It has been a year of chaos. The Oxford English Dictionary usually nominate one word as ‘Word of the Year’. This year, there has been so much change that they couldn’t narrow it down to just one. “Covid-19, Lockdown, Anti-Maskers, Unmute” Not to forget “Bushfire” when millions of acres of Australian bushland burnt at the beginning of the year.

The point is, a lot has changed.

However, the more things change, the more they stay the same. Throughout all the madness, GDPR has not gone anywhere. As we reach another festive period, the same questions pop up again. Chiefly, “What about Christmas cards?”

Secondary school teachers, Universities and College staff, you probably get off lightly here! En Masse Christmas card delivery is usually a feature of primary schools. Unfortunately for primary schools, it can be a little complex.


The Christmas Card Conundrum

Children in your class can send Christmas cards. They’re (tiny) individuals, sending cards to other (tiny) individuals. Nothing wrong with spreading a little holiday cheer! However, many teachers get asked for a class list to make the process easier for parents…

…And you can’t give it to them. Giving out a class list is disclosing personal data. The task isn’t essential to running a school, so you’d have to get consent. Co-ordinating consent forms for the parents of hundreds of children? Not fun, and not easy.

So you can’t hand out a list.

“But how can the little Boys and Girls spread their festive cheer?”  you ask. Never fear, there is a solution.

There’s nothing stopping an individual from looking round the classroom, and writing down the names of their friends. They’re an individual, not an organisation, and all they’re doing is writing down publicly disclosed information (It’s hard to keep your identity secret when you’re sat in the second row). If you’re working with young children, it might even be a opportunity for some yuletide handwriting practice!

So Christmas isn’t cancelled, and with a little bit of sideways thinking you can still have Holiday Cards flying around the classroom! Although we’re not health and safety experts, so it’s your choice on the flying part.