News / SIC apologises for publishing consultees’ names

SHETLAND Islands Council has issued an apology to a “small number of individuals” whose names and addresses were included – against their wishes – in published documents relating to the consultation on potential school closures in Northmavine.

In some cases where individuals had asked for their personal details be withheld when responding to the North Roe and Urafirth primary consultations, those details were inadvertently still visible after the material was scanned and uploaded to the SIC website at the weekend.

As soon as schools service staff were made aware of the error, the affected webpages were taken offline and action has now been taken to ensure all responses are now anonymous – where requested by individuals – using “an effective means of obscuring personal details on the scanned documents available online”.

One person from the area, who did not wish to be named, pointed out it was not the first time such an error had occurred and said it was “destroying faith in the system”.


SIC quality improvement manager Audrey Edwards said: “We’d like to apologise to a small number of individuals who may have had their names and addresses revealed in their responses to the consultation report for the North Roe and Urafith primary schools.

“As soon as possible, we took steps to ensure that the responses were temporarily removed. Details have now been removed and we have taken steps to ensure that this won’t happen again.

“I’d like to encourage anyone who responds to future consultations to do so, knowing that if requested, their personal details won’t be visible online.”

In 2009 confidential responses from school teachers regarding the location of the new Anderson High School were published by mistake, prompting an internal investigation and formal apology.

The full consultation reports on the possible closure of North Roe and Urafirth were published on Friday. The SIC’s education and families committee will discuss the report on 4 November before making a recommendation to the full council, which meets the following day.

You can read the report here: http://www.shetland.gov.uk/education/schools_reconfiguration_project.asp

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