Confidentiality Policy

The Information, Advice and Support (IAS) Service for Windsor and Maidenhead offers a confidential service to children and young people with SEN and disabilities, and their parents. In doing so, we have responsibilities under Common Law and the Data Protection Act 1998.

What do we mean by ‘confidential’?

Everything you tell us, either in person or on the phone, will be treated as strictly private.

What it means to you

Everything you tell us will be treated in strict confidence. We will not disclose your records to, or discuss your business with, anybody outside the IAS Service without your clear consent, except if we suspect a child or young person is at risk.

Referrals to the IAS Service by practitioners (i.e. someone working with you or your child/young person) are only accepted if you have given your permission for this to happen.

What it means to us

Everyone working within the IAS Service for Windsor and Maidenhead, including our volunteers, is required to follow this confidentiality policy.

Data Protection Act 1998

Any written information concerning service users will conform to the requirements of the Data Protection Act.

This means that you have the right to see any records we keep about you or your child. You can ask to see or have copies of our records. All you need to do is contact us to make an appointment.

What this means in practice

We will tell you what information we keep, and why, and how it is kept when you contact us.

  • Information held by the IAS Service is confidential; it is held separately from Council records, on a secure database which can only be accessed by IAS Service staff.
  • We will only access records held elsewhere (for example, by RBWM services or schools) with your clear consent.
  • At times it might be helpful to ask for, or pass on, information and we will always discuss this with you. It will be your decision whether we talk to other people about you or your child. We will always record whether you have given your permission for us to share information or discuss your circumstances with other people.
  • All records will be maintained electronically on the secure database. However, if there is a need to store paper documents while we are working with you, these will be kept in locked filing cabinets and will be disposed of securely when they have been uploaded to the database.
  • At times, for training purposes, cases may be informally discussed or used as case studies. Where this takes place, PPO will ensure that any identifying details will be removed to ensure that the confidentiality of the service user is protected.

Exceptions to our confidentiality policy

Everybody has a duty to safeguard children. If we have information which leads us to believe a child or young person is at risk, we have a legal duty to share this information, in line with local safeguarding protocols. This is the only exception to our confidentiality policy.

In most instances, we would discuss this with you. However, we do not have to gain your permission to share information with the relevant services if we believe that a child or young person is at risk of  significant harm.

Reviewing our confidentiality policy

Our confidentiality policy will be reviewed every 2 years.