safety of transmitting information through different media is considered to ensure it is receive by the intended recipient only. Other postal transmission is tracked to their intended destination with follow confirmation of receipt by the intended recipient to ensure safety of information.
6. Necessary, proportionate, relevant, accurate, timely and secure
BCT ensure that the information you share is necessary for the purpose for which you are sharing it, is shared only with those people who need to have it, is accurate and up-to-date, is shared in a timely fashion, and is shared securely.
7. Keep a record
Keep a record of your decision and the reasons for it – whether it is to share information or not. If you decide to share, then record what you have shared, with whom and for what purpose.

Consent

BCT staff recognise when consent should be obtained from a parent or other person with parental responsibility for all children and young people under the age of 16 unless the sharing of information will protect a child or young person from harm or aid in the prevention or detection of a serious crime.

Staff will ensure that consent is informed which means that the person who has given consent understands

  • What will happen to the information
  • Who will be told what
  • Who they will then tell
  • Why people are being told the information

Children and Young People may be able to give consent for information sharing if they have the capacity, by being able to fulfil the above criteria.

Sharing Information without Consent

BCT staff will place the safety and welfare of a child or young person must be the first consideration when making decisions about sharing information.

  • When the perceived needs of the child do not indicate a risk of significant harm the consent of the child, young person or parent must always be sought prior to seeking or sharing any information which identifies the child.

Sharing Information without Consent
BCT staff will place the safety and welfare of a child or young person must be the first consideration when making decisions about sharing information.

  • When the perceived needs of the child do not indicate a risk of significant harm the consent of the child, young person or parent must always be sought prior to seeking or sharing any information which identifies the child.

BCT staff is aware that the decision not to seek consent or to dispense with refusal of consent should only be taken in the following circumstances:

  • There is a legal obligation to do so e.g. court order
  • For statutory requirements e.g. notifiable diseases
  • There is overriding public interest where you must exercise judgement, which include but are not limited to:
    • When there is actual or potential risk of significant harm e.g.
      • When the act of seeking consent would itself place the child or another child / person at risk of ‘significant harm’
      • When the referring agency has made a professional judgement that a child is at risk of significant harm and seeking consent or the refusal of consent is likely to increase the risks to the child, or potentially compromise a child protection investigation
      • When professional judgement is that there is a need to share information to build up a picture to determine whether or not a child is at risk of significant harm and making the child or family aware of this process may, in itself, increase those risks
      • When a child is refusing consent (contrary to the wishes of their parent) and such refusal places the child at risk of significant harm
    • Where information is shared to prevent and/ or aid detection of a serious crime