Page last updated at 13:31 GMT, Saturday, 3 April 2010 14:31 UK

Data on 9,000 school children stolen in burglary

Computer keyboard
A council employee has been suspended following the incident

Memory sticks and CDs containing the personal details of 9,000 school children have been stolen from a house in north London.

The devices storing names, addresses and dates of birth of pupils in Barnet were taken during in a break-in at a council employee's home two weeks ago.

Barnet council said the employee, who had taken the details home without permission, had been suspended.

It said there was a "very low risk" of any impact on named individuals.

The data included information about children's educational attainment, entitlement to free school meals and home postcodes.

'Policy breached'

It related to Year 11 pupils from 2007, 2008 and 2009.

During the raid burglars stole computer equipment, several CDs, memory sticks and other items from the house.

The computer equipment was encrypted - in line with council policies to avoid access to confidential information - but this was not the case with the CDs or memory sticks.

"This was a clear breach of our policies and the member of staff concerned has been suspended," said Barnet council's chief executive Nick Walkley.

The council has set up a helpline for any parents or guardians concerned about the incident.

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