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Information Governance

This page provides links to the full Information Governance library for Discovery Educational Trust, which comprises Chase High School, Westcliff-on-Sea, Larchwood Primary School, Brentwood and St. Martin’s School, Hutton.

Privacy Notice

Discovery Educational Trust (DET) and its Schools respect your and your child’s privacy and are committed to compliance with privacy legislation.  The information below is referred to as a ‘Privacy Notice’, which explains how we use and protect your personal information.

We have a Data Protection Officer, whose role it is to ensure that any personal information processed by DET and its Schools is processed fairly and lawfully.

If you have any concerns or questions regarding how we look after your personal information, please contact the Data Protection Officer, Lauri Almond, at IGS@essex.gov.uk  or by calling 0333 032 2970.

1. What is personal information?

Personal information is often records that can identify and relate to a living person. This can also include information that, when put together with other information, can then identify a person, for example, online identifiers or location data.

2. What are special categories of information?

This is personal information that needs more protection due to its sensitivity.  This information is likely to include:

  • sexuality and sexual health;
  • religious or philosophical beliefs;
  • ethnicity;
  • physical or mental health;
  • trade union membership;
  • political opinion;
  • genetic/biometric information.

3. How we limit the use of personal information

We use personal information to deliver education effectively; but, wherever possible, the information that we process is anonymised, pseudonymised or de-personalised.  This means that the information can no longer identify a person. 

When using personal information for research purposes, the information is anonymised/ pseudonymised to avoid the identification of a person, unless you have agreed that your personal information can be used for the research project.

We do not sell personal information to any other school or trust for the purposes of selling products. 

4. Why we use personal information

We use personal information to help us run the Trust and its Schools effectively, deliver a quality education, and safeguard pupils and staff.  Please refer to our service specific notices, which explain how we use personal information for each of our activities.

5. Your privacy rights

The law provides you with a number of rights to control the processing of your personal information:

Accessing the information that we hold about you

You have the right to ask for all the information we have about you. When we receive a request from you in writing, we must normally give you access to everything we have recorded about you. However, we will not let you see any parts of your record which contain:

  • Confidential information about other people; or
  • Information that a professional thinks will cause serious harm to you or someone else’s physical or mental wellbeing.

We will also not let you see any parts of your record if we think that the prevention or detection of crime may be adversely affected by disclosing information to you.

This applies to paper and electronic records. If you ask us, we will also let others see your record (except if one of the points above applies).  If you cannot ask for your records in writing, we ensure that there are other ways for you to make the request. 

If you have any queries regarding access to your information, please contact:

Changing information you believe to be inaccurate

You should let us know if you disagree with something written on your file. We may not always be able to change or remove the information; however, we will correct factual inaccuracies and may include your comments in the records.  Please use the contact details above to report inaccurate information.

Asking for your information to be deleted (right to be forgotten)

In some circumstances, you can request the erasure of the personal information used by us, for example:

  • Where the personal information is no longer needed for the purpose for which it was collected;
  • Where you have withdrawn your consent to the use of your information and there is no other legal basis for the processing;
  • Where there is no legal basis for the use of your information;
  • Where erasure is a legal obligation.

Where personal information has been shared with others, we make every reasonable effort to ensure that those using your personal information comply with your request for erasure.

Please note that the right to erasure does not extend to using your personal information where:

  • It is required by law;
  • It is used for exercising the right of freedom of expression;
  • It is in the public interest in the area of public health;
  • It is for archiving purposes in the public interest, scientific or historical research purposes, or statistical purposes, where it would seriously affect the achievement of the objectives of the processing;
  • It is necessary for the establishment, defence or exercise of legal claims.

Restricting what your information is used for

You have the right to ask us to restrict what we use your personal information for, where one of the following applies:

  • You have identified inaccurate information, and have notified us of this;
  • Where using your information is unlawful, and you wish us to restrict rather than erase the information;
  • Where you have objected to us using the information, and the legal reason for us using your information has not yet been provided to you.

When information is restricted, it cannot be used other than to securely store the information, and with your consent, to handle legal claims, protect others, or where it is for important public interests of the UK.  Where restriction of use has been granted, we inform you before the use of your personal information is resumed.

You have the right to request that we stop using your personal information in some circumstances, for example, where we are relying on your consent.  However, we are required by law to use personal information to deliver education services, so, for those purposes, we could not grant your request.

Computer-based decisions about you and if you are ‘profiled’

You have the right to object about decisions being made about you by automated means (by a computer and not a human being), unless it is required for any contract that you have entered into, required by law, or you have consented to it. You also have the right to object if you are being ‘profiled’. Profiling is where decisions are made about you based on certain things in your personal information.

If you have concerns regarding automated decision-making, or profiling, please use the contact details above to contact the School/Trust, and you will be advised as to how your information is being used.

6. Who will we share your personal information with?

As explained in our service specific notices, we use a range of companies and partners to either store personal information or to manage it for us. Where we have these arrangements, there is always a contract, memorandum of understanding or information sharing protocol in place to ensure that the Schools and the Trust comply with information protection law. We complete privacy impact assessments before we share personal information to ensure their compliance with the law.

Sometimes, we have a legal duty to provide information about people to other trusts/schools, for example, Child Protection concerns, or statutory returns to the Department for Education, for example the school census.

We may also share your personal information when we feel that there is a good reason that is more important than protecting your confidentiality. This does not happen often, but we may share your information:

  • To find and stop crime or fraud; or
  • If there are serious risks to the public, our staff or to other professionals; or
  • To protect a child.

The law does not allow us to share your information without your permission, unless there is proof that someone is at risk, or it is required by law.  This risk must be serious before we can go against your right to confidentiality.  When we are worried about physical safety or we feel that we need to take action to protect someone from being harmed in other ways, we discuss this with you and, if possible, get your permission to tell others about your situation.   We may still share your information if we believe that the risk to others is serious enough to do so. 

There may also be rare occasions when the risk to others is so great that we need to share information straight away. If this is the case, we ensure that we record what information we share and our reasons for doing so. We let you know what we have done and why, as soon as possible, or if we think it is safe to do so.

We are required by law to share certain information with the Department for Education; for more details on how it uses personal information, please click here.

We are also required to share some information with Essex County Council; for more details on how it uses personal information, please click here.

If you live or attend school in the Southend City Council area, you can review its privacy notice here.

If you live or attend school in the Thurrock Council area, you can review its privacy notice here.

7. How do we protect your information?

We do what we can to ensure that we hold personal records (on paper and electronically) in a secure way, and we only make them available to those, who have a right to see them.  Our security measures include:

  • Encryption allows information to be hidden so that it cannot be read without special knowledge (such as a password). This is done with a secret code or cypher. The hidden information is said to be encrypted.
  • Controlling access to systems, networks and buildings allows us to prevent people, who are not allowed to view your personal information, gaining access to it.
  • Training for our staff allows us to make them aware of how to handle information and how and when to report when something goes wrong.
  • Ways for us to access your information should something go wrong and our systems not work, including how we manage your information in event of an emergency or disaster.
  • Regular testing of our technology and processes, including keeping up to date on the latest security updates (commonly called patches).

If your information leaves the country

Sometimes, for example, where we receive a request to transfer school records to a new school, it is necessary to send that information outside of the UK.  In such circumstances, additional protection is applied to that information during its transfer, and where the receiving country does not have an adequacy decision, advice is sought from the Information Commissioners Office prior to the information being sent.

8. How long do we keep your personal information?

Our retention schedule lists how long your information may be kept for different purposes. A copy of the retention schedule can be requested from any of the DET School Offices.

9. HOW WE USE PUPIL INFORMATION

Why do we collect and use pupil information? We collect and use pupil information under the Education Act 1996. The EU general data protection regulation 2016/679 (GDPR) will take effect in May 25 2018 including Article 6 ‘lawfulness of processing’ and Article 9 ‘Processing of special categories of personal data’

https://www.gov.uk/education/data-collection-and-censuses-for-schools

We use the pupil data: 

  • to support pupil learning
  • to monitor and report on pupil progress
  • to provide appropriate pastoral care
  • to assess the quality of our services
  • to comply with the law regarding data sharing 

The categories of pupil information that we collect, hold and share include: 

  • Personal information (such as name, unique pupil number and address)
  • Any relevant medical information
  • Special educational needs
  • Exclusions and behavioural information
  • Assessment information
  • Characteristics (such as ethnicity, language, nationality, country of birth and free school meal eligibility)
  • Attendance information (such as sessions attended, number of absences and absence reasons) 

10. 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 the General Data Protection Regulation, we will inform you whether you are required to provide certain pupil information to us or if you have a choice in this. 

11. STORING PUPIL DATA

We hold pupil data for six years following a pupil’s last entry.

12. WHO DO 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 

13. 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. 

The National Pupil Database (NPD)

The NPD is owned and managed by the DfE 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 DfE. 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. 

We are required by law, to provide information about our pupils to the DfE as part of statutory data collections such as the school census and early years’ census. Some of this information is then stored in the NPD. The law that allows this is the Education (Information About Individual Pupils) (England) Regulations 2013. 

To find out more about the pupil information we share with the DfE, for the purpose of data collections, go to https://www.gov.uk/education/data-collection-and-censuses-for-schools

To find out more about the NPD, go to https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/national-pupil-database-user-guide-and-supporting-information

The DfE may share information about our pupils from the NPD with third parties who promote the education or wellbeing of children in England by: 

  • conducting research or analysis
  • producing statistics
  • providing information, advice or guidance 

The DfE has robust processes in place to ensure the confidentiality of our data is maintained and there are stringent controls in place regarding access and use of the data. Decisions on whether DfE releases data to third parties are subject to a strict approval process and based on a detailed assessment of: 

  • who is requesting the data
  • the purpose for which it is required
  • the level and sensitivity of data requested: and
  • the arrangements in place to store and handle the data 

To be granted access to pupil information, organisations must comply with strict terms and conditions covering the confidentiality and handling of the data, security arrangements and retention and use of the data. 

For more information about the DfE's data sharing process, please visit:

https://www.gov.uk/data-protection-how-we-collect-and-share-research-data 

For information about which organisations the DfE has provided pupil information, (and for which project), please visit the following website: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/national-pupil-database-requests-received 

To contact DfE: https://www.gov.uk/contact-dfe 

14. 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 your child’s School Office or, by email, using the addresses in section 4.

You also have the right to:

  • object to processing of personal data that is likely to cause, or is causing, damage or distress
  • prevent processing for the purpose of direct marketing
  • object to decisions being taken by automated means
  • in certain circumstances, have inaccurate personal data rectified, blocked, erased or destroyed; and
  • claim compensation for damages caused by a breach of the Data Protection regulations 

15. Where can I get advice?

You can contact our Data Protection Officer at IGS@essex.gov.uk or by calling 0333 032 2970.

For independent advice about information protection, privacy and information sharing issues, you can contact the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) at:

Information Commissioner's Office

Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire 
SK9 5AF

Tel: 0303 123 1113 (local rate) or 01625 545 745 if you prefer to use a national rate number

Alternatively, visit ico.org.uk or email casework@ico.org.uk

16. Cookies and how you use this website

To make DET and the School websites easier to use, we sometimes place small text files on your device (for example your iPad or laptop). These are known as ‘cookies’. Most big websites also do this.

Cookies improve matters by:

  • remembering the items that you have chosen, so that you do not have to keep re-entering them whenever you visit a new page;
  • remembering the information that you have provided, for example, your address, so that you do not need to keep entering it;
  • measuring how you use the websites so that we can ensure that they meet your needs.

By using our websites, you agree that we can place these types of cookies on your device. 

We do not use cookies on this website that collect information about what other websites you visit (often referred to as privacy intrusive cookies).

Our cookies are not used to identify you personally. They are here to make the sites work better for you. Indeed, you can manage and/or delete these files as you wish.

To learn more about cookies and how to manage them, visit AboutCookies.org, or watch a video about cookies.

Other people’s cookies

We sometimes use videos from YouTube and feeds from other websites, such as Facebook and Twitter. These websites place cookies on your device when watching or viewing these pages.

Below are links to the cookie policies for these sites:

Turning off cookies

You can stop cookies being downloaded on to your computer or other device by selecting the appropriate settings on your browser. If you do this, however, you may not be able to use the full functionality of our websites.

There is more information about how to delete or stop using cookies on AboutCookies.org. If you wish, you can also opt out of being tracked by Google Analytics.

Further guidance on the use of personal information can be found at ico.org.uk

Service Specific Privacy Notices

Further Important Information Governance Documents