With document retention periods ranging from days to years, document-management specialists Arena Group are working to save schools from storage and retrieval problems. The company’s mstore software, an electronic document and records management system (EDRMS), helps school staff to stick to requirements from the Data Protection Act 1998, which state that schools should not keep records for any longer than necessary.

Information stored by schools has a fairly fixed working life - but relevant data may be required to be held for a considerable period after a particular student has left the school. This can be for all sorts of purposes, including confirmation of attainment and a whole host of legal matters. Obviously, this means that there is a considerable storage burden which is borne by the final school which a given student has attended – a burden which may persist for many years, in some cases until the former student has reached 30 years of age.

What the law says

Two key pieces of legislation come into play with regard to the long term retention of student files (and any other information generated by the school).

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