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Recording of personal tutor meetings

It is useful to maintain a record of meetings with student for the following reasons:

  • It provides a record of student attendance which may help with identifying issues of non-engagement.
  • To provide a brief account of what was discussed and record any follow up needed by the tutor or student.

The records kept only need to be brief and it is suggested they include:

  • A Record of the student’s name and ID number
  • A Record of the date and time of the meeting
  • A note of the type of meeting (e.g. a routine meeting or a meeting to discuss a particular issue)
  • A Summary of the main issues discussed
  • Details of any advice given
  • Detail and actions for the tutor or student
  • Records non-attendance at meetings

The tutor could ask the student to keep a record of the meeting.  Records must be objective and not contain subjective comments.

The Data Protection Act 1998

Additional care should be taken when recording any sensitive personal data. Examples of sensitive personal data as defined by the Data Protection Act include:

  • The racial or ethnic origin of the data subject
  • Their political opinions
  • Their religious beliefs or other beliefs of a similar nature
  • Their physical or mental health or condition
  • Their sexual life

If you are recording any such information, you need written permission to disclose it. The Data Protection Act states that all personal data should be obtained for a specified purpose, and this data should be adequate, relevant and not excessive.  Furthermore, data should be accurate and kept up to date.

You should avoid recording any of the categories of sensitive personal information specified in the Data Protection Act unless you think it is affecting a student’s academic performance or wellbeing.  If you think you do need to record such information you need the written consent of the student to record it (email is acceptable).

Disclosure is almost always the choice of the student. The tutor’s role is only advisory.

Data Protection legislation means that students have a legal right to access any personal information about them held by the University. The means that personal tutors need to be aware that everything they record on paper or electronically can potentially be seen by the student in question.

Record retention

The Data Protection Act 1998 requires that all personal information, whether recorded on paper or held in a computer file, must be kept securely.  Records should only be kept as long as they are needed and must be disposed of securely.  In accordance with the University’s retention guidelines, Personal tutor records should be destroyed 5 years after the last contact with the student.

Governance and Review

September 2014

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