Leeds child psychologist's laptop missing

A laptop used by an educational psychologist dealing with some of Leeds's most troubled children has gone missing.

The computer was reported missing to police yesterday after being missing for a week.

It is the second loss of electronic equipment by local authority staff that has come to light this week.

On Monday the YEP exclusively revealed that a memory stick containing the names and details of 5,000 children, lost by a Leeds City Council employee, turned up in a car previously used as a taxi.

Educational psychologists work with children – often with social or emotional problems – who are having difficulties at school.

Education Leeds bosses are unsure if the missing laptop had either been put in storagee and cannot now be traced or was stolen.

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The company, which is owned by the city council and runs school support services, has said the laptop contained no sensitive information.

Chris Edwards, chief executive of Education Leeds, said the laptop was reported as missing from an Education Leeds office on December 4. "The machine is password protected. We have been assured that no sensitive or confidential information is stored on its hard drive. A thorough search of the building took place but it was not recovered and we are concerned it could have been removed from the building without permission.

"The matter has been reported to the police and an internal investigation is being carried out."

MP Colin Burgon (Lab, Elmet), a former teacher, said: "The only children (educational psychologists] deal with are sensitive cases.

"For them to say it was not confidential or sensitive is an argument that is hard to defend.

"When we come across examples like these it makes us think very carefully about whether we would be well served by having a massive identity database. Education Leeds should have a system in place to guarantee the integrity of all information systems."

Rachel Reeves.

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