The Schoolyard Lawyer: Who has Access to Student Records?


Many parents wonder who can access their child’s school records. This is regulated by both federal law and state law. Under federal law, the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) regulates all issues regarding student records. Under state law, the Code of Massachusetts Regulations (CMR) controls this area.

Those who have access to student records are:

  • The parents or guardians;
  • Non-custodial parents under certain restrictions;
  • The eligible student, if over 14 years old or in 9th grade;
  • Clerical personnel for clerical reasons;
  • School personnel providing services to the student (i.e. teachers, counselors, administrators, occupational therapist, speech therapist, etc.);
  • School personnel who have no access to the student are not authorized without specific, informed written consent.
  • Third parties (any person or agency other than the eligible student, his/her parents, or authorized school personnel) with specific, informed written consent of the eligible student or parent; and
  • The school a student is transferring to, as long as notice is given to the student and parents prior to sending the records.