What is an Information Asset?

‘An information asset is a body of information, defined and managed as a single unit so it can be understood, shared, protected and exploited efficiently’ ~ National Archives Society

 Information assets are generally grouped together to make managing them easier. They tend to be broken down by differences in risk and retention.

What does this actually mean?

This is a fancy way of saying an asset is a group of related information that has value to your school.

For example, pupil information is valuable because you need it to provide education, medical support and pastoral care. It has risks associated with it because it is personal information which can be used beyond the purpose the school normally uses it for.

Retention: pupil information has specific retentions dependent on which school the record originates from, or whether safeguarding measures have been put in place, amongst other things.

It also has definable boundaries, so when information is used for a different purpose, it can become part of a different asset. For example when SEND information is used as part of a complaint, this information then becomes part of a complaints file which is an asset in its own right and has a separate retention period.

The same information can appear in several different assets, for example pupil name, date of birth, address etc, but the asset should be defined by how you use the information – consider ‘big enough to be given an owner, small enough to manage’. Each information asset should have a purpose and an identity.