HomeData Protection GuidelinesData Access RequestsThere is No Age of Consent for Access Requests

There is No Age of Consent for Access Requests

In relation to access requests made by the student, under section 4 Data Protection Acts, there is no “age of consent” in the Data Protection Acts.  A student who is under 18 years old is entitled to receive their data if they make an access request. Where a school/ETB receives an access request under section 4 from a student aged under 18 years, the school/ETB will need to consider the nature of the data they hold and whether the student is mature enough to deal with the information. If there is anything on the student’s file which might be upsetting or distressing for the student to receive, appropriate support and pastoral care should be offered to the student.  It is suggested that If the information is ordinary, routine or non-controversial (e.g. a record of a test result) the student could readily be given access. However, if the information is of a sensitive nature, in certain circumstances appropriate measures should be taken before releasing the data to the student to ensure the student is appropriately supported. In appropriate cases advice should be sought before releasing the materials to the student.  

Where a parent wishes to obtain information relating to their child, see Parental Access Requests