The Student Loans England quango has apologised after accidentally revealing 8,000 email addresses in a mass-mailing to students reminding them to complete grant applications.

The addresses were sent as an attachment to the main message and included no other personal data beyond the addresses of every other student recipient on the list.

“We have contacted all customers affected to let them know about this issue,” read an extremely short apology on the body’s website.

“The integrity and security of student accounts and the protection of personal information is vital to us and we apologise to all of the students involved.”

No explanation was given for the error.

As data breaches go, this is more embarrassing than significant, but won’t help an organisation still recovering its reputation after the 2009 debacle in which 50,000 students received grants late.

More recently, the organisation’s head, Ed Lester, was revealed by the BBC to be channelling his salary through a private company, cutting his tax liability.