Applicable to all Members of the College Community (past and present)
- any contract between the College and its staff or the parents of pupils;
- any policies or notices applicable to staff concerning the handling of personal data;
- the College’s policy on taking, storing and using images of children;
- the College’s CCTV and/or biometrics policy;
- the College’s retention of records policy;
- the College’s safeguarding, pastoral, health and safety policies, including as to how concerns, low-level concerns or incidents are recorded; and
- the College’s IT policies, including its Acceptable Use policy, E-safety policy, Social Media policy, Remote Working policy and Bring Your Own Device policy.
Anyone who works for or acts on behalf of the College (including staff, volunteers, governors and service providers) will be subject to suitable training and/or policies commensurate with their role.
Responsibility for Data Protection
The College has appointed the Principal as its Data Protection Officer (DPO), who will deal with all requests and enquiries concerning the College’s use of personal data. The Principal will endeavour to ensure that all personal data is processed in compliance with this policy and Data Protection Law.
Why the College needs to Process Personal Data
In order to carry out its ordinary duties to Pupils, Parents and Staff, the College may process a wide range of personal data about individuals (including current, past and prospective) as part of its daily operation.
Some of this activity the College will need to carry out in order to fulfil its legal rights, duties or obligations – including those under a contract with its parents of its pupils.
Other uses of personal data will be made in accordance with the College’s legitimate interests, or the legitimate interests of another, provided that these are not outweighed by the impact on individuals, and provided it does not involve special or sensitive types of data.
The College expects that the following uses may fall within that category of its (or its community’s) “legitimate interests”:
- For the purposes of pupil selection, to confirm the identity of prospective pupils and their parents, and retain a record if appropriate for the purposes of future applications or openings;
- To provide education services, including musical education, physical training or spiritual development, career services, and extra-curricular activities to pupils, and monitoring pupils’ progress and educational needs, including where such services are provided remotely (either temporarily or permanently);
- Maintaining relationships with alumni and the College community, including marketing or fundraising activity;
- For the purposes of donor due diligence and to confirm the identity of prospective donors and their background
- For the purpose of management planning and forecasting, research and statistical analysis, including that imposed or provided for by the law (such as diversity or gender pay gap analysis and taxation records;
- To enable relevant authorities to monitor the College’s performance and to intervene or assist with incidents as appropriate;
- To give and receive information and references about past and current pupils, including relating to outstanding fees or payment history, to/from any educational institution that the pupil attended or where it is proposed they attend; and to provide references to potential employers of past pupils;
- To enable pupils to take part in national or other assessments, and to publish the results of public examinations or other achievements of pupils of the College;
- To safeguard pupils’ health and welfare and provide appropriate pastoral care;
- To monitor (as appropriate) use of the College’s IT and communications systems in accordance with the College’s IT: acceptable use policy;
- To make use of photographic images of pupils in College publications, on the College website and (where appropriate) on the College’s social media channels in accordance with the College’s policy on taking, storing and using images of children;
- For security purposes, including CCTV in accordance with the College’s CCTV policy;
- For regulatory record keeping/ compliance purposes in respect of immigration requirements, as an employer and visa sponsor;
- To carry out or cooperate with any college or external complaints, disciplinary and investigation process; and
- Where otherwise reasonably necessary for the College’s purposes, including to obtain appropriate professional advice and insurance for the College.
In addition, the College may need to process special category personal data (concerning health, ethnicity, religion, biometrics or sexual life) or criminal records information (such as when carrying out DBS checks) in accordance with rights or duties imposed on it by law, including as regards safeguarding and employment, or from time to time by explicit consent where required. These reasons may include:
- To safeguard pupils’ welfare and provide appropriate pastoral (and where necessary, medical) care, and to take appropriate action in the event of an emergency, incident or accident, including by disclosing details of an individual’s medical condition where it is in the individual’s interests to do so: for example for medical advice, for social protection, safeguarding, and cooperation with police or social services, for insurance purposes or to caterers or organisers of College trips who need to be made aware of dietary or medical needs;
- To comply with public health requirements in respect of Covid-19 (or similar) testing: including managing on-site testing and/or processing the results of tests taken by public or other members of the College community, and sharing this information with relevant health authorities;
- To provide educational services in the context of any special educational needs of a pupil;
- To provide spiritual education in the context of any religious beliefs;
- In connection with employment of its staff, for example DBS checks, to give and receive information and references, welfare or pensions plans;
- To run any of its systems that operate on biometric data, such as for security and other forms of pupil identification (lockers, lunch etc.); or
- For legal and regulatory purposes (for example child protection, diversity monitoring, health and safety and immigration compliance and visa sponsor) and to comply with its legal obligations and duties of care.
Types of Personal Data Processed by the College:
- Names, addresses, telephone numbers, date of birth, gender, e-mail addresses and other contact details;
- Car details (about those who use our car parking facilities)
- Bank details and other financial information, e.g. about parents (or others) who pay fees to the College, and any anti money laundering information we are required to collect by law;
- Bank details and other financial information, e.g. about parents (or others) who pay fees to the College, and any anti-money laundering information we are required to collect by law;
- Past, present and prospective pupils’ academic, disciplinary, admissions and attendance records (including information about any special needs), and examination scripts and marks;
- Where appropriate, information about individuals’ health and contact details for their next of kin;
- References given or received by the College about pupils, and information provided by previous educational establishments and/or other professionals or organisations working with pupils;
- Correspondence with and concerning staff, pupils and parents (past and present);
- nationality and other immigration status information (e.g. right to work/ study), including copies of passport information;
- Images of pupils (and occasionally other individuals) engaging in College activities, and images captured by the College’s CCTV system (in accordance with the College’s policy on taking, storing and using images of children);
- For staff, details of your name, address and contact details, terms and conditions of employment, including email address and telephone number, date of birth and gender; details of your qualifications, skills, experience and employment history, including start and end dates, with previous employers and with the organisation; information about your remuneration, including entitlement to benefits such as pensions or insurance cover; details of your bank account and national insurance number; information about your marital status, next of kin, dependants and emergency contacts; information about your nationality and entitlement to work in the UK; information about your criminal record; details of your schedule (days of work and working hours) and attendance at work; details of periods of leave taken by you, including holiday, sickness absence, family leave and sabbaticals, and the reasons for the leave; details of any disciplinary or grievance procedures in which you have been involved, including any warnings issued to you and related correspondence; assessments of your performance, including appraisals, performance reviews and ratings, training you have participated in, performance improvement plans and related correspondence; information about medical or health conditions, including whether or not you have a disability for which the organisation needs to make reasonable adjustments; references given or received by the College about staff and equal opportunities monitoring information, including information about your ethnic origin, sexual orientation, health and religion or belief.
How the College Collects Data
Generally, the College receives personal data from the individual directly (including, in the case of pupils, from their parents). This may be via a form, or simply in the ordinary course of interaction or communication (such as email, telephone, or written assessments).
However, in some cases personal data may be supplied by third parties (for example another School, employer, or other professionals or authorities working with that individual); or collected from publicly available resources
Who has Access to Personal Data and who the College shares this with
Processing by third parties.
For the most part, personal data collected by the College will remain within the College, and will be processed by appropriate individuals only in accordance with access protocols (i.e. on a ‘need to know’ basis). However, some functions are outsourced including cloud storage / records management, monitoring, mailing. In accordance with Data Protection Law, this type of external data processing is always subject to contractual assurances that personal data will be kept securely and used only in accordance with the College’s specific directions.
Occasionally, the College – including its Governors – will need to share personal information relating to its community of staff, pupils and parents with third parties, such as:
- appropriate contractors, such as visiting music teachers;
- professional advisers (e.g. lawyers, insurers, PR advisers and accountants);
- examination boards;
- stage 3 complaints panels, which will include independent panel members;
- third parties and their advisers in the event of a possible or actual sale, merger or other restructuring of the College; and
- government authorities (e.g. HMRC, DfE, CAFCASS, police, Home Office, a relevant public health/ NHS body and local authority) and appropriate regulatory bodies e.g. the Teaching Regulation Agency, the Independent Schools Inspectorate
ACCESS TO SENSITIVE DATA
Particularly strict rules of access apply in the context of:
- medical records; and
- pastoral or safeguarding information/data
The College needs to process such information to comply with statutory duties and to keep pupils and others safe, but the College will ensure only authorised staff can access information on a need-to-know basis. This may include wider dissemination if needed for school trips or for catering purposes. Express consent will be sought where appropriate.
However, a certain amount of any pupil’s Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND), pastoral or safeguarding relevant information may, on occasions, need to be provided to staff more widely in the context of providing the necessary care and education that the pupil requires on a need to know basis.
Staff, pupils and parents are reminded that the College is under duties imposed by law and statutory guidance, including Keeping Children Safe in Education (KCSIE) to record and/or report incidents and concerns that arise or which are reported to it, in some cases regardless of whether they are proven, if they meet a certain threshold of seriousness in their nature or regularity. This may include file notes on personnel or safeguarding files, and in some cases referrals to relevant authorities such as the Local Authority or police.
KCSIE also requires that, whenever a child leaves the College to join another school or college, his or her child protection information is promptly provided to the new organisation. The College will retain a copy in accordance with its retention policy for material related to safeguarding matters.
For further information about this, please view the College’s Safeguarding Policy.
The College will also record low-level concerns that do not necessarily meet statutory thresholds, including pastoral information about pupils. Safeguarding software is used by the College to record and track concerns about pupils’ well-being, as well as pupil and staff activity on College devices.
Finally, in accordance with Data Protection Law, some of the College’s processing activity is carried out on its behalf by third parties, such as IT systems, web developers or cloud storage providers. This is always subject to contractual assurances that personal data will be kept securely and only in accordance with the College’s specific directions
How long we keep Personal Data
The College will retain personal data securely and only in line with how long it is necessary to keep it for a legitimate and lawful reason. Typically, the legal recommendation for how long to keep ordinary staff and pupil personnel files is up to 6 years following departure from the College. However, incident reports and safeguarding files will need to be kept much longer, in accordance with specific legal requirements.
If you have any specific queries about how this policy is applied, or wish to request that personal data that you no longer believe to be relevant is considered for erasure, please contact the Principal. However, please bear in mind that the College may have lawful and necessary reasons to hold on to some data even following such request. Please refer to the College’s Data Retention Policy for the full details.
A limited and reasonable amount of information will be kept for archiving purposes, for example; and even where you have requested we no longer keep in touch with you, we will need to keep a record of the fact in order to fulfil your wishes (called a “suppression record”).
Keeping in touch and Supporting the College
The College will use the contact details of parents, alumni and other members of the College community to keep them updated about the activities of the College, or alumni and parent events of interest, including by sending updates and newsletters, by email and by post. Unless the relevant individual objects, the College may also:
- Share personal data about parents and/or alumni, as appropriate, with organisations set up to help establish and maintain relationships with the College community, such as the Old Birkfeldians.
- Contact parents and/or alumni by post and email in order to promote and raise funds for the College and, where appropriate, other worthy causes;
- Collect information from publicly available sources about parents’ and former pupils’ occupation and activities, in order to maximise the College’s fundraising potential.
- Should you wish to limit or object to any such use, or would like further information about them, please contact the Principal in writing. You always have the right to withdraw consent, where given, or otherwise object to direct marketing or fundraising. However, the College may need nonetheless to retain some of your details (not least to ensure that no more communications are sent to that particular address, email or telephone number).
Individuals (both pupils and parents) have various rights under Data Protection Law to access and understand their own personal data held and processed by the College, and in some cases ask for it to be erased or amended, or to have it transferred elsewhere, or for the College to stop processing it – but subject to certain exemptions and limitations.
The College will endeavour to respond to any such written requests as soon as is reasonably practicable and in any event within statutory time-limits, which is generally one month, but actually fulfilling more complex and multiple requests, e.g. those involving third party information, may take 1-2 months longer).
- Rights of access, etc.
The College will be better able to respond quickly to smaller, targeted requests for information made during term time. If the request is manifestly excessive or similar to previous requests, the College may ask you to reconsider, or charge a proportionate fee for the administrative costs of complying with the request, or in certain cases refuse the request (but only where Data Protection Law allows it, and in accordance with relevant regulatory guidance).
If you consider that the personal data we hold on you is inaccurate, please let us know. However, the College will not necessarily delete or amend views, opinions, notes or records purely on the request of an individual who disputes the account, although we may keep a record of all parties’ viewpoints.
- Requests that cannot be fulfilled
You should be aware that GDPR rights (including the right of access) are limited to your own personal data, and certain data is exempt. This may include information which identifies other individuals (and parents need to be aware this may include their own children, in certain limited situations, or information which is subject to legal professional privilege (for example legal advice given to or sought by the College, or documents prepared in connection with a legal action, or where a duty of confidence is owed by a legal adviser).
The College is also not required to disclose any pupil examination scripts (or other information consisting solely of pupil test answers, potentially including in mock exam scripts or other types of exams/tests used to assess performance – although markets’ comments may still be disclosable if they constitute pupil personal data); The College is also not required to provide examination or other test marks ahead of their ordinary publication date, nor any confidential reference held by the College that was (or will be) given for the purposes of the education, training, appointment or employment of any individual.
These exemptions necessarily apply also in the context of teacher-assessed grades, where required in the absence of formal public examinations due to pandemic conditions.
Pupils can make subject access requests for their own personal data, provided that, in the reasonable opinion of the College, they have sufficient maturity to understand the request they are making (see section Whose Rights below). Indeed, while a person with parental responsibility will generally be entitled to make a subject access request on behalf of younger pupils, the information in question is always considered to be the child’s.
A pupil of any age, may ask a parent or other representative, to make a subject access request on his/her behalf. Moreover (if of sufficient age) their consent or authority may need to be sought by the parent making such a request. Pupils in the Senior School aged 13 and above are generally assumed to have this level of maturity, although this will depend on both the child and the personal data requested, including any relevant circumstances at home. Slightly younger children may however be sufficiently mature to have a say in this decision.
All information requests from, or on behalf of, pupils – whether made under subject access or simply as an incidental request – will therefore be considered on a case by case basis.
Where the College is relying on consent as a means to process personal data, any person may withdraw this consent at any time (subject to similar age considerations as above). Please be aware however, that the College may have another lawful reason to process the personal data in question even without your consent.
The rights under Data Protection Law belong to the individual to whom the data relates. However, the College will often rely on parental consent to process personal data relating to pupils (if consent is required) unless, given the nature of the processing in question, and the pupil’s age and understanding, it is more appropriate to rely on the pupil’s consent, either alongside or in place of parental consent.
Parents should be aware that in such situations they may not be consulted, depending on the interests of the child, the parents’ rights at law or under their contract, and all the circumstances.
In general, the College will assume that pupils’ consent is not required for ordinary disclosure of their personal data to their parents, e.g. for the purposes of keeping parents informed about the pupil’s activities, progress and behaviour, and in the interests of the pupil’s welfare, unless, in the College’s opinion, there is a good reason to do otherwise.
However, where a pupil seeks to raise concerns confidentially with a member of staff and expressly withholds their agreement to their personal data being disclosed to their parents, the College may be under an obligation to maintain confidentiality unless, in the College’s opinion, there is a good reason to do otherwise; for example where the College believes disclosure will be in the best interests of the pupil or other pupils, or if required by law.
Pupils are required to respect the personal data and privacy of others, and to comply with the College’s IT, acceptable use policy and the College rules. Staff are under professional duties to do the same covered under the relevant staff policy and staff handbook.
Data Accuracy and Security
The College will endeavour to ensure that all personal data held in relation to an individual is as up to date and accurate as possible. Individuals must notify the Principal of any significant changes to important information, such as contact details, held about them.
An individual has the right to request that any out-of-date, irrelevant or inaccurate or information about them is erased or corrected (subject to certain exemptions and limitations under Data Protection Law): please see above for details of why the College may need to process your data, of who you may contact if you disagree.
The College will take appropriate technical and organisational steps to ensure the security of personal data about individuals, including policies around use of technology and devices, and access to College systems. All staff and governors will be made aware of this policy and their duties under Data Protection Law and receive relevant training.
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Queries and Complaints
Any comments or queries on this policy should be directed to the Principal at [email protected].
If an individual believes that the College has not complied with this policy, or has acted otherwise than in accordance with Data Protection Law, they should utilise the College’s Complaints or Grievance procedure and should also notify the Principal. The complainant can also make a referral to, or lodge a complaint with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), although the ICO recommends that steps are taken to resolve the matter with the College before involving the regulator.Contact us