Sharing aggregate information

Sometimes groups want to share information in aggregate form, which does not identify specific individuals.

This type of information is useful for identifying trends and patterns in learning support needs across a community, without identifying individual children or young people.

To avoid identifying anyone, each category in the data should include at least five individuals – any lower and there is a risk that someone could work out who they are. Sometimes you will need to use your judgement to work out where that threshold lies.

You can provide information to someone with data expertise for the purpose of aggregating it.

Usually you should take out names when you provide it to that person and only include the information that you have agreed as a community is needed, unless the person needs to combine different data sources and needs to identify individuals to make the initial link.

Information is then collated into groups and the original data is safely disposed of.

No one should be able to work back from the aggregate information to identify specific children and young people. Aggregated information is therefore suitable for designing programmes for groups of children rather than responding directly to individual needs.

Even if your group is only sharing aggregate information, it is important that you have a protocol in place to ensure that information is safely collated.

 

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