Privacy Notice (How we use pupil information)
As a school we collect a significant amount of information about our pupils. This notice explains why we collect the information, how we use it, the type of information we collect and our lawful reasons to do so.
Why do we collect data?
We collect and use the pupil data to:
- Fulfil our statutory obligations to safeguard and protect children and vulnerable people
- Enable targeted, personalised learning for pupils
- Manage behaviour and effective discipline
- Monitor our effectiveness
- Comply with our legal obligations to share data
- Support pupils to fulfil their potential
- Assess the quality of our services
- Keep pupils, parents and carers informed about school events and school news
Our Legal Obligations
We must make sure that information we collect and use about pupils is in line with the GDPR and Data Protection Act. This means that we must have a lawful reason to collect the data, and that if we share that with another organisation or individual we must have a legal basis to do so.
The lawful basis for schools to collect information comes from a variety of sources, such as the Education Act 1996, Regulation 5 of The Education (Information About Individual Pupils) (England) Regulations 2013, Article 6 and Article 9 of the GDPR.
The Department for Education and Local Authorities require us to collect certain information and report back to them. This is called a ‘public task’ and is recognised in law as it is necessary to provide the information.
We also have obligations to collect data about children who are at risk of suffering harm, and to share that with other agencies who have a responsibility to safeguard children, such as the police and social care.
We also share information about pupils who may need or have an Education Health and Care Plan (or Statement of Special Educational Needs). Medical teams have access to some information about pupils, either by agreement or because the law says we must share that information, for example school nurses may visit the school.
Counselling services, careers services, occupational therapists are the type of people we will share information, so long as we have consent or are required by law to do so.
We must keep up to date information about parents and carers for emergency contacts.
How we use the data
In school we also use various third-party tools to make sure that pupils best interests are advanced. We also record details about progress, attainment and pupil development to support future planning and learning.
We use software to track progress and attainment.
We use data to manage and monitor pastoral needs and attendance/absences so that suitable strategies can be planned if required.
We use systems to take electronic payments for school meals. This includes financial software to manage school budgets, which may include some pupil data.
Data can be used to monitor school effectiveness, the impact of intervention and learning styles across groups of pupils as well as individual children.
We may use consultants, experts and other advisors to assist the school in fulfilling its obligations and to help run the School properly. We might need to share pupil information with them if this is relevant to their work.
We also use contact information to keep pupils, parents, carers up to date about school events.
What type of data is collected?
The DfE and government requires us to collect a lot of data by law, so that they can monitor and support schools more widely, as well as checking on individual schools’ effectiveness.
The categories of pupil information that the school collects, holds and shares include the following:
- Personal information – e.g. names, pupil numbers and addresses
- Characteristics – e.g. ethnicity, language, nationality, country of birth and free school meal eligibility
- Attendance information – e.g. number of absences and absence reasons
- Assessment information – e.g. national curriculum assessment results
- Relevant medical information
- Information relating to SEND and health needs
- Behavioural information – e.g. number of temporary exclusions
- CCTV, photos and video recordings of you are also personal information
This list is not exhaustive.
Storing pupil data
We hold pupil data securely for the set amount of time shown in our data retention schedule.
Who we share pupil information with
We routinely share pupil information with:
- schools that the pupil’s attend after leaving us
- our local authority
- the Department for Education (DfE)
- school nurse and NHS
Collecting pupil information
Whilst the majority of pupil information you provide to us is mandatory, some of it is provided to us on a voluntary basis. In order to comply with Data Protection legislation, we will inform you whether you are required to provide certain pupil information to us or if you have a choice in this.
Why we share pupil information
We do not share information about our pupils with anyone without consent unless the law and our policies allow us to do so.
We share pupils’ data with the Department for Education (DfE) on a statutory basis. This data sharing underpins school funding and educational attainment policy and monitoring.
We are required to share information about our pupils with the (DfE) under regulation 5 of The Education (Information About Individual Pupils) (England) Regulations 2013.
Requesting access to your personal data
Under data protection legislation, parents and pupils have the right to request access to information about them that we hold. To make a request for your personal information, or be given access to your child’s educational record, contact email@example.com.
You also have the right to:
- ask us for access to information about you that we hold
- have your personal data rectified, if it is inaccurate or incomplete
- request the deletion or removal of personal data where there is no compelling reason for its continued processing
- restrict our processing of your personal data (i.e. permitting its storage but no further processing)
- object to direct marketing (including profiling) and processing for the purposes of scientific/historical research and statistics
- not to be subject to decisions based purely on automated processing where it produces a legal or similarly significant effect on you
If you have a concern about the way we are collecting or using your personal data, we request that you raise your concern with us in the first instance. Alternatively, you can contact the Information Commissioner’s Office at https://ico.org.uk/concerns/
For further information on how to request access to personal information held centrally by DfE, please see the ‘How Government uses your data’ section of this notice.
Withdrawal of consent and the right to lodge a complaint
Where we are processing your personal data with your consent, you have the right to withdraw that consent. If you change your mind, or you are unhappy with our use of your personal data, please let us know by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org
We may need to update this privacy notice periodically, so we recommend that you revisit this information from time to time. This version was last updated in November 2020.
If you would like to discuss anything in this privacy notice, please contact email@example.com
More information about Data Protection and our Policies
How we manage the data and our responsibilities to look after and share data is explained in our Data Protection policy and connected policies which are also available on our website.
How Government uses your data
The pupil data that we lawfully share with the DfE through data collections:
- underpins school funding, which is calculated based upon the numbers of children and their characteristics in each school.
- informs ‘short term’ education policy monitoring and school accountability and intervention (for example, school GCSE results or Pupil Progress measures).
- supports ‘longer term’ research and monitoring of educational policy (for example how certain subject choices go on to affect education or earnings beyond school)
Data collection requirements
To find out more about the data collection requirements placed on us by the Department for Education (for example; via the school census) go to https://www.gov.uk/education/data-collection-and-censuses-for-schools
The National Pupil Database (NPD)
Much of the data about pupils in England goes on to be held in the National Pupil Database (NPD).
The NPD is owned and managed by the Department for Education and contains information about pupils in schools in England. It provides invaluable evidence on educational performance to inform independent research, as well as studies commissioned by the Department.
It is held in electronic format for statistical purposes. This information is securely collected from a range of sources including schools, local authorities and awarding bodies.
To find out more about the NPD, go to https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/national-pupil-database-user-guide-and-supporting-information
Sharing by the Department
The law allows the Department to share pupils’ personal data with certain third parties, including:
- schools and local authorities
- organisations connected with promoting the education or wellbeing of children in England
- other government departments and agencies
- organisations fighting or identifying crime
For more information about the Department’s NPD data sharing process, please visit:
Organisations fighting or identifying crime may use their legal powers to contact DfE to request access to individual level information relevant to detecting that crime. Whilst numbers fluctuate slightly over time, DfE typically supplies data on around 600 pupils per year to the Home Office and roughly 1 per year to the Police.
For information about which organisations the Department has provided pupil information, (and for which project) or to access a monthly breakdown of data share volumes with Home Office and the Police please visit the following website: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/dfe-external-data-shares
How to find out what personal information DfE hold about you
Under the terms of the Data Protection Act 2018, you are entitled to ask the Department:
- if they are processing your personal data
- for a description of the data they hold about you
- the reasons they’re holding it and any recipient it may be disclosed to
- for a copy of your personal data and any details of its source
If you want to see the personal data held about you by the Department, you should make a ‘subject access request’. Further information on how to do this can be found within the Department’s personal information charter that is published at the address below:
To contact DfE: https://www.gov.uk/contact-dfe