The new GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) has replaced the Data Protection Act (DPA) and is set to strengthen and unify all data held within an organisation. For schools, GDPR brings a new responsibility to inform parents and stakeholders about how they are using pupils’ data and who it is being used by.
What Does GDPR mean for Schools
A great deal of the processing of personal data undertaken by schools will fall under a specific legal basis, ‘in the public interest’. As it is in the public interest to operate schools successfully, it will mean that specific consent will not be needed in the majority of cases in schools.
GDPR will ensure data is protected and will give individuals more control over their data, however this means schools will have greater accountability for the data:
- Under GDPR, consent must be explicitly given to anything that isn’t within the normal business of the school, especially if it involves a third party managing the data. Parents must express consent for their child’s data to be used outside of the normal business of the school.
- Schools must appoint a Data Protection Officer and be able to prove that they are GDPR compliant.
- Schools must ensure that their third party suppliers who may process any of their data is GDPR compliant and must have legally binding contracts with any company that processes any personal data. These contracts must cover what data is being processed, who it is being processed by, who has access to it and how it is protected.
- It will be compulsory that all data breaches which are likely to have a detrimental effect on the data subject are reported to the ICO within 72 hours
As a school we require some essential data from parents. This data can be simply routine information such as your address, contact telephone numbers or details of any medical conditions your child may have. Such information is legally required by schools and ensures that children and their families are well served by the school for routine matters.
In most cases, this data will be provided by you in written form but will then be processed and entered onto the school’s information management system (computer system). Please be assured that our systems are:
- password protected
- restricted to those with a ‘need to know’
- regularly backed up externally
- managed in accordance with the law and local guidance
However, as a school we also handle and use a much wider variety of data which may include; test and assessment data, referrals to other agencies and SEND and medical information.
The school website is monitored regularly to ensure that it is secure and public access does not compromise the safety of pupils and that the site is secure.