Scotland's qualifications body reports itself to information commissioner

9th March 2018 at 16:46
Scotland's qualifications body reports itself after bombarding teachers' email inboxes
The Scottish Qualifications Authority apologises after sending hundreds of emails containing names and email addresses of markers

Scotland’s national qualifications organisation has reported itself to the country’s information commissioner after inadvertently bombarding teachers’ inboxes with emails that included the names and email addresses of other teachers.

Tes Scotland received a statement from the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) this afternoon, saying that it had taken the action, but that a problem with its automated email service had now been fixed.

SQA has around 15,000 “appointees” – including markers and other roles – who help to process Scotland’s qualifications each year.

It is understood that around 1,200 of them received varying amounts of multiple emails mistakenly, thought to amount to several hundred in some cases.

The emails are believed to have started being sent out in the early hours of yesterday, with the issue coming to SQA’s attention later that morning.

No qualifications compromised

The emails were introductory messages for those joining an e-marking system, but the SQA told Tes Scotland that they contained nothing that would compromise qualifications or exams.

An SQA spokesman said: “An error in an automated service led to a number of SQA appointees receiving multiple emails from us, which included copies of other recipients’ names, and email addresses. Those emails did not contain password details or any other personal information.

“We sincerely apologise for any inconvenience this has caused and have fixed the issue to ensure this does not happen again.

“While no sensitive or personal data other than names and email addresses was published, we take matters regarding personal information very seriously, and will report the incident to the information commissioner’s office.”

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