Schools, Local Authorities (LA), the Department for Education (DfE) and other educational bodies that process personal data about pupils and staff are required by the Data Protection Act to issue a Privacy Notice to all parents/pupils and staff to inform them of the purposes for which that personal data may be held and used.
Privacy Notices must be issued to new pupils and staff by the school or LA but this can be done at the same time as other communications that they issue. For example:
- A pupil might receive the Privacy Notice as part of a school brochure or induction pack, or in a school diary, and/or it could be posted on the school notice board.
- For staff, the Privacy Notice might be included as part of a contract, induction pack, and/or posted on the staff notice board.
- A child receiving Social Care Services or a child looked after might receive their Privacy Notice as part of other information about the services that they are being offered.
It is no longer necessary to reissue Privacy Notices to pupils or staff who have received previous versions.
It is anticipated that staff, and young people who have the maturity to understand the nature and the implications of the request they are making and who have a general understanding of their rights under the Data Protection Act, should generally be able to request to see their personal information themselves under the Subject Access Provisions (S.7) of the Data Protection Act. For children under 12, their parents will generally act on their behalf. In every case, it will be for the school, as data controller, to assess whether the child is capable of understanding their rights under the Act, and the implications of their actions and so decide whether the parent needs to make the request on the child's behalf.
The Privacy Notice refers the recipient to both their Local Authority’s website and to the Department for Education’s website to see how they will store and use the data. Explanations are provided on how the data collected in the School Census, Children in Need Census and the School Workforce Census will be used. They include details of organisations with whom data will be shared.
How the Local Authority uses information
The Local Authority (LA) uses information about children and young people for whom it provides services, to enable it to carry out specific functions for which it is responsible, such as the assessment of any special educational needs the child may have. It also uses the information to derive statistics to inform decisions on, for example, the funding of schools, assess their performance and to set targets for them. The statistics are used in such a way that individual children and young people cannot be identified from them. Aggregated data derived from individual pupil records is also used to respond to Freedom of Information requests but, again, no individual pupils can be identified from any information provided.
The Local Authority will use information about its school workforce for research and statistical purposes, and to evaluate and develop education policy and strategies. The statistics are used in such a way that individual staff cannot be identified from them. The LA may also use it to support and monitor schools regarding sickness and the recruitment of staff.
Buckinghamshire Learning Trust (BLT)
The Buckinghamshire Learning Trust (BLT) is a charitable trust that has been established in order to provide high quality services to schools and settings primarily in Buckinghamshire, but also beyond the County boundaries. The Local Authority is working in partnership with the BLT and information about children and pupils will be shared between the two parties in order to deliver these services.
Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust
The Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust use information about pupils for research and statistical purposes, to develop, monitor and evaluate the performance of local health services. These statistics will not identify individual pupils. It is necessary for certain health information about children (e.g. such as their height and weight) to be retained for a certain period of time (designated by the Department of Health) and requires the Healthcare Trust to maintain children’s names and addresses for this purpose.
The Local Authority provides the Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust with details of pupils’ names, dates of birth, addresses and schools attended in order to facilitate vaccination programmes, screening programmes (e.g. vision and hearing) and the National Child Measurement programme.
Youth Support Services
For pupils aged 13 years and over, schools are legally required to pass on certain information to the provider of Youth Support Services in their area. This is the local authority support service for young people in England who are aged 13 to 19 – in Buckinghamshire this Youth Support Service is provided by Connexions Buckinghamshire. The school must provide the name and address of the pupil and their parents or guardians, and any further information relevant to the support services' role. In addition, the date of birth of the pupil is supplied.
Until pupils are aged 16 or older, their parent(s) can ask that no information beyond their children’s name, address and date of birth (and their own name and address) be passed to the youth support services provider. Pupils and/or parents will need to inform the school if this is what they wish. This right transfers to the pupil on their 16th birthday.
If a young person lives out of County but attends a Buckinghamshire school, Connexions Buckinghamshire may pass this information on to their home Local Authority.
Youth Support Services pass on some of the information they collect to the Department for Education (DfE) to enable them to produce statistics, assess the local authorities’ performance and determine the destinations of young people after they have left school or college and to evaluate Government funded programmes.
We may also share information with post-16 education and training providers to secure appropriate support for them. We may also share data with education establishments which shows what their pupils go on to do after the age of 16.
The Local Authority may also supply information about young people living in our area to the Youth Support Service in order to help and encourage young people to participate in education or training. This is to support the provision of their education up to the age of 20 (and beyond this age for those with a special education need or disability). Education institutions and other public bodies (including the Department for Education (DfE), police, probation and health services) may pass information to us to help us to do this under the Education and Skills Act 2008, parts 1 and 2.
What the DfE does with pupil, children and workforce data
Further information about how the Department for Education (DfE) stores and uses personal information is available online.