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Schools: Census

Question for Department for Education

UIN HL17037, tabled on 9 July 2019

To ask Her Majesty's Government what criteria are used when reaching decisions on the monthly matching and handovers of school census data about children by the Department for Education (DfE) to the Home Office for immigration enforcement purposes; what algorithms are used by the DfE to process such data; and what is the role of the Secretary of State for Education in making such decisions.

Answered on

19 July 2019

Where the Home Office have clear evidence of criminal activity, including illegal immigration, limited data, including a pupil’s address and school details, may be requested from the Department for Education’s (DfE) National Pupil Database (NPD).

In such cases, the Home Office provide the DfE with the child’s name, gender, date of birth and address (including postcode). The DfE will match this data against the records held on the NPD and, if there is a clear match, they will provide the Home Office with information relating to those individuals.

This process, and the data shared, is fully documented in the Memorandum of Understanding between the Home Office and DfE. A copy of this agreement is available in the Libraries of both Houses and is attached.