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How should you deal with historic paper student files?

27 Nov 2018

The University has produced guidance on how paper student records should be managed and stored

Member of staff writing in notepad

As part of our ongoing activities to comply with the General Data Protection Regulation, we need to ensure that we are not keeping excessive personal data on former students.

The University has therefore produced guidance on how paper student records should be managed and stored.

Many Schools hold historic paper records of former students that  are often stored in basements or attics, in boxes or filing cabinets.

These files can constitute important University records, and are subject to the General Data Protection Regulation.

The University aims to retain a record of all former students, and to provide academic transcripts for former students who require them.

For students who graduated between 1978 and 2006 (inclusive) it is often the case that paper student files held locally are the only source of information held by the University.

Outside these dates, records are held centrally and these central records can be used to provide requested academic transcripts.

How to manage student records

Below is a summary of how to assess if paper-based student records in your area should be managed as per the updated guidance or whether they should be securely destroyed:

Time period

How to manage

More information

Pre 1978

Should be securely disposed of

Secure disposal of documents

1978 – 2006 (inclusive)

Manage and store as per updated guidance.

Guidance on management and storage of documents

2007 – 2012 (inclusive)

Should be securely disposed of

Secure disposal of documents

2013 – present

Still within retention period – if a duplicate then should be securely destroyed; otherwise manage and store

Secure disposal of documents

Records retention schedule

 We will issue further guidance on the management and storage of paper records in the coming months.

For more information, visit:

For queries, contact: