Child protection records: retention

Read guidance on keeping child protection records, including the information on the pupil file, allegations made against members of staff, and court orders.

Last reviewed on 17 June 2022
School types: All · School phases: All
Ref: 12194
  1. Don't dispose of records about child sexual abuse
  2. No statutory retention period
  3. Recommendations from the IRMS
  4. Keeping records of allegations made against staff
  5. Keeping court orders relating to pupils

Don't dispose of records about child sexual abuse

Currently, it is an offence to destroy any records that might be relevant to the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA). This requirement overrides any UK data protection laws – see section 21 of the Inquiries Act 2005.

This applies to schools, as set out in the latest version of the toolkit for schools from the Information and Records Management Society (IRMS) (see page 36).

Allegations (substantiated or not) about anyone who may have been involved in or had knowledge of child sexual abuse or exploitation Allegations (substantiated or not) about individuals engaging in sexual activity with, or having a sexual interest in, children Institutional failures to protect children from sexual abuse or other exploitation Statutory responsibilities for the care of children in public or private care Development of policies or legislation on child protection The determination of an Honours award to anyone now demonstrated to have had a sexual interest in children, or