Exam Results Data Breach – How Much Could I Claim?

Has your personal data been subject to an exam results data breach? When going through exams you should be able to expect that your personal information is protected by those responsible for collecting and storing it. The organisation in charge of your personal data must follow data protection law.

exam results data breach

Exam results data breach claims guide

Exams can be stressful, and a personal data breach can add unwanted and undue stress on top of that, causing significant damage to your mental health. Alongside this, a personal data breach could lead to financial harm.

This guide will explain how a personal data breach could happen, who could be eligible to make a claim, and how a breach could affect you. We will also explore the possible compensation you may receive and how our panel of solicitors could help with the claiming process. 

If you would like to speak to our advisors today about your personal data breach, get in touch by:

Select A Section

  1. What Is A Data Breach Of Exam Results?
  2. Types Of Educational Institutions Where An Exam Results Data Breach Could Happen
  3. How Long Does A School Have To Report A Data Breach?
  4. Evidence For An Exam Results Data Breach
  5. Exam Results Data Breach Settlement Calculator
  6. Find Out More About Making A No Win No Fee Claim

What Is A Data Breach Of Exam Results?

The UK General Data Protection Regulations 2016 (UK GDPR) and the Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA) work together to establish data protection regulations that apply to UK residents. They inform the organisation that collects or processes your data of how they should ensure it is protected.

Failing to put the proper steps in place to safeguard your data could result in a personal data breach. A personal data breach is a security incident that compromises the integrity, availability, or confidentiality of your personal data.

Personal data is any information that has been processed and could be used to identify you whether alone or when combined with other information. This could be your school or educational email address, student I.D number, full name, phone number, or date of birth.

However, there are some criteria your case must meet if you wish to make a personal data breach claim, including:

  • The breach must have exposed your personal data
  • It must be a result of the data controller or processor’s failure to safeguard your data; if they did everything they could to protect your data, but a breach happened anyway, you’d be unable to claim.
  • You must suffer harm as a result of the breach, either psychologically or financially.

Our team of advisors can tell you if you have a valid exam results data breach claim when you get in touch. If your claim is found to be valid, they may put you in contact with a data protection solicitor from our panel.

Types Of Educational Institutions Where An Exam Results Data Breach Could Happen

An exam results data breach can happen in an educational institution that holds exams and processes exam results. Education institutions are often data controllers. This means that they control how and why your personal data is collected and used. It also means that they must comply with data protection law to prevent a personal data breach from occurring.

Some examples of institutions that could suffer a personal data breach of exam results include:

  • Exam boards
  • Secondary schools
  • Sixth forms
  • Colleges
  • Universities
  • Academies

All of these institutions are responsible for professing personal data, or could have another organisation (a data processor) do this for them. Data controllers and processors are both bound by data protection laws. 

If you have suffered harm as a result of an exam results data breach, contact our advisors today. They can provide free legal advice and tell you what next steps you could take to make a claim.

How Long Does A School Have To Report A Data Breach?

According to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), the organisation must inform you if there has been a personal data breach that could affect your rights or freedoms. Alongside this, they must also inform the ICO of the breach within 72 hours.

If a school or organisation fails to inform you of a personal data breach, you can make a complaint to the ICO. They cannot provide compensation for the breach, but they can open an investigation. If the organisation responsible for your personal data is found to be in breach of data protection law, the ICO may levy a fine against them.

There are also time limits surrounding making a claim. Generally, this is six years for claims made against private organisations and one year for claims made against public organisations.

Contact our advisors today to learn more about how this could affect your exam results data breach claim.

Evidence For An Exam Results Data Breach

To form the basis of a valid claim, you must be able to prove that you suffered harm as a result of the breach. You must also be able to prove that the breach was a result of the organisation’s failings. With this in mind, there are some steps you can take to strengthen your exam results data breach claim, including:

  • Correspondence with the organisation: Contacting the school or institute responsible for the breach to confirm that your personal data was affected could help strengthen your claim.
  • Complain to the ICO: Making a complaint to the ICO creates a record of the breach and opens up the possibility of an investigation. You should complain to the ICO no later than three months from your last meaningful communication with the organisation.
  • Gather evidence: Gathering evidence of the harm you may have suffered can help prove your claim. For example, this could be a medical assessment proving that you have suffered psychological injuries, such as depression or PTSD. Or, this could be in the form of a bank statement, proving that you suffered financial harm.

We also recommend seeking legal advice if your personal data has been breached. Our advisors can tell you more about how a solicitor from our panel could help you strengthen your claim.

Exam Results Data Breach Settlement Calculator

If your personal data breach claim is successful, it is possible that you will receive compensation which is made up of two sets of damages. These damages are:

  • Material damages – These cover the financial losses you may suffer due to stolen banking account information or compromised credit cards or debit cards. For example, you may be able to claim back unlawful withdrawals of money, theft, fraud, and identity impersonation.
  • Non-material damages – These address the mental injuries sustained due to a personal data breach, including anxiety, paranoia, depression, stress, and other psychiatric issues. Following Vidal-Hall and Others v Google Inc [2015], it is now possible to claim for non-material damages without claiming for material damages alongside them.

You can get a broad idea of what you could receive if your claim succeeds by looking at the brackets provided by the 2022 edition of the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG). The JCG provides potential settlement figures for your mental health injuries, according to what injury you suffer from and how bad it is. Instead of including a data breach compensation calculator, we have provided some of the possible figures in the table below:

Injury Compensation Notes
Severe post-trauma anxiety disorder (a) £59,860 to £100,670 The injured person may suffer from injuries preventing them from working at all or to a pre-trauma level.
Moderately severe post-trauma anxiety disorder (b) £23,150 to £59,860 The injured person’s prognosis may have improved due to professional help, however, disabilities do persist in the future.
Moderate post-trauma anxiety disorder (c) £8,180 to £23,150 A large recovery has been undertaken and any lasting injuries will not be greatly disabling.
Less severe post-trauma anxiety disorder (d) £3,950 to £8,180 Where there is a complete recovery within one to two years with minor symptoms continuing.
Severe psychological general damage (a) £54,830 to £115,730 The person suffers injuries that detrimentally impact relationships, employability, education, and prognosis. The award you receive depends on treatments undergone, vulnerabilities, and the extent of a successful recovery.
Moderately severe psychological general damage (b) £19,070 to £54,830 Where the prognosis is slightly better than above, but there are still considerable problems with the same factors.
Moderate psychological general damage (c) £5,860 to £19,070 Marked improvement in prognosis, however, the problem still exists.
Less severe psychological general damage (d) £1,540 to £5,860 Award is dependent on the disability period and the effect mental injuries have on daily activities and sleep.

The figures in the table above are only guidelines, and the actual amount you could receive may vary. Contact our team of advisors today for a free estimation of what your exam results data breach claim could be worth. 

Find Out More About Making A No Win No Fee Claim

Our advisors can tell you if you could be eligible to claim and can give you free estimation of what your claim could be worth. If your claim is valid, they may be able to put you in touch with a No Win No Fee solicitor from our expert panel.

Our panel of solicitors offer their legal services under a type of No Win No Fee arrangement known as a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA). A CFA allows you to access legal representation without the high costs traditionally associated with a solicitor’s service, as there are no ongoing or upfront fees. Also, if your claim fails, you do not pay your solicitor’s service fee.

If your case is successful, your CFA lawyer takes their payment via a success fee, which is a small percentage of your awarded compensation. This percentage has a legal cap. To find out how a solicitor from our panel could help you, get in touch today by:


We have other helpful data breach guides:

Plus, we have gathered some informative external links too:

Contact our advisors today for information regarding your exam results data breach claim. 

Writer KT

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