Schools do not have the right to collect or store a student’s sensitive, personal information, unless it is necessary for provide educational services to them. The consent of the student, or their parent or carer, is necessary to store sensitive, personal information. For state schools, the right to privacy is an important human right recognised under the Human Rights Act 2019.
Information about a student’s transition (including former names) should only be given to staff on a ‘need-to-know’ basis. Ensuring the privacy of the student respects the student’s right to be represented to the school community in the way they choose to be.
Tiff is a trans student who identifies as female. She has been taught science by Mrs Smith for several years. While in the staffroom one day, Mrs Smith is having a conversation with a new staff member, Mr Jones. Mr Jones asks Mrs Smith what Tiff’s ‘real name’ is. Mrs Smith understands the question to be about Tiff’s birth name which she knows from a previous year of teaching her. She also knows she should not share this information; it could be a breach of the duty to maintain privacy and could affect Tiff’s integration into the school system. Mrs Smith tells Mr Jones that her name is Tiff, and that is how she should be addressed.