The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) has said it is opening an investigation into a cyber attack that led to the online publication of 1,367 children's details.
According to the Telegraph, sensitive information on children, including details of their behavioural problems, was leaked online after an alleged attack on Gabbitas, a company that advises parents about applying for top independent schools.
The information included the names and addresses of pupils and parents, and confidential notes about their children's personality and school achievements and, in some cases, illnesses and learning difficulties.
Gabbitas parent company Prospects Services has shut down the website after being alerted to the issue. A spokesperson said: “We apologise unreservedly to any individuals who may be affected.”
The website had a database containing parent inquiries into independent schools and breached data included comments on children and parents' personal details.
A spokesman for the ICO said: “We are grateful to The Sunday Telegraph for bringing this possible data breach to our attention. We will be making inquiries into the circumstances of any potential breach of the Data Protection Act before deciding what action, if any, needs to be taken.”