Documentation and Information policy

Statement of Intent

Polstead Preschool recognises the importance of maintaining up to date and accurate records, policies and procedures necessary to operate safely, efficiently and in accordance with the law.

Preschool is also aware of its obligations with regard to the storing and sharing of information under the Data Protection Act 1998, and is committed to complying with its regulations and guidance. The Supervisor and staff are aware of the implications of the Data Protection Act 1998 in so far as it affects their roles and responsibilities within the Preschool.

Preschool is committed to a policy of openness with parents/carers with regard to its policies and procedures and the information that Preschool holds on their child. Records and information will be made available to parents/carers on written request unless subject to an exemption. If for any reason a request is going to be refused, then this decision, and an explanation, will be communicated in writing.

Record Keeping

Child information

Ordinarily, information kept on a child will include:

  • Full name (along with any other name the child is known by).
  • Date of birth.
  • Photograph.
  • Nationality.
  • Religion.
  • Main language used.
  • Home address and telephone number(s).
  • Parents’ or carers’ names, addresses, email, telephone numbers and relationship to child.
  • Parents’ or carers’ place of work, email and contact number(s).
  • Any other emergency contact names, emails and numbers.
  • Family doctor’s name, address, email and telephone number(s).
  • Health visitor’s name, address, email and telephone number(s) (if applicable) and/or other professionals involved with child.
  • Details of any special health issues and additional needs.
  • Details of any cultural or religious observances.
  • Details of any special dietary requirements, allergies and food and drink preferences.
  • Names of people authorised by parents/carers to collect children.
  • Any other information relating to the child deemed by staff or parents/carers to be relevant and significant.

DBS information

General principles

Polstead Preschool fully complies with the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) code of practice and the Data Protection Act 1998 and other relevant legislation regarding the correct handling, use, storage, retention and disposal of certificates and certificate information.

Storage and access

Certificate information is kept securely, in lockable, non-portable, storage containers with access strictly controlled and limited to those who are entitled to see it as part of their duties. A log of certificate information is maintained electronically with access restricted to the Preschool Supervisor and members of the Management Committee.


In accordance with section 124 of the Police Act 1997, certificate information is only passed to those who are authorised to receive it in the course of their duties. Preschool maintains a record of all those to whom certificates or certificate information has been revealed and understands that it is a criminal offence to pass this information to anyone who is not entitled to receive it.

Once the inspection has taken place the certificate should be destroyed in accordance with the code of practice.


Certificate information is only used for the specific purpose for which it was requested and for which the applicant’s full consent has been given.


Once a recruitment (or other relevant) decision has been made, we do not keep certificate information for any longer than is necessary. This is generally for a period of up to six months, to allow for the consideration and resolution of any disputes or complaints.

If, in very exceptional circumstances, it is considered necessary to keep certificate information for longer than six months, we will consult the DBS about this and will give full consideration to the Data Protection and Human Rights of the individual before doing so.

Throughout this time, the usual conditions regarding the safe storage and strictly controlled access will prevail.


Once the retention period has elapsed, we will ensure that any DBS certificate information is immediately destroyed by secure means, for example by shredding, pulping or burning. While awaiting destruction, certificate information will not be kept in any insecure receptacle (e.g. waste bin or confidential waste sack).

We will not keep any photocopy or other image of the certificate or any copy or representation of the contents of a certificate. However, not withstanding the above, we may keep a record of the date of issue of a certificate, the name of the subject, the type of certificate requested, the position for which the certificate was requested, the unique reference number of the certificates and the details of the recruitment decision taken.

Acting as an umbrella body

Before acting as an umbrella body (an umbrella body being a registered body which countersigns applications and receives certificate information on behalf of other employers or recruiting organisations), we will take all reasonable steps to satisfy ourselves that they will handle, use, store, retain and dispose of certificate information in full compliance with the code of practice and in full accordance with this policy.

We will also ensure that any body or individual, at whose request applications for DBS certificates are countersigned, has such a written policy and, if necessary, will provide a model policy for that body or individual to use or adapt for this purpose.

Other information

Additionally, and in accordance with our policies and procedures, the following records and information will be stored and maintained by Preschool:

  • An up to date record of all the staff, students and volunteers who work at Preschool, including their name; home address; telephone number; Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) or Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) disclosures; references; employment details and any other information (such as their Personal Development Plan) accrued during their time spent working at Preschool.
  • The name, home address, email and telephone number of any other individuals who reside at, or regularly visit/spend time at Preschool.
  • The name, home address, email and telephone number of the registered person (i.e. Chair of Management Committee).
  • The daily attendance registers, as set out in the Arrivals and Departures policy.
  • An up to date waiting list with details of all children waiting for a place at Preschool, as set out in the Admissions and Fees Policy.
  • Records of the activities planned and implemented by Preschool, including any off-site visits and outings.
  • Records of any medication being held by staff on behalf of children, along with the signed Administration of Medication Form, in the Medication Record Book (in accordance with the Health, Illness and Emergency Policy).
  • Signed Child Information & Permissions Forms, giving parental authorisation for staff to seek emergency medical advice or treatment for children, application of sunscreen and transport arrangements (in accordance with the Health, Illness and Emergency Policy).
  • An Inventory Record of all equipment owned or used by Preschool, including safety checks and repairs carried out, (in accordance with the Equipment and Resources Policy). A copy of the inventory will also be kept off the premises.
  • A fully completed and up to date Accident Record Book and Incident Record Book.
  • Additionally, a regularly updated version of the admissions list will be kept off the premises, but close by, in case of an emergency, such as a fire.
  • A Complaints Log, which includes written record of any complaints received by Preschool, as well as any action taken and the outcome of any investigation.
  • Information and records held on children will be kept in a locked file, access to which will be restricted to the Supervisor and one other designated member of staff.

The Supervisor has overall responsibility for the maintenance and updating of children’s records and ensuring that they are accurate.

Certain records will be retained for a period of three years:

  • The daily record of the names of the children being looked after at Preschool, their hours of attendance and the names of the persons looking after them.
  • Accident Records
  • Medication Records

Records of any complaints received by Preschool are retained for a period of 10 years from the date on which the record was made.

All required records relating to individual children are maintained and retained for 3 years after children last attended Preschool, and until after the next inspection. This rule will be disregarded where regulations and guidance from Ofsted or other statutory agencies override it. All other records are retained in line with current guidance/legislation.

Notification of Changes

Preschool recognises its responsibilities in keeping children, parents/carers, staff and Ofsted informed in writing of any changes to the running or management of Preschool that will directly affect them.

Wherever possible, if changes are to be made affected parties will be given as much warning as possible. In the case of proposed changes that are of considerable scope or importance, Preschool will facilitate consultation with the affected groups or individuals.

In the following cases, it is mandatory for Preschool to inform Ofsted at the earliest possible opportunity:

  • Any significant change to the premises.
  • A serious illness or accident to staff or a Committee member.
  • The serious illness of a cared for child or a serious accident whilst at Preschool.
  • The death of a child or member of staff.
  • Police or social services involvement with the Committee or anyone who lives or is employed on the premises.
  • Any significant change to the operational plan of Preschool.
  • Any allegation of abuse by a member of staff or volunteer or any abuse, which is alleged to have taken place on the premises.
  • Any other significant events, e.g. anything that adversely affects the smooth running of Preschool.

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