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It’s important for any organisation to make sure that they’re complying with data protection regulations, and this applies to educational settings too. In particular, multi-academy trusts (MATs) have the responsibility of ensuring that all staff records are kept safe and secure, in a compliant way.

Why are HR records suddenly an issue in Schools and Academies?

As schools convert to academy status, they take on the responsibility that was previously held by a local authority, to hold and maintain staff records in a compliant way. Add to that the grouping of academies into multi-academy trusts, and that means that lots of these records are suddenly in one place, with a lack of efficient storing method.

What does that mean for a MAT?

There is a responsibility under the General Data Protection Regulation, commonly known as GDPR, and Data Protection Act legislation, commonly known as DPA, that these records be safe, accurate and recoverable on demand. A common issue amongst newly instated MATs is that a lot of these records may be kept as paper copies, which can often cause a number of problems.

When these records are kept as paper copies, they typically:

So, what is the solution?

A great solution for MATs when it comes to data management and storage is to adopt an electronic document management system (EDMS). Ensuring that important documents are kept safe and secure digitally means that the educational setting can guarantee that they’re always complying with both GDPR and DPA regulations. It reduces the risk of loss of data, which could be a big problem for data protection.

Adopting an electronic document management system means that the papers previously storing this important information can be securely destroyed, once they’ve been scanned into an electronic format. This reduces the risk of destruction of data, as it means that the papers can’t get accidentally destroyed or misplaced, or even worse end up in the wrong hands.

Updating your document management system also makes it a lot easier to search within the data. Rather than sifting through hundreds of pieces of paper to find the one you’re looking for, having an electronic document management system means that data can be searchable using multiple search fields, meaning that the data can be utilised more efficiently.

How can this be implemented?

Using a supplier on Lot 5 of YPO’s RM6175 Records Management framework allows for a combination of a) scanning in bulk the existing records to digital format b) secure destruction of paper records and c) hosting of the data within a cloud platform that is licensed as Software as a Service. This means there is no expense of providing servers to hold the data or paying for licenses you don’t need – you can flex your licensing as the Trust grows or shrinks.

Once the solution is in place then adding documents is easy in small amounts, you may even be able to get a connector for your MFD so that you can do it as a single task!

 

To find out more about the framework and how an electronic document management system could help your multi-academy trust, explore the framework home here. Explore YPO’s full contracts for schools offering here.

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Author

Keith Stevenson

National Account Director
Ricoh